Below are testimonies of how some of the ladies from the tea are continuing the table discussion.
“The tea was an unexpected, delightful, meaning-filled highlight of the entire Christmas season this year – a homecoming of sorts. I am so grateful for the Lord’s call and provision to participate in this Advent tradition for the women of our church … one that He wouldn’t have me miss out on any longer! Interestingly enough, one of the guests at my table was hosting a fundraiser at her home that Saturday for couples experiencing infertility … Lauren’s testimony resonated with her so powerfully. It encouraged her in what she was undertaking the very next day, which is just one of the “full-circle” moments we experienced that evening.”
“I was so impressed by the beauty of the COTA ladies’ tea event. It was my first time attending, and the attention to detail made me feel pampered and special. But as memorable as the venue was, it could not compare to the beauty of the testimonies shared. Real women, being vulnerable, sharing honestly about their struggles and the victory they have found in Christ. Thank you to each who shared! Your testimonies were not without effect and have inspired me to share my story!”
“The Christmas Tea honoring our Lord and Savior is an event I look forward to every year. The real-life testimonies of Penney, Janice, and Lauren made my guests realize they were not the only ones fighting battles. This was a wonderful way to kick of the Christmas Season with Jesus!”
“Life here on planet earth is tough. But when you go to an event such as the Christmas Tea, you can sit and enjoy such a lovely evening with like-minded women. Listening to these compelling stories makes the challenges outside the walls of the church doable. It inspired me to graciously accept the concept of “arriving in Holland” when I thought I was going to Italy – there is a reason why He allowed it to happen, and I can trust Him better and encourage others to do the same thing. These acquaintances have now become sisters, and although I am not a member here, I am opening my home for a coffee or tea where we can “extend the table” and reconnect. Thank you for helping me enjoy my “HOLLAND” this year with these new friends.”
“Although it was not my first tea, it was my first time hosting a table. There were so many incredible connections that happened at our table! As a first-time hostess, I was overwhelmed in trying to keep up with all the conversations. I realized it was enough just to give everyone a seat at the table and a place to receive what God had for them. When I followed up with each person, and they were all so different, they all had something special resonate with the different stories to take away from the evening. It reminded me that it really wasn’t about me, but I was there to make the moment happen for each of them, and I was there to serve as a vessel for Him to use. The conversations started at our table are continuing to this day and for His glory!”
“Knowing Janice Blalock all of my life as a mentor from the time I was five years old, I came to the tea with a different perspective on her story. I had no idea how God was growing Janice through so much pain and transition. Hearing her testimony, I was shocked at how much I didn’t know about her own childhood and early married years. We reconnected here at Apostles as adults, and as we have met together in a mentoring relationship in these past years, it makes me want to give away what I have received from her. It also makes me more sensitive as I head out into my sphere of influence!”
“Hosting a table at the Christmas Tea has never, in 15 years here, been on my radar. Not only did I have no desire to do it, but I also had no china, no silver, and no extra funds to give away gifts. Another “not only, but also” moment from the tea? Not only did God provide the perfect place settings (including the silver, linen napkins, and crystal), but also the perfect people to make an eclectic evening of inspiration! Ultimately, it was centered on our Savior, but it would not have been possible without someone who volunteered to set my table. All God wanted from me was availability. He provided the rest. Our table is now planning a reunion tea, hopefully for Valentine’s Day!”