"Tomorrow's Freedom Is Today's Surrender"

Five women perform "Dawn To Dusk" by All Sons and Daughters at the Women's Coffeehouse on November 6.

Before the Women's Coffeehouse even began, all 570 chairs set out were taken. By 7pm, more than 620 women gathered together to hear stories of God's deliverance and rescue through personal testimonies, worship, and fellowship.

The inspiration for this year's coffeehouse came from Galatians 5:1: "It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery."

After opening in prayer, the worship band, composed of Cindy Andorf, Hannah Wright, Sara Choi, Jillian Aurelio, and Liz VanderSchel, performed "Dawn To Dusk" by All Sons and Daughters. Throughout the evening, the speakers referenced the lyric, "Tomorrow's freedom is today's surrender" to share their personal experiences of freedom found in Christ.

"The Christian life in essence is a life of surrender," said Shaly Moyal. "This year's Women's Coffeehouse centered around the theme that Christ died to free us, and that freedom is only found through surrender."

The first speaker of the evening, Haley Altmaier of Walnut Creek Downtown, shared the story of her relationship with her now husband. Haley described the desires, emotions, and actions God asked her to surrender during a time of unforeseen pain and confusion. As she surrendered, God showed her His patience, goodness, and faithfulness.

Over 620 women from all locations of Walnut Creek Church attended the coffeehouse.
Following Haley, Carla Richey of Walnut Creek Downtown shared her testimony of how the Lord has helped her to continually surrender her children and their future to Him as she and her husband choose to center their universe around God and His Kingdom, realizing that these children are His. In surrendering her children to God, she has seen the peace that comes in trusting the Lord to lead, guide, and direct her children toward Himself. 

The last speaker of the evening was a video testimony by Christy Jo Hogg of Walnut Creek South. At age 13, Christy was diagnosed with a brain tumor. When she was 18, her brain tumor began growing again, and Christy thought God was punishing her for her rebellious lifestyle.

The day after she found out the cancer had come back, Christy met Jon and Agatha Crane of Walnut Creek South. The Cranes gave her a Gospel tract and invited her to church and their Community Group. Not long after giving her life to Christ, Christy found out she had another tumor, except this time it was inoperable. Doctors gave her 14 months to live. In the video, Christy shares her story of surrendering her entire life to God and how the Lord has helped her understand the pain and suffering of cancer.

The annual Women's Coffeehouse event was held Friday, November 6 at Walnut Creek Downtown.
In two additional videos, various women from each location shared in a sentence or two something they have found freedom in after surrounding to the Lord. Responses ranged from surrender of anger and greed to surrender of pleasing people and broken relationships.

"We wanted women to see that this life, the Christian life, requires continual surrender as we desire to experience more and more freedom that Christ offers," said Shaly. "We tried to demonstrate and share the variety of decisions that women have had to make through various videos and testimonies, hoping and praying that each woman in attendance would be able to relate to at least one of these decisions and decide to make it for herself in an effort to see and experience Christ."

Over 100 local businesses donated door prizes, which were handed out throughout the evening. The annual coffeehouse is a way for women to invite their friends, neighborhoods, coworkers, and family members to join in genuine fellowship and hear about the power of the Lord working in other women's lives. 

By Jackie Wallentin
Walnut Creek Windsor Heights