OSAGE BEACH – Strawberry salads with crumbled feta cheese were placed on tables to greet the women as they entered the Crystal Ballroom at Tan-Tar-A Resort. Candlelight flickered as part of the centerpiece and a framed keepsake message served as a reminder of what Christ calls His followers to do: “In the same way, let your light shine before men, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven” (Matt 5:16).
The 2014 Ministry Wives Luncheon was held on Oct. 28 during a break at the annual meeting of the Missouri Baptist Convention (MBC).
“We had 88 women come, and we are very pleased with how it turned out,” said Gena Brown, president of the ministry wives luncheon and member of Hillcrest Baptist Church in Lebanon, where her husband, David, is lead pastor. “Our goal is to help bridge generations so that new mentor and mentee relationships will unite. Those relationships are critical to the Lord’s calling for us as ministry wives.”
This year’s luncheon keynote speaker was Sharon Yeats, wife of John Yeats, the executive director of the MBC. She talked about her role as a pastor’s and state missionary’s wife, but mostly about her life since she was diagnosed with Stage 3 Internal Melanoma.
“When I found out it was Stage 3 Melanoma, fear gripped my heart,” she said. “It was indescribable. I couldn’t control the fear even though I had the Prince of Peace in me.”
As the group of women listened, Yeats held up what she called a prayer ring. It was a gift from a friend who wrote and decorated encouraging Bible verses so that she could easily flip to them any time or anywhere.
“Do you know how many verses there are to combat fear?” she asked. “A bunch.”
She said that, though every person has moments of fear in his or her Christian walk, each person also has a choice: to live in fear or live in faith.
“I still don’t know if God is going to heal me or not, but I know He has ownership of me,” Yeats said. “John and I are living each day intentionally and we are going to enjoy each other because that’s the way God wants us to live. He allows us to experience difficulty to conform us to Himself.”
Deborah Long, member of First Baptist Church Stanberry where her husband, David, is pastor, enjoyed listening to Yeats’ testimony.
“I’m not sure how she got up there and did that, but it was a blessing to be able to hear her story and be encouraged,” she said.
Long, whose name was picked out of the drawing for a $50 gift card door prize, said the luncheon was the perfect way for ministry wives to get refreshed in the middle of the MBC Annual Meeting.
“It was simply lovely and a great support for us,” she said, “and I thank the ladies who worked so hard to make it happen.”