The Sisterhood Story
The Colour Sisterhood is a growing movement of women arising on the earth, who are responding to a simple invitation to BE THE CHANGE and make a positive difference in their local and global communities.
From the very early beginnings of Colour Conference the invitation has always been to make the world a better place. In the early years we began by partnering with Compassion as the children of the world have always been vitally important to us as a conference. Through that partnership, over the past 20 years we have sponsored over 16 379 children through Colour Conference alone. This relationship continues today as we endeavour to respond to the needs of families living in poverty all over the world.
As a local women’s conference it has always been our heart to leave a tangible impact on the city where we gather, through practical response to needs in our local community. Over the years, Colour conference delegates have contributed items, gift vouchers and donations towards women suffering breast cancer; refugees and asylum seekers, children going back to school; women in domestic violence shelters; nursing homes and prisons; indigenous women as well emergency response for families facing floods. In 2015 we estimated that we had been able to assist over 13 000 individuals and families around the world as a result of our local impact projects in the cities we host Colour. Local impact is now a tradition and an integral part of our gathering as women. In 2018 this legacy will continue as we gather and bless our cities around the world.
"Orphans to rescue, sisters to come alongside and nations to believe in."
Around 2004 Bobbie tells a story in her book “The Sisterhood” about knowing she needed to return from holiday because there were “orphans to rescue, sisters to come alongside and nations to believe in” At the time she didn’t know how prophetic those words would be but as we gathered in 2005 that first part of the statement “orphans to rescue” started to become reality as we inspired the delegates to raise funds in partnership with Watoto and Marilyn Skinner to build homes for orphan children in Uganda. Over the next few years, as we raised awareness and provided tools for girls to respond over 63 homes were built in Uganda through that partnership and many hundreds of children have benefitted from that partnership and awakening of the women of Colour Conference. Although $2.5 million was directly funnelled through the Sisterhood to Watoto that doesn’t even begin to scratch the surface of the response that came as a result of that profile and awareness.
The second part of that revelation around the sisters to come alongside really came to the fore through what Bobbie affectionately calls the Stiletto stampede of 2008 Colour Conference when we presented the needs of the women in Africa living with HIV/AIDS. Delegates stampeded out to the marquee to sponsor women standing alongside them as they fought to stay alive and raise their own children. Over 1400 women were supported through that initial program and many more have been supported through the 500 projects since then. Living Hope, as the program was named, has now become Watoto Neighbourhood and we continue to stand with the women and their babies as they forge better lives for themselves. Through this project the Colour Sisterhood also raised over $300 000 for facial reconstruction surgeries for women who had been disfigured as a result of the civil war that had raged in Uganda for decades.
In 2018 we will also be celebrating 10 years since the start of A21, an initiative birthed out of the heart of Colour Conference to address the problem of Human Trafficking across the world. Through financial giving, awareness raising as well as rallying around prayer, we have supported Chris Caine and her team as they have sought to make a difference in this space. Our walk for Freedom t-shirts (the gift at colour 2011) were the inspiration for the walk for freedom that A21 now run annually to raise awareness and funds. Our Colour Sisterhood have been a part of these walks right from the beginning and this continues today. This partnership is instrumental to our understanding of standing alongside vulnerable women in our world.
"The Colour Sisterhood has always been about making "be the change" accessible to everyone."
The Colour Sisterhood has always been about making “be the change” accessible to everyone, From our tools that we have created over the years, including our walk for freedom t-shirts; be the change teapots, prayer journals, knitting needles and many more. In 2012 we broke all of our projects down into small bite size $500 amounts with the aim of making sisterhood more accessible for everyone. Our 500projects, as we named them, have raised over $1 million since that date and have assisted all of our partners including Hamlin Australia, SHE rescue, Watoto, World Vision, Vision Rescue, Hillsong Africa Foundation, A21, Open Doors, Preemptive Love Coalition, The Bible Society and others. These projects were designed to make being the change really practical and possible for everyone. In 2013 , 2014 and 2017 we distributed little money tins designed to making these 500projects simple for everyone.
The idea of nations has been in Bobbie’s heart since the beginning and has outworked itself in various ways, prayer being at the heart of it all. We strategically sought to mobilise girls to pray in a strategic way through our prayer maps in 2012 focussing on key borders and cities where trafficking was rife. We worked with our partners to map out these borders and ask women to pray for trafficking rings to be broken and for miraculous rescues to take place. In “the Sisterhood” book Bobbie tells many stories of just some of the miracles that have come from these maps.
In 2016 this prayer focus was heightened once again as we launched our #middaybabymidday initiative which was about inspiring women to pray at midday every day as a company of women for the challenges facing our world. This initiative has been instrumental in engaging every day girls with the message of sisterhood and making it accessible for everyone to get involved. Through social media this initiative continues to build and take shape as women make it their personal revelation to “let prayer do the heavy lifting.” Over 11 000 posts on instagram have used the hashtag as girls from all over the world have taken the challenge to pray. Prayer continues to be a key focus as we seek to inspire women to engage with the challenges of the world, many of which there are no easy or visible solutions to.
In 2017 we sought to bring awareness and response to the humanitarian emergency facing the middle east through the refugee crisis engulfing that region. We sought to engage the hearts of our delegates yet again as they grappled with how we as a sisterhood could respond, both locally and globally (read more about the Refugee Response here).
The Colour Sisterhood has always been about making the world a better place, it exists to champion women in their calling and planting to make a difference, to choose empathy, to engage with the issues facing children, women and nations around the world and to respond.
This heartbeat hasn’t changed as in 2018 we are reimagining those foundational words of “children, sisters and nations” and using them to guide us as we seek to yet again compel and commission our girls to “be the change”. So please join us on the next part of our journey as we REFLECT on what is in our hands, RESPOND to the challenges and needs in our world and RALLY together to tell people that #iamsisterhood
"...let prayer do the heavy lifting."
Identity & Value
Placing value upon humanity
The truth is that every person is made in the image of God with equal value and inherent capacity.
Genesis 1:27; Galatians 3:28; Proverbs 22:2
The heart of Colour Sisterhood is that every women would know that “there is a God in heaven and a company of others on earth who believe in them.” ‘The Whisper’ is personal. It whispers “be found” – be found in His love, be found in His wisdom and goodness, be found in His peace and purpose. Be found so that others may find hope through you.”
A foundation of value and identity – as a beloved, strong, and capable daughter of the King – is crucial for understanding one’s purpose and fulfilling your God-given mission.
"We do justice when we give all human beings their due as creations of God. Doing justice includes not only the righting of wrongs, but generosity and social concern, especially toward the poor and vulnerable. This kind of life reflects the character of God. It consists of a broad range of activities, from simple fair and honest dealings with people in daily life, to regular, radically generous giving of your time and resources, to activism that seeks to end particular forms of injustice, violence, and oppression."
PURPOSE & MISSION
United in friendship and cause
Made in the image of God, every person has inherent capacity and potential. We are intended to steward God’s very good creation, recognising and cultivating the image of God in every human being.
Genesis 1:28; Jeremiah 29:11; Ephesians 2:10
When the truth of every person’s value is distorted and humanity lives without a sense of their identity and purpose, disconnected from God, each other and creation, various expressions of injustice result, such as conflict, discrimination, and oppression.
We believe in a God of justice who involves his people in actively bringing about restoration of broken relationships. Justice involves both social responsibility and structural justice and requires response at both an individual and collective level.
Isaiah 30:18; Isaiah 61:8; 2 Corinthians 5:18; Micah 6:8; Revelation 21:1-4; Isaiah 1:17; Isaiah 10:1-2
With a desire to tangibly express the love of God and to seek justice, we desire peace for the cities that we call home and for our global community. We seek to respond both locally and globally, recognising that our ‘neighbour’ is not merely defined by proximity or similarity.
Isaiah 58:6-12; Zechariah 7:9; 1 Timothy 6:18; Jeremiah 33:6 & 9; Luke 10:25-37; Proverbs 31:20
As followers of Jesus Christ, who came to bring good news to the poor, our mission is to be agents of love, justice and peace and to create opportunity for people to overcome obstacles to reaching their potential.
Luke 4:18-19; Acts 1:8; Matthew 23:23; Luke 10:25-37.
Every act of love and every action that contributes even in a seemingly small way to bringing about peace and right relationships, is an expression of worship of King Jesus, co-labouring in His mission of reconciliation and restoration.