By Lienīte Bēmera, Director of Partners
RĪGA, Latvia – Organized by Partners Association Latvia, Latvia’s first “Women’s Identity and Calling Conference” will be held at the Salvation Army in Riga on March 8th and 9th. The guest speaker is Shelly Volkhardt, a globally popular speaker and author from Colorado Springs, CO.
Directing the event is Lienite Bemera, Director of Partners. Here is what she has written.
While working with and talking with women over a cup of tea, I have noticed that for us women, the most captivating activity is continuous growth and improvement. To do more, to love more, to learn more, to dress-up more, to take on more responsibilities in church, to organize more, to worry more and also to get tired more. When we get tired, we think about how to rest more, love ourselves more and live healthier, to accept ourselves more, and at the end we start thinking about how impossible it is to accomplish all that.
It just seems that we Latvian women, who are so beautiful, strong and smart, are missing something that can never be fulfilled and we just can’t stop. Will it be enough at some point or will there always be something we’d like to get rid of? Possibly, it’s an ancient habit of ours – to look in a crooked mirror. However, if we’d look into God’s mirror for a moment, what would it show? What would it answer if asked questions like, “Am I really important to you?”, “Am I really beautiful?”, “Am I after all special to you?”
In this conference we will talk about a woman’s identity in God. We will try to answer questions about true womanhood, the power of a woman and her influence. We will talk about loneliness, relationships, women’s beauty at different ages, and about our fear to follow our hearts. We will hear true stories, worship God, and most importantly, allow ourselves to celebrate womanhood! Maybe it’s time to not ask ourselves about what we don’t have, but about what we already have!
It takes courage to look into God’s mirror and ask these questions. During the conference wonderful ladies like Shelly Cook Volkardt, and her team from USA, along with Gita Medne, Sarah Ilsters, Linda Kalniņa, Dana Kalniņa, Anete Kozlovska and others will help each one of us to do that.
See you on March 8th and 9th!
Introducing Shelly Volkhardt
By Chuck Kelley
I am very happy to introduce a very special woman, Shelly Cook Volkhardt, who is coming to Latvia in March 2013 to minister at the Women’s Identity and Calling Conference. I have known her and her husband since the first week of our first year at Biola University, forty years ago. At that time it was already obvious that she had an extraordinary gift of encouragement. No matter whom she was with she listened, empathized and spoke uplifting words. I had never met anyone like her…until I met mother, Muriel Cook, one of the most interesting and authentic public speakers I had ever heard.
The Cooks were missionaries in Taiwan for many years. It was there that Shelly was born and raised, speaking both English and Mandarin Chinese. At the age of 13 Shelly made her own personal commitment to missionary service. During her university years she participated in summer mission projects in Southeast Asia, India and Brazil. I remember being so impressed when she returned from Brazil speaking Portuguese.
Someone as special as Shelly should have an equally impressive husband. And Glen certainly fits that description. Interestingly, it was when Glen was my roommate that he and Shelly began their serious relationship that has resulted in a 35-year marriage and two sons and a grandchild.
Shelly and Glen lived and served in Quito, Ecuador for more than twenty years. He was an executive with Radio HCJB, one of the most powerful and influential radio centers in the world, reaching millions of people from many nations with the Gospel. They both speak fluent Spanish.
Shelly’s special gift of encouragement expresses itself through her speaking, writing, training, mentoring and counseling. During her years with HCJB she also co-hosted radio programs…in English and Spanish. She regularly speaks and teaches in conferences, seminars, retreats, universities and churches in many countries, especially in Latin America and the US. As a teacher of the Word and a Biblical counselor her passion is to encourage women to find out whom God is and what difference He can make in their daily lives. Shelly teaches Bible studies for women hungry to deepen their walk with God. She loves to mentor army wives and young mothers as well.
Shelly has written three books. Some have been translated into six languages.