ABBOTSFORD, B.C.—When Sarah Bessey had to cancel her speaking engagement at the Mennonite Church B.C. Women’s Day 24 hours before she was to speak, organizer Janette Thiessen contemplated calling off the whole event at great financial loss. But two women came to the rescue. Kelly Rader, the already-booked fall retreat speaker, who was scheduled to give a 10-minute teaser to the spring gathering, agreed to take the entire morning speaking time. Then Sue Nickel, the author of Be Held: Daily Inspiration When Facing Depression, who spoke on depression/mental health at the February LEAD conference, agreed to take the afternoon speaking time. Although more than 60 women cancelled when it became known that Bessey, a Christian author and blogger, would not be there, those who did come found the day to be worthwhile. Bessey has agreed to speak at next year’s Women’s Day, scheduled for May 2, 2020. “We are thinking of calling it, ‘Awake my soul 2.0: second chance!’ ” says Thiessen.
—By Amy Rinner Waddell