BROOKLYN TABERNACLE SPEAKERS
GIVE STIRRING TESTIMONIES - 6/7/05
Three women from the Brooklyn
Tabernacle Church shared touching testimonies of restoration, perseverance,
and survival that prompted tears of joy, sadness, and gratitude during
the Chicago Women's Conference April 30.
Under the theme "Beauty From
Ashes," the conference focused on women who have rebounded from seeming
despair to enjoy abundant victory. It drew nearly 1,000 women of different
races and denominations to the Ozinga Chapel for a full day of worship,
praise, and fellowship.
Carol Cymbala, director of
the Grammy Award-winning Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir, described the heart-wrenching
ordeal of watching her daughter, Susan Pettrey, struggle as a teen-ager
and young adult. Pettrey recalled the circumstances and feelings that led
her to run away from home and question her faith before she reconciled
with God and renewed her relationship with the Lord. Genelle Guzman-McMillan
talked about her 26-hour burial in the rubble of the World Trade Center
following the September 11 terrorist attacks.
"Each speaker had a message
that connected to the women in attendance," said Dr. Barb Timmermans, who
helped coordinate the conference. "Many of them could relate to Carol's
and Susan's stories because they have children in similar situations whom
they're concerned about and have prayed for.
"Genelle's testimony hit
home on a different level. Her story about God's grace and faithfulness
reminded us that no situation is too bleak for the Lord to overcome. Altogether,
their experiences inspired and encouraged a lot of women in the audience."