Take up the challenge: Be a woman of influence


Women have this intrinsic ability to influence.  We see it in our roles as wives and mothers, and in our friendships.

We see this influence in the life of Timothy, where his mother, Eunice, and grandmother, Lois, communicated their faith to him so that he became a valuable member of the Apostle Paul’s team.

A friend brought me to Beauty for Ashes 2004

First Beauty for AshesA friend brought me to Beauty for Ashes 2004 because she herself had heard about the conference and wanted to go.  She paid for my ticket and promised to be by my side the whole day.

I loved the Lord, but I had lost Him, not knowing how to draw closer and not feeling that I could.

That one day changed my life as Angela Thomas (at her first BFA conference in SA) addressed an area of my life that was both a deep hurt and a stumbling block.

Two sessions later, we had no more tissues, no make-up, but were totally renewed.  As we sat chatting and eating Jelly Tots on the grass outside, we discussed how to apply what we had learnt to our lives.  We agreed to hold each other accountable to change, and determined never to turn away from the Lord again.

We also decided that at the following year’s conference we would each bring a friend for the weekend.

The conference facilitated a 180 degree change in my life!

As time passed after theB4Ashes 2010 conference, it became clear to me that the conference had facilitated a 180 degree change in my life.   I realized that I wanted this for others as well, so I decided to bring a friend and pay for her, as my friend had paid for me.  I started looking at my own circle of influence and purposefully invited someone to come to the conference.

The next year our numbers doubled

The next year four of us attended, and again we took what we had learnt at the conference and applied it to our lives—we were changed and our friends recommitted their lives to the Lord.  We were sisters in the Lord, bonded together in our new relationships with the Saviour, a bond that tears, food and tissues seem to strengthen.

And then doubled again

I sponsored four women the following year, then eight the next.

It got challenging after that to always increase the number, but an amazing thing happened.  Friends whom I had sponsored, whose lives had been changed, sponsored another friend the next year and each year the group would change and lives would never be the same again.

I have come every year since then, bringing women from my circle of influence, watching with expectation as God touches their lives.

I don’t know a single women whose life has not been touched by attending Beauty for Ashes.  And yet, every year I go, God has a message that is just for me.

I cannot explain the excitement I feel, watching and then knowing when He is speaking to her, to be a witness to His power as He brings beauty out of her ashes.

Last year a group of us made a whole weekend of it, finding accommodation nearby, encouraging women to come and experience the conference with us—we chatted long into the night, only leaving on Sunday lunchtime. 

It is satisfying to see lives change, to see women find the Lord for the first time, or find Him again

So come on ladies, take up the challenge!
Influence one woman to come to the conference!
Pay for her, if you can, and watch God change a life!

So come on ladies, take up the challenge:  influence one girl to come to the conference.  If you can: sponsor her fee to make it easier and then spend time with her at the conference.   Listen together, pray; fellowship and then watch God change a life.  In your whole circle of influence, I am sure there is one woman you can identify.

Michelle leads Cedars Ministry, as she believes strongly in mentoring women. Michelle speaks at churches, retreats and women’s events and is also one of the organisers of Beauty for Ashes women’s conference. She blogs at Heart Treasure, and lives in Johannesburg, South Africa. She is married to Adrian and has two teenage children.


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