Women with life stories

Reaching within themselves, the women of Burt Hall discovered who God has called them to be in order to reach  others.

Last weekend, the resident hall celebrated Women of Worship. Junior middle school education major Robyn Pharis was one of the Resident Assistants who planned for the weekend.

“We had breakout sessions … on Friday where women from around campus came and told their life story,” Pharis said. “As a group we all went to Hardy and ate dinner and spent some time together. After that, we had a worship service that was led by former UMHB students and then (Rebeka) Retta’s best friend came and led the message for us.”

The sessions had four speakers: Amanda Jane Foss, Kristy Brischke, Mindy Fuller and Julia Walker. Each had three sessions in a resident host’s room where the women could talk in a comfortable environment.

“My favorite part was getting to talk with women who have the same struggles I do, and just encouraging each other, lifting each other up,” said freshman Christian studies major Tracie Byrd.

Freshman education major Meghan Groat felt similarly.

“I guess I didn’t realize that other people struggle with the same things that I struggle with every day,” she said.

They gave their testimonies  of how God had worked in their lives and opened it up for questions.

Byrd said, “It made us think about what the Lord’s doing in our lives that we don’t even know about yet.”

After dinner, many residents gathered in Burt lobby for a time to sing and worship. Past “Burt Babes,” many who are alumnae, came together with RA Allye Guthrie to lead the time of praise.

Pharis said, “My favorite part was definitely the worship service ….  It was a good time to get away from everything else and enjoy part of the weekend.”

Groat said, “I haven’t had a worship like that in a really long time.”

The speaker was Dorothy Foster, a local resident who knows many of the Burt RAs from Hope Community Church. She spoke about her past and how the women could apply the lessons God is teaching them.

Groat said, “I really enjoyed it …. The speaker was also very fun, and I felt like it spoke to me.”

The following morning, many of the Burt residents came together at Reaching Out.

Pharis said, “We joined with about 200 other UMHB students and split up in about 20 different locations across Belton and Temple. It was a time to go serve. A lot of us went to Helping Hands, and we were able to help  clean the new facility and get ready for them to open at the end of March.”

The weekend had been an annual tradition and after two years of other programs the RAs and  residents voted to bring WOW back.

Pharis said, “This is something that they used to do in the dorm, and then it stopped for a few years, but it’s something that we’d like to start back up again. Hopefully it’ll become an annual thing.”

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