Women of all ages, races and backgrounds come. Some have marriages that have gone sour. Others are still recovering from past molestation or rape. Still others are simply searching for faith.
They all have something they need to say and a place to say it.
â€œWe meet once a month, and they just dump it out,â€ said Joeanne McSwain, a founding member of Womenâ€™s Ministries of Reconciliation. â€œItâ€™s like a dump session. We do whatever we have to do to help them get through it.â€
Since the ministry started in September, 25 women have been meeting at McSwainâ€™s house hoping to heal.
â€œWe cry. We laugh. We hug, but mostly we pray about it because that is the foundation of this ministry,â€ McSwain said.
The ministry will be holding an open house Saturday morning at Buffalo Shoals Community Building, and the event is free and open to the public.
McSwain and her fellow members hope it sparks more interest in the community. Already, members of the group have been able to get their families back in order and rededicate themselves to Christ, said McSwain.
The group is unaffiliated with any churches, which McSwain believes encourages women to open up.
â€œI donâ€™t mean to say anything bad about church, but sometimes churches can be very judgmental,â€ she said. â€œThese women that desire to be healed, they do not need to be judged.â€
And if women prefer to sit quietly during monthly meetings rather than share their stories, thatâ€™s fine too.
â€œWe donâ€™t know what theyâ€™re receiving just from the encouraging testimonies,â€ McSwain said. â€œIf nothing else, they realize theyâ€™re not alone.â€
The ministry has also found support from the community at large. Chairs, tables and computer equipment have all been donated.
â€œGod has given us everything we need to work this ministry, and we have not had to beg for anything,â€ McSwain said. â€œWe have just made our requests known, and God supplies our need.â€
Organizers hope Saturdayâ€™s event will encourage even more women to join for song, scripture, prayer and sharing.
â€œItâ€™s about kingdom work,â€ McSwain said. â€œwe take no glory, and we take no credit. It all belongs to God.â€
Want to go? The Womenâ€™s Ministries of Reconciliationâ€™s open house will take place Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Buffalo Shoals Community Building on 1834 Buffalo Shoals Road in Lincolnton. The event is free and open to the public.
Speakers will be the pastor Carolyn E. Briggs, Evangelist Candice Nicole Ikard, Evangelist Mildred Maddox and Evangelist Janice Faye Smith.
by Sarah Grano