As our nation steps into uncharted territory, it has been inspiring to watch you rise up as mothers, teachers, businesswomen, and civil servants. Each day, our staff has been monitoring our social media feeds and praying for you, your families, and your communities.
These days are no surprise to God. He knew exactly what we would be facing when he led our team over twenty months ago to the “Rise Up” theme for the Women of Joy Spring tour. The stories we are hearing during these times are amazing. We have always known that Women of Joy are resilient. These past few weeks have proven that. Keep the stories coming! We will be sharing some of them with you in the following days.
For the past six weeks, our team has been closely monitoring the Covid-19 situation. Following direction given by federal officials and the national Covid-19 task force, we have been in close contact with leadership in the cities that host our events.
The advice given to us by city councils and visitors bureaus has played an enormous role in making decisions concerning Women of Joy. Each city has a unique set of circumstances and rules, and each one will have a different path forward once this is over. We have found that while each city is unique, they are equally grateful for the vibrance that you bring to their communities each spring.
As many of you know, our team has taken action to postpone three of our four spring events. We want to address some concerns we have heard from you and share what is happening behind the scenes at Women of Joy.
First, we would like to address the speed with which we have made decisions and passed information on to you. On the surface, it can seem like moving an event would be an easy task. Unfortunately, the logistics of acquiring new event center dates, re-booking speakers, and adjusting hotel blocks is a lengthy process.
It typically takes our team of seventeen people 18 to 24 months to plan a Women of Joy event. We are proud of the speed with which our team has been able to re-plan these spring events and, for the most part, remain faithful to what we feel God wanted them to be. It has been inspiring to watch.
Second, we want to address the economical impact that moving our events will cause in the communities that host Women of Joy. Aside from our team of seventeen people, Women of Joy events support thousands of women and men in the services industry. From the young lady who serves you at your favorite restaurant in Pigeon Forge to the man who changes light bulbs at your hotel in Branson, each of these people is a real citizen whose burdens we carry. These men and women are the true heroes of our events, and we love them. Our event helps them feed their families, and we do not carry that responsibility lightly.
Finally, and most importantly, we want to address the impact these changes have on you, our Women of Joy family. We have spent hundreds of hours, collectively, as a team praying over what God will do in your life at Women of Joy. Many of you have been on this journey with us from day one. Your commitment to Women of Joy is something that we cherish.
As we make decisions, we are prayerfully choosing the best path forward, understanding that we cannot make a perfect decision for everyone. Some of you have graduations, weddings, and other life events that you have planned around Women of Joy, and the new dates that we have found may not work for you. That is why we have freed up our registration department to not only make the new dates available to you but also allow you to move your registration to any Women of Joy event in 2020. We have also opened up the ability for you to move your group’s registration forward to 2021. We are hoping that this selection of options gives you the flexibility that you need to make Women of Joy fit in your calendar.
You can help us serve you better by funneling all of your questions about Women of Joy through your group leader and allowing her to call our team. This dramatically cuts down on the level of calls that our team receives and allows us to process changes more quickly.
Please know that we understand your frustration and your pain. These are trying days, and our nation is treading through uncharted waters. Our calling at Women of Joy is to make an eternal difference in the life of everyone we encounter. We are confident that the Women of Joy family will make it through this together.
Please join us in praying for the healing of our nation.
We love you and will continue to serve you with every resource we have.
Phil and Debbie Waldrep