Her name is Hannah. She's an older woman, tall, laugh lines, grey hair, visibly someone who has weathered much but done it with that deep joy that marks those who follow Him. Wrapped in her dark dress coat and a brightly colored scarf, she follows us into the arena where our tech crew will soon begin the long haul of a million things that need to be done in the next three days, setting up for the conference that will begin here on Thursday.
"We pray for this," she says. "Years ago when first they begin building this place, we stand here, and we pray. We ask God that someday the Christians will come and worship in this arena. Last year for the first time, the Christians are gathering to worship here, and now you come. You are God's answer. We are so excited for this."
Two days from now, Willow Creek Deutschland will hold the first ever women's conference in Germany. It has a slightly different connotation here than in the states - at least half the people attending the conference will be men - definitely no Women of Faith type event! But the topic for the conference is the role of women in ministry, which has never been addressed so publicly here before. And as someone said yesterday, "After this, everything will be different."
How cool is it that God has allowed me to be here for such a time as this, to see and to pray in a watershed moment in the life of His church? I am humbled and awed to have some small role to play in this part of the story.