Coordinator, Proverbs 31 Ministries
Laurie lives near Athens, Georgia (USA) and is the Online Community Communities Coordinator for Proverbs 31 Ministries.
Around 1996, as a stay-at-home mom with pre-schoolers at home, alone in a new area with few friends, I discovered Christian chat rooms could be a late night outlet for discussion and Christian service. One day while searching around, I found the Proverbs 31 chat room and was added to the email discussion list. It was through that group I found the support that I needed as a stay-at-home mom, and the encouragement to keep going. It helped to keep me on focus in my relationship with God and the outlet to encourage other women to serve Him.
Later, the leaders needed a volunteer to co-ordinate the small group discussion lists. I had the grown in my skills, and was able to do what was necessary. Around 2000, I was asked to run the whole program, and eventually came on board as the online discussion group manager. I still hold that position. Each decision was made through prayer and my husband’s support.
Our groups provide encourage, friendship, and support for women from around the world who are seeking to be godly women. We work with all women who wish to join. We have women who are seeking a relationship with God as well as women who have been followers of Christ for a long time. We challenge the women to follow the seven principles of the ‘Proverbs 31 Woman’. Our group helps women develop in their walk with Jesus Christ and become true disciples for Christ Jesus in a non-threatening, supportive environment. Most of the women who join our Online Community will view themselves as Christians at some level. I guess our level of outreach is more discipling that conversion. We see many instances of women growing in their walk with Christ. I know where I live in rural southern United States, evangelical Christianity is part of the culture. The key point of outreach is challenging people to go beyond simple belief in God and Jesus, to realization that Jesus is to be the Master of their lives. It is the same with the women we reach. This is harder for people in other places to understand. I am from Canada originally where people are more apt to acknowledge that they are not Christians.
Proverbs 31 Ministries has a presentation of the gospel on its website. Over 260 women filled out the form stating that they had made a decision to follow the Lord through the web site.