Linking Women in Leadership
Empowering ministry women to fulfill their essential and unique purpose.
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April 15-16
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FALL 2015 (PART 2)
Johnese Burtram, editor

The Fall 2015 theme, "We're gonna' make it," stirred up some remarkable stories. I get excited when we have such a strong response that we need to have a two-part edition. Your stories brim with the faithfulness of God and the help of his Holy Spirit to sustain us in every situation. Thank you, my courageous girl friends, for sharing your stories. We are encouraged and strengthened by them. Coming right up close to Thanksgiving, I have included some reflections on the fine art of giving thanks. As we move into Advent, we thank God for his indescribable gift. I hope this edition of Connections blesses you and strengthens your faith as you consider God's faithfulness as reflected in your sisters' stories.
Guest Contributor Heidi Houston
 Heidi Houston
I was newly married, 25 years old, and immersed in my first experience as a pastor's wife when Jason was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis, a chronic disease that causes the body to attack the nervous system, thinking it is attacking a virus. Nerves can become severed; the spine and brain can become filled with tiny holes.
Our journey begins in January of 2004. While he was walking from our car to our apartment, Jason collapsed. I was at work and had no idea what was happening. He dragged himself with his arms to our apartment (thankfully on the ground floor) and finally was able to enter. I received his call explaining what had happened. I was shocked into action. Prayer! Prayer will fix this, because my God is bigger than all of this. So I began calling our loved ones, asking for prayer. I just knew God would immediately heal the problem. I thought somehow I'd say a magical prayer and everything would be as I demanded.  Keep reading...

Heidi Houston Heidi is a pastor's wife and mother of three girls who loves to write what the Lord places on her heart, which is a lot these days. She's called to evangelism of children, and is currently working on publishing a children's story for that purpose. "Thank God He is still reaching out for us, drawing us to His side." In the spring of 2015, the Houston's moved to Colorado.
"We're Gonna' Make It!"
Ann Sallie

Recalling missionary statesman Charles Greenaway speaking at a Missions Conference in one of the churches my husband pastored peaked my interest to look back and pull forward lessons learned through difficult seasons as a pastor's wife for over 30 years.   Keep reading...
Ann Sallie
Ann is the wife of Dr. Jack Sallie, ordained minister in the Potomac District. Dr. Sallie is a retired minister. He and Ann pastored several churches in the district including Trinity Assembly of God (Midlothian, MD), Warwick Assembly of God (Hampton, VA), and Rockville Assembly of God (Rockville, MD). Ann is a Professor of English as a Second Language at Montgomery College (a college that has students from over 170 countries) in Rockville, MD. Jack and Ann have two children and seven grandchildren
In the Pouring Rain
Deborah Galyen

This fall, I am learning that when it rains, it pours. Literally. My husband and I were excited few weeks ago as we geared up to start the new semester of our ministry to university students in Granada, Spain. We had just rented a new facility that is close to university buildings and much larger than our previous place, and we were eager to welcome students and launch new programs. We had painted walls, rearranged furniture, and we had put up posters. Our American workers were about to arrive, our own three kids were about to start school, and then ... Keep reading...

Galyen Family
Deborah Galyen, a PK (Preacher's Kid) from Alexandria, VA who spent most of her childhood as an MK (Missionary's Kid) in Belgium, now serves as a missionary in Granada, Spain. Deborah and her husband Shawn have been involved in ministry to university students for 20 years. They have a ministry center for students called Raíces (Roots) and are raising three children: Luke (17), Ruth (14), and Claire (12). Deborah is a graduate of North Central University (Minneapolis) with a degree in English Literature and Education and is an experienced high school teacher.
Troubles in Siberia
Denise Ouellette
Our team checked into the hotel, exhausted. Sitting on luggage or on the floor, we waited while our leader and the interpreter argued with the hotel personnel over our room fees. One by one we were handed our room keys. We dragged our bags up several flights of stairs to our rooms.  Keep reading...

Denise Ouellette Denise Ouelette, a licensed Potomac Ministry Network minister of the Assembly of God, is a frequent contributor to The ELEMENT Connection (formerly WIM Connection.) She and her husband of over 28 years have 5 daughters and 8 grandchildren. She serves as Missions director for her church, Lighthouse Worship Center in Gloucester, Virginia. She runs her own bookkeeping business and writes plays and skits most of which are produced at her church.

She is on the Board of Directors of two non-profit African mission organizations: Africa Harvest Mission and Friends of TOUCH
Do I Trust You Lord?
Maria Donnelly

As a mother, wife, high-school teacher, Sunday School leader, WM leader, minister, family member, and friend, at times I feel as though I am falling under the responsibilities and activities these roles require. Add trials and tragedies to these responsibilities, and I am hanging on by the very tips of my fingers.  Keep reading... 
Maria Donnely
Maria Donnelly has earned her Master's in Instruction and is an educator with over twenty years' experience teaching both Science and Bible. She is a Licensed Minister and has served as Bible Teacher, Christian Education Superintendent, Women's Ministries Leader and Children's Pastor. Raised in the inner city of Philadelphia, Maria understands the unique struggles the impoverished face and believes that the Spirit-filled teaching of God's Word will transform communities, towns and eventually the country. Maria enjoys life to the fullest with her husband, Tom, and their three active teenaged sons. They serve together at Five Rivers Assembly of God in Elkton, Maryland. 
Through Many Dangers, Toils and Snares
Yemi Obe

"We're gonna' make it," though on the way, we encounter dangers, toils, and snares. I have had my share of life threatening sicknesses with cardiovascular disease and burst appendix. I have been blessed with four sons - the promise of the Father's gift of twins fulfilled. In those days there was no epidural so I am thankful to God. Some lives have been lost in child birth. It is by the grace of God. My God is faithful.  Keep reading... 
Yemi Obe
Oluyemi Obe (Yemi), credentialed by the Assemblies of God, and her husband Charles serve at Trinity Assembly of God, Lanham. MD. For the past 16 years, she has served as adult Sunday School teacher leader of the Prayer Ministry. She also serves as PMN Vivid Women Ministry Connector for Capital Maryland Section. She and her husband are blessed with four sons and a daughter-in-law (love).
Born in London England, her education in the UK includes Higher National Degree in Building Construction Technology and Bachelor of Science Degree in Quantity Surveying (Building Cost Engineering). In God led her to established "Amazing Grace Enterprises LLC, " a firm providing professional and construction management services to both private and government clients.
She also established in 2001 Amazing Grace Orphans and Battered Women Organization Inc.(AGOBWO) a non-profit organization, a ministry set up to meet the needs of Orphanages and Battered Women. AGOBWO Inc. is supported by Amazing Grace Ent. LLC.
A Lifetime of His Grace at Work
Johnese BurtramJohnese Burtram

The matter of aging isn't of much consequence unless it happens to you. Everywhere I see promises to turn back the process - color to cover my gray, pricey creams, lotions, and serums to smooth away wrinkles, bronzers and blush and shimmer to make me glow, dietary supplements and wraps and exercises to tone and sculpt the body. Efforts to restrain the inevitable sound appealing, but I'm not sure I can spare the hours in my day necessary to reap the promised benefits.
  Keep reading... 

, wife of Potomac Network Superintendent, Ken Burtram, heads ELEMENT, Potomac Network Ministry Women and edits the Element Connection. She and Ken live in Warrenton, VA with two adolescent cats, Charlie and Lizzie.
C O N N E C T I N G  W I T H  O U R
C H R I S T I A N  C U L T U R E
A Thanksgiving Prayer
Sophia Vilceus

If you are anything like me, the Holidays bring an influx of emotions. Emotions that have neatly stayed tucked away somewhere in our spirits and come protruding out of us at the first mention of "Jingle Bells" or the first sight of a nicely decorated Thanksgiving table.   Keep Reading
Overflowing with Gratitude
Linda Dillow

Thanksgiving isn't all turkey and cornbread stuffing. It's a time to reflect on all God's done with gratitude. As I'm thinking about Thanksgiving and a wonderful day of feasting, there are no turkeys in the stores, no one talking about pumpkin pie recipes, no one ready to celebrate. How is this possible? It's possible because my husband and I are in Cambridge, England where "Thanksgiving Day" doesn't happen.   Keep Reading
Thanksgiving Prayer
Thanksgiving's Greatest Enemy
Kate Motaung

... As we wait for the traffic light to turn green, we talk about that vicious cycle that leads to ingratitude. Through continual experience, I've come to learn that thanksgiving's greatest enemy (and I'm not just talking about the holiday; I'm talking about the experience and expression of being grateful) is not simply ingratitude. It starts much sooner than that. It begins with negative comparison.  Keep Reading
autumn walk
Five Short Prayers for Advent and Christmas
Lynne Newland
Jesus our Prince of Peace, we pray that every time a carol is sung, a Christmas greeting spoken, a nativity play performed, that your name be honoured and glorified and that hard hearts be melted to receive you afresh. Amen

Lord Jesus, from the repetitive muzak carols heard in every shop and supermarket to the frantic shopping for glitzy gifts, may we, your disciples, be ready to grasp every opportunity to share the true meaning of Christmas with others. Amen

Lord Jesus, as we await your coming, help us to look for you in the hoodie on our estate, the beggar on the street, the outcasts in our society and open our hearts to love others as you do. Amen

As people strip away the Christmas wrappings may they find your precious gift of love within. Come Lord Jesus, Advent is ending. Amen

Lord, I pray that your Spirit of truth and love will fill the hearts of those for whom Christmas has no meaning. Amen

Looking Forward
Again this year our Christmas theme is Immanuel - God with us. How thankful I am that God, in Jesus, put skin on. In John 20:21 Jesus says, "As the Father has sent me, I am sending you." Sent into the world by Jesus, we become Jesus with skin on. We become His hands and feet and voice in this world. Tell us about a time when you recognized you were Jesus with skin on. We want to hear your story about a time of need in your life when someone became His hands and feet and voice to you. Tell us about your Immanuel experience.
Please submit your 300-500 word articles by December 7, 2015.  We are also always looking for humor, poetry, book reviews, etc.  
Also looking for suggestions of supporting articles and other materials you find online to enrich our e-zine. Please forward your suggestions
Johnese Burtram
  You are loved,

Shine the light; defeat the dark
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