I distinctly remember attending my first Colour Conference in 2012. I was flooded with a mixture of emotions; excitement, nervousness and the fear of not knowing anyone. I had no idea what to expect, but I did come with an expectancy to hear from God.
The first day came. I remember my exact seat that I sat in. I remember seeing women everywhere and the men dressed so neatly, serving me so selflessly and graciously. As soon as the first night’s opener started, my fears seemed to dissipate and my expectancy heightened.The presence of God was so tangible, it was hard to keep the tears away as I saw an army of women around me. There is just something so powerful about being in the company of women who are desperately seeking God. It creates a sense of community, fellowship and a realisation that we are not doing life’s journey alone. I made a decision that Colour Conference. A resolve in me to be apart of it every year. I did not want to miss what God was going to do or say through His girls, including me.
In hindsight, I have had many different revelations at Colour throughout the years since: healing, forgiveness and restoration to name a few, but in my very first Colour Conference, God stirred my heart for something I couldn’t have ever imagined. Part-and-parcel of the Colour movement is supporting organisations that fight for justice. That year, one of the featured causes was The A21 Campaign – a non-profit organisation that’s aim is to end human trafficking.
I cried hearing the stories of trafficked survivors and how a one year old was sold into slavery by her parents. A one year old! How could I, now knowing this, just live my comfortable life while so many young men and women are being exploited? I had no words. Other than: this has got to stop! And I will not rest until it does. But where did these strong emotions inside of me all of a sudden come from? I’ve generally been one to avoid pain, discomfort and darkness, often finding something else to distract me or keep me from having to face anything that makes me remotely uncomfortable. The problems of this world and any kind of brokenness at all were too much for me to try to process, so I rather avoided them. I thought I was at Colour to find healing and deliverance in my own life, but God had a very different plan for me. He was stirring up something within my heart that I just couldn’t ignore. I had to do SOMETHING!
Colour Conference empowered me to start serving on the A21 team based here in Cape Town and to say yes to things that I know will help me to love others more, regardless of the discomfort it may cause me, being assured that on the other side lies hope. It hasn’t been an easy journey processing the things I have seen or heard through A21, but I know that God has called all of us to join Him in seeking justice and only when we are brave enough to fight the darkness, will we discover the infinite impact of our light. And just like the song “In the fight” says, “Even when the world caves, even when the fight calls, even when the wars wage, Ill take heart. I know You are greater, forever You are Saviour. I will sing Your Praise, With all that I have, with all that I am Lord”.
This powerful Conference which is not just your every day conference, BUT a move of God, will give you a fresh passion to live a radiant, poured-out life for Jesus Christ and help you to discover how you can make an eternal impact on this world, for His glory! As His beloved daughters, we can create a stance for justice, influence and change. So, bring a friend and come expectant for your life to be changed. Mine certainly was.
Maria Shaw // Hillsong Church Cape Town