Revive Our Hearts Podcast

Rooted in Christ: Mujer Verdadera '20

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Dannah Gresh: This past weekend, more than 6,000 women gathered in Monterrey, Mexico, for our third international True Woman Conference. From the excitement of the opening welcome . . . 

Conference Opening: (in Spanish)

Dannah: . . . to the warmth of the closing song . . .

Conference Attendees Singing: (in Spanish)

Dannah: . . . we were challenged to grow more rooted in Christ.

Nancy (at Mujer Verdadera ’20): Without trials, we don’t develop roots. We know that God provides grace for every trial we could ever face. We know that His grace is enough. 

Dannah: Today we’ll hear how God was at work in Mexico this past weekend. This is Revive Our Hearts with Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth, author of Choosing Gratitude, for Monday, March 16th. I’m Dannah Gresh.

Nancy, it’s been a long day, and here you are at your hotel room as the conference has just come to a close, here in Monterrey.

Nancy: And let me say, we are here with some friends who were part of the conference with us. We are in a make-shift studio. I can hear the wind howling outside. So the audio isn’t what we would normally have in our studio.

It’s late at night. We are all tired. But we are happy tired because the Lord has done great things for us, and we are glad.

Dannah: We are so glad. Two of the women here with us probably deserve to be introduced first with great honor because they are the leaders of Aviva Nuestros Corazones—the counterpart to Revive Our Hearts—here in Latin America.

Welcome to Patricia Saladin, who is the voice of Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth on that program.

Patricia Saladin: Hi. It is a pleasure to be here. It’s been a great weekend.

Dannah: And Laura Gonzalez, who leads the ministry so beautifully.

Laura Gonzalez: It’s great to be here. We’re happy with everything that God did this weekend.

Nancy: The other two women here were part of our speaker team: Mary Kassian.

Mary Kassian: I’m here. It’s so good to be here.

Nancy: The Lord gave you a very timely message for the women here in Mexico. We’ll talk about that in just a moment. But also, my longtime, sweet friend, Dámaris Carbaugh.

Dámaris, those women love you because you’ve got Latin blood.

Dámaris Carbaugh: It was amazing to be with them. I’m the only person who can speak to them in Spanish and tell them how I think in English. But it was amazing, just amazing.

Nancy: We just walked away, all of us, from a time after the conference of meeting and greeting women. There were lines wrapped around the convention center. For three hours solid we talked with women; we heard their stories; we saw their tears.

They just wanted to thank us. Women were bringing up their national flag from: Columbia, Peru, Ecuador. They were telling their stories of how they’ve connected with the message of Revive Our Hearts in their mother tongue, in Spanish.

Laura, you saw all of this happening. You saw those 6,000 women, a sea of women. When a hundred Dominican women came to that first True Woman conference in 2008, could you have imagined you’d see what we saw here this weekend in Mexico?

Laura: Nancy, not in our wildest dreams. The Lord has just surprised us and amazed us and humbled us. It just reminds us of His power and His work. 

When I saw that sea of women, all waving their white flags . . .

Nancy: You are talking about those white hankies that say, “Si, Señor!” (Yes, Lord!). They would wave them throughout, Latin style.

Laura: That joy and exuberance and tears in their eyes and hugging each other, was an amazing sight.

Nancy: There was such an eagerness, a hunger, a thirst, a responsiveness to the Lord. A lot of these women had to face some significant obstacles that came up individually and collectively.

We all know we are in a time where things are shutting down. There have been these huge issues with the coronavirus. Of course, we didn’t know that would be on the scene when we scheduled this.

Mary: It was just amazing to me how the Lord orchestrated the timing. The conference was underway when the big crisis hit. 

Nancy: Two days later it couldn’t have happened.

Mary: Even one day later it couldn’t have happened.

All of these women . . . some of them had saved up for a whole year. Some of them came on scholarships. They didn’t have the money to come. This was such an investment for them just to be here.

Nancy: And yet they were irrepressible. You could not keep them away. You could not keep them from celebrating what God was doing.

There were some amazing things right here in Mexico at the convention center that showed the contrast of what God was doing here in light and truth and what was going on in our world.

For example, just today, in the convention center when we were meeting, at the opposite end there was another convention called Esoterica. It was occultic, a witchcraft convention. You talk about the juxtaposition of light and darkness! How did that strike you?

Dannah:We had such a peace about us when we left the Mujer Vedadera conference; such a move of God’s Spirit at the end of the morning session.

I left with such peace and a sense of God’s Spirit heavy on us. I walked to the other end of the convention hall because that’s where our lunch was—right above this conference—which was all things of darkness. Really, it was all people looking for an outlet for their spirituality—from tarot cards to seances, to it looked like there were different types of shamans and things like that.

There was actually a chill. My husband said as he looked toward that part of the convention center and felt a little nauseous, “I don’t think I’ve ever felt that before when I’m looking at something dark, but I felt physically ill when I walked and looked in that direction.” It was a reminder that there is a battle between good and evil.

Nancy, one of the highlights of the weekend for me was that one of the conference attendees met a woman who was attending that conference. She invited her, and she showed up in our audience!

Nancy: It’s just such a stark reminder of the contrast between light and darkness and that the truth is so much more powerful than the darkness. What a beautiful opportunity to represent Christ here in an area where the powers of darkness were doing their dead-level best to steal the truth. But truth has won!

Now, we saw this battle, Dannah, in another way, just in the backdrop . . . Again, we had no idea of this when the conference was scheduled. But leading up to the conference, there was something happening, Mary, in Mexico and in all of Latin America that people may not have been fully aware of in the United States. But it was huge down here!

You actually did some research and spoke to this in a message you gave to help the women identify the basic thinking behind feminism. Tell what was going on here in Mexico.

Well, it was International Women's Day last weekend. There was a massive march. There have been more and more marches in Latin America, throughout Latin America, pushing a feminist vision for solving some of the problems here.

Latin America is one of the most violent places in the world for women in terms of sexual abuse, in terms of assault. It’s a dangerous place for women, here in Latin America.

There were some murders of women recently that spurred on these reactions.

Nancy: They were horrific situations.

Mary: Yes, terrible situations, terrible murders. The women were marching to protest this. Then they had a strike Monday, just a few days before the conference started. They had a women’s strike to protest all of this violence against women, and really, to say that feminism is the answer to solve all of these problems.

Nancy: I understood that twenty million women throughout Mexico went on strike from school and work. They were saying that the future is feminism. There were a lot of slogans.

We were down here this week as this was happening. It was huge headline news. Then you came, Mary, and gave a message to speak about how the issues they are concerned about are valid, but how the prescription is not one of hope or really helpful.

Mary: That’s right. I was talking about the history of feminism and how feminism developed as an ideology. And how it exists as an ideology that says that problems that women are experiencing in this world are due to patriarchy—that the problem is men and the problem is a male-defined worldview.

So in order to solve the problem, in order to address these issues of abuse and these issues of women being murdered and women being harmed is that they need to rebel. The group of women need to rebel against the patriarchy and deconstruct it and come forward with a new truth which is based on women’s experiences.

Nancy: What I loved as you came to the end of your message is that you made such a clear case for embracing a biblical worldview about what it means to be a woman and embracing our God-created design as women, and this is where our hope is.

As you looked around this audience of thousands of women who love Christ and love His Word, you said, “This is the future, this is the hope. It’s in Christ. We are rooted in Him. Not only can our lives have meaning and purpose and hope, but we can be an instrument in bringing meaning and purpose and hope to others.”

We actually had a woman turn in a card to our team.

Patricia: Yes, this woman had been part of the march on Sunday. She belonged to a group of people promoting liberty here in Mexico. She loves Mexico, and she’s very sad with everything that is going on.

She ended up being a feminist and being in this march for feminism. Then she came to the conference and wrote this card that she found real freedom in understanding God’s freedom in Christ.

Now as a child of God, she had a new perspective of everything from what she had days before.

Mary: That woman came up to me after the conference. I didn’t know who she was at first. But she came and grabbed ahold of me and was holding and holding and holding and would not let go. She told me the same story: that she had marched, and she was involved in the march and the protests.

But she said, “When I saw close to 7,000 women crying out to the living God on behalf of women’s pain and suffering, something in me broke. And I saw that this is the answer.”

Nancy: It was at the end of Mary’s message that women were invited to come and pray and cry out for the women of Latin America. Dámaris, you were there. What did you sense?

Dámaris: I’ve got to tell you something. When Mary was done and invited people to come to pray, it was if all of a sudden I saw the pain of these women and this whole feminism movement. I saw it like a huge monster that would devour us.

But we got on our knees. And I felt that God said, “Pray!” But to see women praying, really crying out to God . . . I also want to say that we talked a little while ago about the other conference going on that was totally demonic, and yet, not once was our conference in any way interrupted . . . like any weird thing happening.

And I just thought of those men praying. There was a presence there of men praying. We don’t know what’s going on. We pray. But I feel like the army of God protected this conference.

Nancy: You’re referring to the praying men. We have them at all of our conferences. I heard there were twenty there. I never saw those men. I don’t know where they were. They were somewhere in that facility. They came. I assume they were Latins, maybe Mexicans. There were local churches here that were very active in helping to pull this conference together. I’m sure some of those pastors and men from their churches were involved.

They prayed for the prayer requests that those women turned in. They were also praying for the protection of God’s Spirit, for the release of God’s Spirit in that place. I agree with you Dámaris, we have no clue how much we owe to their prayers.

Dámaris: In hindsight, I think . . . Mary, at first her mic didn’t work. I think now that the enemy really didn’t want that message to be heard, but oh, it was heard! I felt like God put a desire in all of us to call on His name. People did business with God, and it was glorious! There were women crying, but it was in beautiful order.

Dannah:My favorite line when you were sharing, Mary, was: Men are not the problem; patriarchy is not the problem; sin is the problem. Recently, because so many young women are writing to me—high school girls, college girls—saying, “What about all the abuse against women in the Old Testament.” 

I’ve been trying to find the truest answers for them as I write back to them. I’ve been trying to form some content. I contacted an Old Testament professor. His answer to me when I said, “This is troubling. There are some very troubling stories of how women are treated and the pain they experienced in the Old Testament.

He said, “And every single one of them is in the backdrop of a nation embroiled in a rebellion and sin against God. It is always a sign of the condition of a nation when women are not treated with honor and respect.

This just brings us back to the solution that you presented in that session. It will never be anything other than Jesus.

Nancy: Laura, talk to us a little bit about the theme of the conference because I think the way that it unfolded was a really beautiful combination of messages.

Laura: Two years ago we were thinking about where we would have the conference and the theme. Usually we do the same theme as the True Woman conference in the States. But we really felt that we needed to change the theme and do something different to address the issues in Latin America. We thought the women in Latin America needed to be “rooted” because it was so unstable with these philosophies coming in.

They were doing things that go against those philosophies that were not rooted, they were just against. So we thought that we need to let them know that they need to be rooted in Christ, rooted in the Word, to stand firm in the truth. 

How can we teach them that? So we prayed about it and we thought, “We think we will go with that theme.” That was two years ago. We had no idea what would be going on in the context of the conference these days with all the virus going on and the instability and then what was happening in Mexico with the women.

It was so perfect, so providential, like God orchestrated this event, with this theme, for this time—“for such a time as this.”

I spoke to Mary a few days before the conference, and she was going to be talking about being rooted in your design. She was going to say that women need to respect men and take a verse and do it expositorily. 

But then she said, “I feel led by God that I need to do something more philosophical. I should share the philosophy of all this and expose the lie and then bring the truth.” She felt that burden. She said, “I feel a burden about this. I need to go that route.” 

Then she started investigating and looking at what’s going on in Latin America. It was so God led. Nobody told Mary about that. She just learned about it, and it came a few days before the conference.

We all felt a burden, not only when we got here and all that was going on with the Esoterica, but into the conference we felt like the enemy was pressing on us, and we felt like we were pushing a wall to get here. I think it was all in preparation to what the Lord was going to do.

Patricia: Even though it felt, like Laura said, we were pushing a wall, something that encouraged all of us was that very early on Friday morning, around 4:30 or 5:00 a.m., there were women lined up already to get into the auditorium. So nothing, nothing at all has stopped all these thousands of women to come in.

Something that caught my attention was that sometimes in women’s conferences, women go out and they don’t come back to some of the sessions. They go off for the afternoon. Here, the chairs were all full. It was hard for them to find a seat if they came a few minutes late.

Dannah: There was such hunger for the Word. It wasn’t just Mary’s session that stirred their hearts, but the other sessions as well. Being rooted in the Word, in the Gospel.

Nancy: I know I was ministered to by the two messages that Pastor Sugel gave. He’s a pastor from the Dominican Republic who has been very engaged with Aviva Nuestros Corazones. He’s a respected pastor and leader throughout Latin America.

He came and he brought the Word about what it means to be rooted in Christ—that was the first day. The second day was rooted in the gospel. Both messages were from Colossians.

I thought my heart was going to beat out of my chest just listening to him on the second day. Now, he was preaching Spanish and I was listening to him in English with a headset in my ear so I could understand what he was saying because I don’t speak Spanish. So I was listening through an interpreter.

I don’t know that I’ve ever heard a more clear presentation, biblically, about what the gospel means—who we were, who we are, and who we will be because of the gospel.

I was thrilled because there had been in Latin America, as has been in the rest of the world, so much crazy teaching from all kinds of literature and media and some churches that are doctrinally not sound. People get so confused by all of this that they are not rooted. They can’t stand in trials or when their faith is challenged.

I loved the way that he took these women back to the Word and said, “If you are going to stand firm, you are going to have to be rooted in Christ and rooted in the gospel. My heart just celebrated the richness of that when I listened to him.

Dannah: Nancy, you just mentioned being rooted so that we can face trials, but don’t you all think that the message that Nancy delivered on being rooted so that we are prepared to weather the storms of our lives was very impactful.

Patricia: I was interpreting for Nancy, and I thought that message was so timely because we were all gathered in this place and we were leaving to a world that was being shaken by so many things that we do not know and we do not understand.

So it was, like you said, Nancy, trials make you strong. They make you have deep roots, strong roots. But also, if you have those deep roots, trials won’t be able to move you, and you will be rooted in the Word and in Christ.

Nancy: Of course, I couldn’t have imagined when I was preparing that message that the Lord had a more personal illustration for me that would come just days before I gave that message to these women. I was studying the Word weeks in advance and preparing these women to be steadfast and persevering and rooted in trials.

But as I shared with the women on Friday, just days ago, my precious husband, Robert, received results back from a biopsy that he had done telling him that he has melanoma.

We were here in Mexico processing that report, making calls to doctors, trying to get an appointment set up for further testing to see the extent and what will be the treatment.

We don’t know. We’re going back to the States to find out. But to have this happening in our relationship, and to be seeking to encourage my husband in the midst of a trial that the Lord is just introducing into our lives, made these truths even more rich and personal and meaningful to me.

Mary: Dámaris, I need to say, that so many women in the line said that your message on reading your Bible, being rooted in the Word, just really ministered and spoke to them.

Just the phrase, “Read . . . your . . . Bible” . . .

Nancy: That’s Dámaris’s life message.

Mary: It resonated with them. And it was such an encouragement in the way that you shared it. The women listening to this program, even, may feel guilty that they don’t read their Bible. But you found that it took awhile for you to get there. 

Dámaris: Oh boy! A sweet girl came up to me that was in her thirties, and she said, “When I found out that you didn’t get started until you were in your thirties, I thought, Oh good.” Because she was feeling so guilty about starting to read her Bible in her thirties.

It’s so fabulous for me to be surrounded by all these women here in this room right now, that this ministry is based on the Word of God. I’m not just telling them to read your Bible. But everything you’ve been giving them is telling them how to get in your Word and how to know Christ.

I have to tell you again about Sugel’s message. I’m Latin, and I know how sometimes they’ll talk like, “I’ve always loved God.” He made that so clear in Colossians that it says, “No, you were once completely in darkness, completely an enemy.” He’s not saying that to bash you. He’s trying to show you that now in Christ . . . It’s like look at the before and look at the after. So it’s a conference that lifts up the Word of God. We were telling people, if you are not rooted in the Word of God, forget it.

Dannah: And it’s never too late to start to be rooted. One of the women came up to me at the end of the conference and said, “I never started praying until two years ago when we had the conference in Querétaro. I was sixty years old. I had known the Lord for a long time, and I had received Christ as my Savior, but I hadn’t done any of the disciplines of rooting myself in Him. I started praying two years ago, and I’m a different woman.”

We’re praying that for these women at the conference. We are watching that kind of fruit unfold two years from now.

Nancy: The richness, the sweetness, the power of what God did in this place over these last couple of days, only eternity will know. We are seeing fruit now, Laura, Patricia, from the seeds that you and your team have planted in the Spanish-speaking world for years now, and we are going to be seeing much fruit for years to come. I’m so thrilled to see how many of these women are really deeply connected to the message. They are reading the resources that you’ve translated into Spanish. They are listening to the podcast.

One of the women was telling me (and we are doing this all through translation so I think I got it right), how she was taking this message and giving it to somebody else who is taking it into indigenous women in the center of a country where they don’t get other resources or don’t have broadcasts. But they are multiplying this. They are multiplying it through social media, and they want to partner.

We had almost ninety women sign up to become Monthly Partners for Aviva Nuestros Corazones. You might say, “That’s not that big a number.” But when we started the ministry of Aviva Nuestros Corazones, we were told that this ministry will never support itself. It will always have to be funded by the States.

These women gave; they have become Monthly Partners; they purchased resources to take back and spread. So there is a multiplication factor going on here.

I want to say that what God did here in these days is also the fruit of the investment of people in the States who did give to sustain and support this ministry. There were thousands of dollars given to scholarships so that women could come to this event. We’ve just seen the tip of the iceberg of what God is doing.

I want to thank our Monthly Partners of Revive Our Hearts who’ve made this ministry possible, not only in the United States and the English-speaking world, but also in the Spanish-speaking world.

We could spend hours debriefing and comparing notes and sharing stories. There will be more stories that we’ll be sharing in the days ahead. But I want to thank you, Dannah and Dámaris and Mary, for your messages. God really used them. Laura and Patricia for the work you do day in and day out for the women in the Spanish-speaking world. God is blessing and multiplying your efforts.

We want to pray now for these women who have gone back to twenty-seven different countries. And let me say, almost a quarter of a million unique livestream listeners, many of those were groups, thousands of them were groups. So the Lord knows how many many hundreds of thousands of people listened to these messages—in 139 countries of the world!

So the message has gone out, and now these women have gone back to their homes, to their churches, to their communities, filled with truth and with tools to become more rooted and grounded in Christ, in the Word, in the love of God, in their design as women.

So I want to encourage our listeners to pray that in the days ahead that God will deepen the impact of what took place here and multiply and expand it.

While the world is quaking in fear, God’s truth is going forward. His power is being seen, and we rejoice in that.

Dannah: Calling women to libertad, plenitud e abundancia in Christ.

Nancy: Freedom, fullness, and fruitfulness in Christ.

Dannah: Revive Our Hearts with Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth is an outreach of Life Action Ministries.