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RISEFEST Recap 2019

Updated: Oct 2, 2019

I speak vulnerably and talk about hard things a lot. It never gets easier, especially when I share my testimony. The days before I speak are like a spiritual wrestling match inside. Sometimes I wonder, is it worth it?  

RiseFest 2019 answered that question. We had a booth peddling candles and bracelets the women at Wings of Refuge made. I’m doing my thing - talking to people and sharing our mission- behind the booth, when I heard, ”That is her!” I looked up to see a young woman and her mom in front of me as she repeats, “ That is her,” while looking straight at me. 

Her mom proceeds to say, “You spoke in our town,” and her daughter finishes the sentence with tears in her eyes, “and you saved my life.” 

I was overwhelmed. I came out from behind the booth and met Rachel. She cried and said, ”Can I give you a hug?” It was a literal a hug from heaven. She shared her story of being sexually assaulted while on spring break and not telling anyone. It ate at her soul to the point where she wanted to take her own life. It was a random chance that she was home for the weekend and came to church with her parents on the Sunday I spoke sharing about Wings of Refuge, my story, and restoration. She ran out of the sanctuary at the end. Her mom followed. She wept in a Sunday school room and said, “Go get daddy.” 

She found her brave voice that day and told her parents about what happened on spring break. She went on to heal and allow Jesus to restore her soul and was baptized. Her brother came to know Jesus through all of this. Rachel will graduate this May and become a Christian counselor who counsels women who have been sexually assaulted or abused. 

Revelation 12:11 is truth. We defeat the enemy of our soul by the Blood of the Lamb and the words of our testimony. 

Our stories matter. Jesus Christ saved this woman’s life. Not me. My story happened to be what Jesus used to ignite healing in her soul. In Christ we say #metoo but it doesn't end there- it ends in resurrection. In Christ we overcome by his blood and our testimony. Her story fueled the passion in me for the calling on my life and to continue to share my story even when it is hard. 

Jesus Christ saved this precious precious woman who is becoming a force to be reckoned with in the kingdom. She saw His glory in her deepest wound and it dazzled her. 

Thank you Wings of Refuge community for supporting the mission in so many ways. Meeting Rachel proved all of those speaking events are making a difference and it wouldn’t be possible without many coming together to make it happen! Thank you to Rob Roseboom and Risefest for allowing us this opportunity! Than you Jesus for this divine appointment!

- Joy Fopma, Founder, Speaker, & Development Director


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