At the end of November we enjoyed a partnership event with Pais and the Women’s Ministry team at Hope and Gloria celebrating mother/daughter relationships. The idea came from the team’s work in primary schools and was aimed at girls aged eight to eleven. Over a hundred girls signed up through the local primary schools with their mums to come to what promised to be a fantastic night.
Hope and Gloria was given a makeover for the event. There were two separate nail stations, one for the professionals and one for the mums and their girls to do each other. We had hairdressing workshops where the mums where taught step by step how to do intricate and beautiful updo’s for their daughters. We also had professional facepainters on hand to add a little colour and glitter to the night as well as an impressive table laden with chocolate fountains and mounds of fruit, marshmallows and chips to dip into them.
There was a definite atmosphere of joy. Our Women’s team did an amazing job of handing out sparkling soft drinks while the Pais team, made up of Tori, Bri, Priscilla, Kate and Leonie, laughed and chatted with the girls who knew them from their school and got a chance to meet their parents. For Priscilla the high point of the evening was when she saw a little girl looking at her reflection. Priscilla commented on how pretty the little girl looked but saw that the girl didn’t really believe her. After a little conversation Priscilla knelt, looked the little girl in the eye and told her again: ‘You are beautiful.’ The girl smiled.
Bri was in the process of taking some photos when she watched a little girl check out the updo her mother had just finished on her hair. After feeling the back of the style and testing out the resulting look from a couple of angles in the mirror, the girl turned and threw herself into her mum’s arms, squeezing her in a huge excited hug. For Bri, who had organised the majority of the event, this moment was what it had all been for. Creating an environment that would bring families closer.
In another part of the store, one of the mother’s had taken a seat. She had come in using the crutches she needed to get about. Chronic back pain made it difficult to get very far and so she sat down where she could be more comfortable while her daughter had a look around. Some of the team went over to chat and soon they were praying. By the time that mother left she was carrying her crutches over her shoulder, her back healed.
It wasn’t just about planning a nice night. This was about honouring God and valuing people. The power of it came in the conversations had, the connections made and the legacy it created. For Hope and Gloria, a number of the mothers said how they had never been in but would be coming back and the mothers were invited to our upcoming First Thursday event at CCV. One of the little girls even loved the shop so much she had her birthday party in the café in December. The PAIS team saw a number of the girls at their next event, the Big Winter Blowout, but also saw new families connecting with Splash for a relationship that will continue long into the new year.
In a recent conversation with one of the local school principals, he said that it was one of the best parent feedback events they have ever had with many of the mothers continuing to say what a great event it had been.