After this, Jesus traveled about from one town and village to another, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom of God. The Twelve were with him, 2and also some women who had been cured of evil spirits and diseases: Mary (called Magdalene) from whom seven demons had come out; 3Joanna the wife of Cuza, the manager of Herod's household; Susanna; and many others. These women were helping to support them out of their own means.
Today I want to celebrate the amazing women God has called to YL Capernaum. If you are a brother reading this, please celebrate our sisters with me. If you are a sister, allow yourself to be celebrated. Over the course of my life, God has blessed me with amazing women.
There was Jane Thomsen, my spiritual mother, who tolerated, loved and sometimes disciplined a loud, obnoxious 16 year old with way too much energy (me). A number of times she had to make me sit next to her in Campaigners, but she was so patient and mothering and saw something in me. And then there was my Campaigner group, which comprised of Mary, Linda, Donna, Krista, Cindy, Marti, Cheryl, Brenda, Laurie, Helen, Becki and me! The 12 disciples comprised of 11 senior high school girls and one junior boy. When I became a Christian they watched out for me like a little brother. They made me memorize Scripture, came to my games and prayed for me.
It was a woman named Mary Ann who believed in me and empowered me to begin YL Capernaum. I talk to her regularly to this day and every time I call her I can hardly keep from crying. On every call she says, “Nicky, I am so proud of you.” It was a woman who gave me my first chance to speak at a camp for assignment. Dawn Finch! She believed in me and let me use the gift God has given me. It’s the only time I’ve been asked to do so and it was one of the great months of my life.
During three different decades of my life (20’s-40’s) God brought of women in each decade who have profoundly influenced and shaped my life more than anyone else. They have all been angels, mentors and nurturers to me that have loved, believed, challenged, confronted and defended me like a mother lioness. In the recent past I had a few years of the greatest joy in Christian community, I have ever known. This was when my teammates locally were Lydia, Shelley, Donna, Debbie & Otila. My admiration to this day for these women, who love Jesus like few I’ve ever known, has forever changed me. These are amazing, godly, prayer warrior women.
As YL Capernaum has grown, God has placed me with even more women who are so gifted and talented that it leaves me speechless. Right now I get to work closely with Pam Harmon, Suzanne Williams, Jen Exsted, Liz Stiger and Amira Corby in leadership of YL Capernaum. They are gifted, creative, talented, competent and committed. We are moving forward around the world through their godly leadership. Yes, YL Capernaum is alive with Esthers, Deborahs, Mary Magdalenes and Priscillas.
Last and most is the woman of God has used the most to influence me, shape me and teach me, my lovely wife Sue. I have witnessed the hand of God through her life and the voice of the Holy Spirit so intimately. There is not a positive thing I’ve done or a success I’ve had that she is not an intricate part of as well as my chief source of strength and encouragement. For me she is the 1st Lady of YL Capernaum.
So there you have it. Sisters, keep doing what you are doing, keep leading us. Brothers, let us continue to be our sisters’ biggest cheerleaders and support. Together we form the family of God in all its diversity and beauty. We need one another.
Thankful for all of God’s women, my sisters