Published September 14, 2020

Women in Homelessness Feel Valued at GLS20

In 2020, the Global Leadership Network took on a new initiative with ministries in the U.S. who are serving those who would otherwise not be able to access the leadership training provided at The Global Leadership Summit. Because of the generosity of our incredible donors, this year we were able to bring the Summit to thousands of leaders, including incarcerated men and women in prisons across the U.S., at risk youth, trafficking survivors, as well as those served by crisis and addiction centers. Additionally, of course, we were excited to bring the Summit to people living in homeless shelters or transition homes.

When I prayed for my ‘2020 word’ in January, I had no idea what this year’s journey would include.

One of those ministries is Open Door Mission, whose staff and volunteers are committed to helping people who are experiencing homelessness and empowering others through homeless prevention resources that see lives transformed. One of the staff members who was most excited about bringing the Summit to those she serves was Gwynne Gonnerman. “Every day I experience miracles at Open Door Mission as we daily meet the needs of individuals and families while inspiring HOPE for lasting change: 917 safe shelter beds: 4,700+ meals; life-changing programs; free health and healing clinic; and our 3 homeless-prevention donation and outreach centers empower individuals to remain in their homes in challenging times. EVERY person has a valuable story!”

“When I prayed for my ‘2020 word’ in January, I had no idea what this year’s journey would include,” said Gwynne. “God faithfully answered, ‘WITH.’

“2020 has restricted our family and friends’ time together WITH a new appreciation for precious relationships,” continued Gwynne. “This year has also rekindled awareness for those who lack justice, basic needs, safety and security WITH a new compassion for those who daily struggle.”

The Global Leadership Summit became an answer to prayer.

As Gwynne’s year went on since January, The Global Leadership Summit became an answer to prayer. “The Summit empowered and encouraged the Open Door Mission guests and staff!” exclaimed Gwynne. “You provided tools and resources to learn and grow ‘WITH’ God’s leaders!”

One of the women said she felt the word that described her was ‘trash.’

As Gwynne approached the Summit, she met with a group of women experiencing homelessness, and asked them about their word for the week. The answers broke her heart.

“The week before the Summit, these precious women shared their current ‘word’ in our class,” said Gwynne. “Three of the women tearfully, with hurting and heavy hearts, shared their one word—One of the women said she felt the word that described her was ‘trash.’”

Without hesitation the women in the room started to speak words of encouragement over her, “Precious daughter of the Father—you are strong, caring and loved!” We talked about taking our minds captive and fixing our thoughts on God’s promises.

Bringing these precious women to The Global Leadership Summit was an answer to Gwynne’s prayer, reminding them that they have value and influence. “I intentionally and passionately invest in creating the next generation of servant leaders through my work and ministry. Thank you for bringing the Summit to the women at Open Door Mission! We are so grateful!”

Here are just a few comments from the women who attended from Open Door Mission:
  • “I learned a lot about the psychological aspects of being a great leader and overcoming fears that have held me back. I plan to apply these skills to become a success in my life and relationships. Thank you!” – Sondra

Precious daughter of the Father—you are strong, caring and loved!

  • “I learned about warm words when interacting with others. I also realized, I need to take risks and that forgiveness is vital to our lives.” – Karrie
  • “Thank you so much for the Summit. My one word is growth.” – Chris
  • “GLS20 is something I can use for my lifetime! I learned awesome leadership skills I can use at home, work, school and with my family!” – Brittany
  • “I will take away that you can’t give up striving for what you believe in.” – Breanna
  • “I learned how to be a leader and get through the dips of life.” – Kate
  • “I want to be the best me.” – Edwina
  • “I realized I can get through this.” – Beaulah
  • “I realize I am loved and wonderfully created by God for a special purpose in His plan to love our world at this time!” – Anonymous

“I believe we’re wonderfully created to share Jesus’ love with the world,” said Gwynne. “Each of us has leadership opportunities that can be nurtured and grown to love others well.”

We were excited to partner with Gwynne this year to bring The Global Leadership Summit to her community of women at Open Door Mission. It was immediately apparent that her heart and passion aligned with the Global Leadership Newtwork as she seeks to remind these women they have value, influence and a calling. “I am called to advocate for Jesus’ love of justice, especially for the marginalized. My journey takes many turns, but I wake each day knowing the Lord is calling me to surrender to Him and inspire others to reach their unique God-given potentials. Although I have many opportunities to share Jesus’ love and hope, I desire to be available for the individuals God puts in my life. We each have an important calling that the world needs!”

“I continue to learn and grow from the Lord’s wisdom and guidance through the Summit. This has been such an amazing opportunity to gain wisdom and inspiration! This event confirmed we are the best leaders when we work together—WITH each other.

“Thank you for bringing the Summit to the women at Open Door Mission!”

About the Author
Global Leadership Network

Global Leadership Network

GLN Staff Writer

The Global Leadership Network is a community committed to learning from each other and using our influence to accomplish God’s purposes on earth. No matter where your influence is, when you commit to grow your leadership, everyone around you wins—businesses work for good, communities are transformed and churches thrive! Both global and diverse, our network includes partners in 1,400+ cities and 135+ countries. We are committed to deliver fresh, actionable and inspiring leadership content both at The Global Leadership Summit, and year-round through our digital platforms.

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