Space to Connect

Space to Connect

There were 5 of us. Women of different generations, living in different places, at different stages in our overseas journey. And yet we shared the same call of a Kingdom Worker. Little did we know at the start of our Spring 2020 Velvet Ashes Connection Group that our world would come to a standstill due to the Covid-19 virus, but God knew.

God also knew that we needed each other, and He hand-picked our group to journey together for 10 weeks during this period of isolation.

As we met together each week on Skype in common sisterhood despite our differences, we shared, we laughed and we cried, but mostly we listened and we prayed.  Some of us had lived cross-culturally for many years while others of us were just beginning our journey, and the coronavirus was affecting each of us in different ways. We found that we didn’t always need the discussion questions to keep the dialogue going as our connection quickly went deep.

My own wrestling with the virus came as I grieved the loss of being far from family and wondering if anyone really cared.  My “people” in the US never called, which added to my feeling of being trapped behind closed borders in a foreign country.

To top it off, I had an adult child living behind different borders in an even further away country. The thought that I might never see my grandchild again dragged me down. So I shared. One morning I bared my soul in my Connection Group chat.  I cried as I wrote about my fears and the fact that God never guarantees that things will work out just the way we want them to. I needed a space to share and to grieve, and my sisters gave me that space. They didn’t judge me or try to fix me. Instead, they listened with compassion and validated my pain.

This was my fourth Skype Connection Group, and each one has been a refreshing time to meet courageous women living all around the globe. The groups have been that place where other women “get it.” Because of our common calling, the bonds form quickly, and there is an “I’ve been there” kind of understanding. In each group I have felt affirmed and appreciated.  It is amazing how five strangers can quickly become dear friends as we share our joys and concerns and follow along with each other’s journeys over 10 weeks.

As I have entered each group, my somewhat routine life has taken surprising turns.  From the passing of my father one year to the coronavirus this year, I needed a safe place to be vulnerable and each time the all-knowing Father provided the Connection Group women to walk alongside of me and pray for me.

In addition to our weekly Skype calls, we chatted on WhatsApp in between. One week we posted links to songs, and this one encouraged me during the Coronavirus pandemic:

Red Sea Road

by Ellie Holcomb

We, buried dreams
Laid them deep into the earth behind us
Said, our goodbyes
At the grave but everything reminds us
God knows, we ache
When He asks us to go on
How do we go on?

We will sing, to our souls
We won’t bury our hope
Where He leads us to go
There’s a red sea road
When we can’t see the way
He will part the waves
And we’ll never walk alone
Down a red sea road

How, can we trust
When You say You will deliver us from
All, of this pain, that threatens to take over us
Well, this desert’s dry
But the ocean may consume
And we’re scared, to follow You

So we will sing, to our souls
We won’t bury our hope
Where He leads us to go
There’s a red sea road
When we can’t, see the way
He will part the waves
And we’ll never walk alone
Down a red sea road

Oh help us believe

Thanks ladies for connecting with me through the weeks of social distancing, and for helping me to see the Red Sea Road.  I love you gals!


How did the Father minister to your heart through the pandemic? How has He used the connections in your life in this season?

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  1. Sarah Hilkemann July 14, 2020

    Connection Groups are one of my favorite parts of Velvet Ashes! 🙂 Thanks for sharing your story, Nancy! I just love seeing how the Father used this group in such a unique season.

    1. Nancy Mauger July 15, 2020

      Thanks Sarah. Maybe we’ll end up in a group together some day!

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