Women Ministries Triennial Scholarships

The ECCC Women Ministries received a discipleship grant from Trellis Foundation to help provide scholarships for women attending Triennial XV in Kansas City. In July, 2016 thirteen Canadian women received scholarships to participate in the multi-faceted discipleship experience for women that is Triennial.

Grant applicant Trudy McIntosh writes, “Triennial is for women what CHIC is for teens. It opens our eyes and hearts to this great body of women we are part of, who seek after Christ, who share in the same faith walk and obstacles we face, and whose stories and teaching inspire us to carry on our own story with courage and dignity, being aware of his presence, and experiencing his joy. I love that women from all over the world join together in this, and that, no matter the differences in culture, language, or trials, our common bond is that we are God’s daughters and he delights in us. [These] stories from our scholarship recipients give a wonderful window into their experience. I was once more encouraged and amazed at how the Holy Spirit worked in each of us in such specific, tailor-made ways.”


Here are reflections from some of the women who received scholarships on what God was up to through their experiences at Triennial:

“Among very many high lights over the conference, the brightest for me has to be the Mini-Sankofa (pre-conference experience) I had the privilege to attend. Bonds were quickly formed with other like-minded women as we explored the very difficult issues of racial disharmony that continues in the US. Although our situation is different in Canada, we are not exempt from our own racial discords. I came away from this experience saddened that racial issues still exist, hopeful for positive change, and determined to speak up within my own circle of influence. I had never heard of Sankofa before, but now I would love to attend a full event sometime in the future.”
—Deb Coutts-Smith, Lighthouse Community Church, Sarnia, ON

“The timing of Triennial could not have been better. It came at an hour where I was requiring rest, direction, encouragement and laughter. God is so good. He knows what we need, when we need it. I found it amazing how He loved and cared so much corporately for us that week and yet He orchestrated this event at just the right time for myself. It was such a great opportunity to have space be revived and refreshed.”

—Lerryn DeJong, Lighthouse Community Church, Sarnia, ON

“One thing that the Lord showed me over the days was to help me remember the ways in which I feel alive – not as a wife, a mom, a sister, or a pastor – but just as His beloved daughter. He met me there in the sessions I got to participate in, the moments I was able to spend alone in exploring the area and through the times fellowshipping with others. I think I have been refreshed both in solitude and with community over the course of the conference. The corporate worship times were so encouraging, particularly when stories and testimonies were shared. I was also truly blessed by the sessions also, as I was able to spend time in reflection for my own personal journey, while in others I learned practical ways to live with a kingdom mindset.
Most of all, I truly enjoyed spending time with ladies from the Canadian Covenant and having actual face time in person to fellowship together. As my first Triennial experience, I was able to see how this would be a valuable experience for women of all ages and walks of life.”
—Jaisy Tam Harbridge, Avenue Community Church, Toronto, ON

“When I look back at my experience at Triennial 2016 I take a deep breath… I was reminded that I was loved. Sounds silly enough, but I went to Triennial feeling very bad about myself. I was hearing all kinds of crazy things in my head like, you aren’t good enough, you can’t travel by yourself, or God is not happy with who you are. The first couple of days I pretty much wept through the services being reminded how God sees me and how much he loves me. I expect perfection from myself, but he’s never called me to that. I had made my own version of me, and it wasn’t a good one! I was so thankful to hear that I was a daughter of a heavenly father that loved me just as I am… Finally, I felt God asking me to be more intentional about creating spaces for quiet and listening. And also, for talking. You see, I’m a good friend to many and I love to hear others’ stories. I’m always the one asking questions and looking for ways to serve. However, I’m feeling it’s just as important for me to share my story with others and for me to process what God is doing in me. I left with a goal to do this with a spiritual director. I’ve already met with her since I’ve been back. I struggle with making the time for it with a busy family, but I’m making it a priority. I think it will be a lifeline for me to create spaces for both quiet and talking/processing as I minister here in Montreal alongside my wonderful husband.”
—Di Keener, Mission, Montreal, QC

“I truly experienced God’s Love amongst the ladies. Being new to the Covenant, I never expected such warm welcome from the Ladies… As soon as I entered the worship time, I felt the holy anointing presence of the Holy Spirit so thick in the room, I broke out in tears in the intimate presence of the Lord and felt very comforted. Worship team was just amazing and I’m speechless… I was touched very deeply by the Testimonies of how God is working in the lives of the people. It reminded that I am not alone in my struggles. The Ladies testimonies have uplifted me, also very blessed to hear the messages from the Inspirational speakers… My favorite part was when the Canadian team gathered around to pray and declare victory for each other burdens and for our ministries. Jesus said that his presence is there where two or more are gathered and there will be amazing breakthroughs. We agreed together in one agreement and in one spirit. We had a wonderful bonding time together.”
—Sharon Nethagani, Abundant Life Church, Brampton, ON

“I think I was surprised by how God ministered to my heart. I expect it to be from things like music… [but] I was instead drawn to the CovTalks and the women from other countries sharing on Saturday morning. I was touched by their stories and resonated with the way especially Jodi Moore shared so transparently about her journey of depression and being a mother. I realized how spiritually dehydrated I am and how it feels like another thing I am failing at. And, in that space where no one needed me, I was able to just be. And that was what needed to happen. It didn’t look like a flash of light or a miracle or a healing… it just looked like laughter with friends old and newer, and connection, and honest conversation and exploring a new city with a friend… it was those gifts that God wrapped for me.”
—Bekah Peterson, Hope Community Covenant Church, Strathmore, AB

“I was so impressed by the shared stories of so many women from around the Covenant but also from around the world. It really touched my heart. I was also really encouraged by the speakers and their wonderful use of the theme of living water. I still have my little corked bottle right here in the kitchen to see every day. I also really enjoyed seeing so much leadership in the morning sessions from a variety of young women leaders. The worship team was phenomenal and I was moved by their worshipping hearts and such a lovely mix of our diversity.”
—Jenell Pluim, Malmo Mission Church, Wetaskiwin, AB

“To me, all the worship services, both singing and listening to exceptional speakers, were meaningful and inspiring. Videos are posted on the net and I’m being inspired again. Some of my challenges are to ‘notice those who are thirsty’ (Meagan Gillan); what does it look like to invite others to the ‘fountain of salvation’ (Jessica Leep Fick) – sometimes it takes a very longtime (years) to bring friends to the fountain, and I get impatient; God takes me out of desert times and leads me to a promised green place (Nicole Bullock)- God wants to bring me to green places. Isaiah 12:2: ‘Surely God is my salvation; I will trust, and will not be afraid, for the LORD GOD is my strength and my might; he has become my salvation.’ There was a lot to process, so at home I am now enjoying meditating on what I heard.”
—Carolyn Stone, College Park Covenant Church, Saskatoon, SK

“What I found to probably be the most significant part for me was the Thursday outing — I did the sanctuary tour, and I ended up meeting a lady from the states and we just shared parts of our stories. During the tour we had quite a bit of quiet prayer time at the first 2 churches and this is where I feel I had my most impactful time. My spirit had been battling it seems for a little while before Triennial, and during this prayer time I was able to open myself up a little deeper to God — and maybe myself with these struggles. I feel like I had a breakthrough in terms of what it might look like for me to live more fully into this life of following Jesus, some of the things I may need to die to, to be able to be alive. I can’t quite explain the ‘feelings’ that were happening inside of me, I just know there was something changing. It became a bit of what the weekend ended up being for me in my quiet times — searching deep within myself to who I am in Christ.”
—Edwina Wegener, Hope Community Covenant Church, Strathmore, AB

“I sensed God’s faithful presence like an umbrella over us all. And I felt deeply uplifted, challenged and encouraged by all the presenters, speakers and worship times. In the midst of it all God, in his loving way, called on me to sit with my inner burden before him. It happened after I listened to CovTalks, where woman after woman shared challenges, struggles, and hard earned victories. I almost ran (but couldn’t because of the crowd) to the Prayer Spa set out for us throughout the whole time. Choosing the table furthest away from the entrance, my thoughts tumbled out into words in my journal along with a flood of tears… I was given healing, refreshing water for my thirst… In all this he offered me peace in the midst of the anxieties I feel in this season of change, the assurance that all is known to him and he will not let me be lost in them. As the good, good father that he is, he impressed on me that in every season I am and always will be his beloved daughter. That awes my heart and quenches my thirst… Thank you, Trellis Foundation, for making it possible for so many of us to attend this Spirit-filled, memorable, and transforming time with so many precious women.”
—Trudy McIntosh, Lighthouse Community Church, Sarnia, ON

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