A Place to Belong - Salvation Army Canada
  • Apr26Mon

    A Place to Belong

    Niagara Orchard Community Church empowers young women through BRAVE. April 26, 2021 by Captain Nancy Braye
    Filed Under:
    Women's Ministries

    I have always been passionate about ministering to women and girls; embracing and celebrating who God has created us to be. When the invitation came from territorial headquarters to be a “host corps” for BRAVE, I knew we had to participate here at Niagara Orchard Community Church! I approached Nicole Thwaites, a wonderful Christian woman from our church who has lots of work experience dealing with marginalized communities and mental health issues, to join me on this BRAVE journey. Due to COVID-19 restrictions for 2021, we were only able to have eight young women participate with the hope of expanding in the years to come.

    We prepared fun swag bags and dropped them off to the eight girls in this age group that are part of our church family, complete with the BRAVE video material so the girls could watch it at their own convenience. The following week we had a time to debrief over Zoom together and we decided to continue on with a weekly BRAVE Connect Group to work our way through the BRAVE journal. We are about to begin week seven together and we have been so blessed to share in this meaningful experience with these unique young women.

    We have covered a lot of ground so far in our BRAVE journey.  We have discussed everything from “frenemies” and appropriate boundaries within friendships, to sexual wholeness and sexual abuse. The girls have shared from their own personal experiences and we have been privileged to hear their stories. The BRAVE journal has given us a road map to open the door to meaningful and sometimes difficult topics. The girls have learned that they are “queens” and should be treated as such. The journal has been a very helpful tool to encourage and empower them to be themselves and celebrate who God has created them to be. 

    Sometimes, in the realm of women’s ministries, we think we need an elaborately planned program with lots of elements executed to perfection. But what these young women want more than anything is simply to belong. They want a safe space to be who they are, share what’s on their heart and have someone who values them and listens to them. Isn’t that what we all want - to belong, to be safe, to be heard and to be valued? BRAVE has helped us to create this space within our church community for these brilliant young women. It doesn’t need to be complicated; it just needs to be real.  

    Psalm 46:5 says, “God is within her, she will not fall.”  While I know David wasn’t speaking specifically about women when he wrote this passage of Scripture, this is what we are trying to instill in these young women. As we empower them, we are reminding them that God created them to be their unique selves and when they live that out, they are unstoppable!

    For more information about the BRAVE territorial event, click here.

     

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