“How do we live sufficiently daring lives?” This was the question guest speaker Lori McDaniel posed during the all women’s chapel on Tuesday, November 15. Lori used Acts 3 and 4 to challenge all of us women present to consider how we can be sufficiently daring in our everyday lives. Peter and John healed a lame beggar on their way to the temple to pray – a normal, everyday activity. They recognized an opportunity in the midst of their ordinary lives to heal this man in the name of Jesus Christ, share the gospel, and call the people who gathered around this miraculous event to repent and believe. Peter and John may have been arrested as a result of preaching the gospel to these people, yet about 5,000 of them came to believe. To think it all began with Peter and John going to the temple to pray.
Lori also included anecdotes from her own life experiences as a mother, fellow SEBTS student, wife of a pastor and church planter, missionary, Global Mission Catalyst for the IMB, and climber of Mount Kilimanjaro. These life experiences helped her recognize that opportunities to share the Gospel do not come neatly packaged. In fact, she asserted the messes we are in might be the very vessels God intends to use to share the gospel. This was a comforting message, especially during a time when we as women may feel the pressure to have HGTV-worthy homes full of Pinterest-worthy décor and table settings. Lori confronted this pressure and expressed fear that we are more proficient at decorating tables than sharing the Gospel with the people sitting at these tables. We have a responsibility as believers to declare the gospel and recognize whose name is on the line with confidence tethered to the power of the Holy Spirit working within us. Talk about convicting.
Discussion carried over into a brown-bag lunch with Lori as we gathered to eat lunch, enjoy delicious desserts, and drink warm cider while engaging in fellowship with each other. There were no lulls in conversation as women quickly began introducing themselves, learning one another’s names, inquiring about what brought each of them to SEBTS, and even sharing testimonies.
The lunch quickly became a “tat and chat” as Lori explained how we could use henna to share the gospel. Henna is a dye or paste that comes from plant leaves and is used to create intricate and temporary designs on hands and feet. Henna is popular with South Asian, North African, Hindu, and Muslim women. I have seen women at SEBTS with henna designs on their hands but did not know the cultural significance or even that it could be used to share the gospel until this experience. Lori explained how specific components of a henna design could relate to different parts of the gospel, providing an easy and visual opportunity to walk through the gospel with an unbeliever. We even watched a video on the IMB’s website showing how easy it was to walk through the gospel with one design in particular.
Lori related how henna served as a great example of engaging in the everyday of Muslim women she met while overseas as a missionary, especially since her henna designs told the story of the Gospel. This was particularly intriguing to these women, as they were not familiar with using henna to tell stories. Lori gave us temporary tattoos of the henna design we saw in the video, and we put these on and paired up to share the gospel with each other through pointing out the different parts of the design as we might with an unbeliever.
The afternoon concluded with Lori answering questions about topics such as book recommendations (Rethink How You Think by David Stoop; Strong Women, Soft Hearts by Paula Rinehart; and Whoever Tells the Best Story Wins by Annette Simmons), mission work, church planting, henna, her role with the IMB, and advice for women wanting to enter the mission field.
As a commuter student, I particularly enjoyed having an opportunity to meet and engage with other female students through the all women’s chapel and brown bag lunch. I am incredibly thankful to be a student at an institution that values facilitating opportunities for women to gather and be reminded of our call to go forth and make disciples of all nations even in our ordinary, everyday lives.
For more information about how henna can be used to share the gospel, visit www.imb.org/henna.