Diverse Beauty

Bill and I volunteer at our church, and we’re grateful to do so in areas we are passionate about — coffee and photography.

One thing I love about our church is the diversity.  On Sundays, the building is filled with people of all colors and backgrounds, joining together to worship.  I’ve heard it said that the most segregated time of the week is Sunday morning.  So I believe it’s even more special and important that a church reflects the diversity of people that Jesus calls his own.

A couple of months ago, I had a desire to make portraits of the diverse, beautiful, feisty, and joyful women of our Pretoria church.  I was shy and tentative, and I kept coming up with reasons not to execute the project.

But I couldn’t get it out of my heart.

This week Hillsong will host their Sisterhood service, and I realized that maybe the project God placed on my heart was exactly what the church could use to encourage women via social media.  I mustered my courage and prayed that somehow this project would honor the women of Pretoria, worship God, and show others the beauty of regular women.  Yesterday, while making portraits and asking women about their Sisterhood prayers, I learned that Sisterhood will occur at campuses around the world.  The diversity in Pretoria in only a snapshot of the great body of women who will come together to worship, to serve, and to learn of God’s love and purpose for them.

Here are the beautiful women from South Africa.

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Ntokozo.  “I hope that Sisterhood will touch many girls and that our perspectives will change so that we see ourselves with God’s eyes.”
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Blandine.  “My prayer is that all sisters will know how much God loves them. If we can realize how big His love is, then we can change the world as women. Women are very very special and unique. We are fearfully and wonderfully made, and God took the time to design each one of us.”
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Jolindie.  “My favorite part of Sisterhood is all the ladies coming together and the amazing word we hear!”
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Martha.  “My favorite part of Sisterhood is the preaching. I can’t pick a favorite message – I love them all!”
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Else.  “My goal for Sisterhood is to make ladies feel special and bestow love on them.”
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Sulee.  “I love that we get pampered at Sisterhood! And I also love hearing the encouraging word with all my friends.”
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Marinca.  “Last Sisterhood was amazing and awesome. The gathering of all the sisters with the red carpet made us feel special, and it was so unexpected. Wow!”
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Zoe. “My prayer for Sisterhood is that girls will realize how broken we all are, and then we would learn to build each other up rather than break each other down. That we would be a union instead of creating competition.”
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Katlego.  “My favorite thing about Sisterhood is all the FUN – like fun activities before it starts. I’m hoping that my friends will come to Sisterhood. I’m inviting women and friends who don’t normally come to church and I’m hopeful they will attend.”

She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come. –Proverbs 31:25

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