For Girls

I Can Do It Myself!

Part 1 of Series “Free Soloing”

By: Anna (Forlines) Kozyutynskyi

A year ago, the Lord opened up an opportunity for me to live in Hidalgo, Mexico partnering with a coffee shop ministry. El Buho Cafe was built right next to a world famous rock climbing destination; the infamous El Potrero Chico. We got to meet rock climbers from all over the world, share our testimony, share the love of Jesus, all while financially supporting a local school in a nearby village.

Rock climbing is inherently dangerous. Climbing smart is a must. A partner, the proper safety gear, and following the universal sport rules are what ensures a mostly secure climb.

In Potrero Chico, they have some massive climbing routes. While suspended hundreds of feet in the air, gear and a partner are relied on to hold you secure on the wall. The tallest route in the park is 2,300 feet. Just to put it into perspective, even the Empire State Building is shorter at only 1,454 feet from bottom to tippity top.

Now, imagine a wall EVEN TALLER at 7,569 feet in Yosemite National Park! A famous climber named Alex Honnold climbed it with no gear, no safety precautions, and no partner. Literally him, the rock, a chalk bag, and thousands of feet below. One wrong move and he was doneso. That is just crazy sauce! This is called free soloing. Sounds terrifying? It is. And the death rate for such climbers is 80-90%.

“I can do it myself.”

Why in the world would anyone ever do that? Well, even though I have never tried free solo climbing, I often walk through my life with a free solo attitude. I try to free solo through so many different situations like to-do lists, present sin struggles, past hurts, future decisions, sadnesses, and pains. Just like those free solo climbers, I think to myself, “I got this. I can do this on my own.”

Catch this. The success rate of trying to free solo through life is little or none. God knows this. From the very beginning, He created us to walk in community, sharing with one another the struggles and temptations we are facing so we can encourage one another along the way. He has also given us a safety manual, the bible, to walk in His paths of righteousness. He even promises to equip us with safety gear, His armor, to protect us from our own evil desires and the attacks of the enemy. The best news is that we are never alone. He has given us the Great Comforter, His Spirit, to lead and guide us every step of the way.

Questions to reflect on:

  1. In what areas do you try to free solo through life?
  2. Like me, do you struggle with an ‘I can do it myself’ attitude?
  3. Why do you think you try to do it alone?


Ephesians 6:13-17

Ecclesiastes 4: 9-12


Father, thank you for opening our eyes and hearts to see that we were never meant to walk through this life alone. Help us to reach out to others, to put on your full armor, to lean on Christ, and to follow your paths of righteousness that keep us safe from the dangers of this world. Amen

About the Author: Anna (Forlines) Kozyutynskyi lives in Nashville with her husband, Vlady, and they recently welcomed a baby boy. She enjoys nature and outdoor activities like hiking and rock climbing. Her passion is to share the importance of openness and freedom that can only be found in Jesus. 

For Girls

Setting an Example

By Madeleine Price

Hello, my name is Madeleine Price. I’m thirteen years old and my parents are missionaries to Saint-Nazaire France. A few years ago, my Dad became youth pastor to a church here in Saint-Nazaire. In the beginning, the only kids were me, my sister Emilie, and maybe two or three others. When Covid happened, we did services online. Apparently, lots of people had been watching them, and when the church opened its doors again, we were amazed by how many people showed up. Also, lots of people that lived in the big cities like Paris and Lyon moved to Saint-Nazaire to be closer to the beach. These people needed a new church to go to so they found us, and started coming regularly.

I’ve always been a missionary kid and I don’t know any differently. It can be hard at times, to not see my family for years while I’m in France, but when I’m stateside, I have to leave all my friends for a whole year. I feel like my role in the church is to make other kids feel welcome and to show what being a true Christian looks like. That means living by God’s principles and being a light in the dark.

Our kids’ program is called “Kidz Church” (wonder where my Dad came up with such a creative name)! We usually sing Christian songs for kids. Most of them have motions, and something that I’ve learned is that none of the kids will start until someone else does. No one likes to be the first. Someone always has to step up in order for the others to follow. Since I’m one of the oldest kids there, when I start doing the motions, usually the younger kids follow. So, basically what I’m saying here is:

 “Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity.” Titus 2:7 (ESV)

About the Author: Madeleine Price is 13 years old and was born in France, where her parents work for FWB International Missions. She has a twin sister, Emilie, and a dog, Charlotte. She loves eating ice cream, playing the piano, visiting the beach, eating crêpes, and hanging out with her friends. 

For Adults

An Introvert in an Extrovert’s World

By Cristina Price

Is it possible to be an introvert but still be an effective witness? In today’s in-your-face culture, it can be hard for an introvert to find her place. 

At the beginning of my career as a missionary in France, I battled the stereotype of the extroverted missionary. I felt a lot of pressure, mostly from myself, to try to be something I was not, to fit a preconceived idea of the “ideal” missionary. This was, of course, someone who never met a stranger, who could talk to anyone about anything, who easily shared the gospel within five minutes of making an acquaintance. This was definitely not me. I struggled to make conversation with new people, felt more comfortable in my own home than out on the town, happy to take care of my own little family, read books, sip tea, and nest. Unfortunately, this isn’t very conducive to making new acquaintances and sharing the gospel! What was an introvert to do?

Enter Judy Bryan, longtime missionary to Côte d’Ivoire and later to the field of France. Like me, Judy felt more comfortable in small groups of people, in her own home, cup of coffee in hand. Watching her, I realized that, though she was married to an extrovert who never met a stranger, Judy also had a vital ministry. Judy was a great cook and had a knack for making people feel at ease. She exuded hospitality. The multitudes of people that Robert met were invited to her home, where her gifts shone the brightest.

This is an important ability in France, where the tradition of inviting others over for a meal to get to know one another better is still firmly anchored in the culture. In the USA, the tendency is to invite someone out to a restaurant, but in France, it is common to invite people into your home. As I learned from Judy’s example, I could put my introvert skills to work by making my own home a place of welcome and warmth for our guests. My husband, Matt, is much more extroverted than I am, and so it works out well for him to meet the strangers, invite them to our home, and together, we try to make them feel welcome. Around our dining table, we have been able to share the gospel, train baby Christians, counsel struggling marriages, encourage the discouraged, and share the battles of our fellow believers. 

To be honest, I don’t love cooking. I do it because we have to eat to survive! There are many other things I would rather spend my time and money on. What I do love, however, is seeing the satisfaction on the faces of my family and friends when they enjoy what I’ve prepared for them. Judy Bryan was a pro at this, and I am so grateful for her inspiring example. I am thankful, too, that God knew what He was doing when He called me to be an introverted missionary in a culture where my personality and gifting can be used for His Kingdom.

What lessons have I learned in 17 years of introverted ministry in France?

  1. French people love American food. A long time ago, I stopped trying to imitate French-style cooking and just cooked what I knew. And it works! Prepare the meals you know well and are comfortable making. Your guests will love it!
  2. Accept the fact that God made you a certain way and that He can use you for His glory BECAUSE of those gifts, not in spite of them. God did not make a mistake when He made me an introvert and brought me to France. He knew that I could serve Him well within my own gifting. This doesn’t mean that He won’t sometimes call us outside of our comfort zones! But this is usually an exception and not the norm. 
  3. Look at the culture around you and ask yourself in what ways you can use your talents to minister to those in your circle of influence. If you’re an introvert like me, maybe this means inviting people to your home for a meal, starting a small book club where you can read good books together, joining or creating a knitting circle, starting a playgroup for moms with young children, becoming a mentor for a younger woman, or asking a more mature woman to be your mentor. 
  4. Ask the Lord to bless your efforts and to show you ways in which you can build His kingdom through your talents. He is the one who blessed you with your unique gifts, and He knows best how you should use them!

Being an introvert in an extrovert’s world can sometimes be daunting. Don’t forget that God made you exactly how He wanted you, and He makes no mistakes. Look up, look around, walk through those open doors, and let God’s light shine through you in your own unique way. You will never feel more fulfilled than when you are serving God using the gifts He gave you. 

About the Author: Cristina Price has worked for FWB International Missions in France since 2005. She and her husband of 25 years, Matt Price, have twin 13-year-old daughters, Madeleine and Emilie. Cristina loves reading, traveling, chatting with friends over tea, and homeschooling her daughters.  
For Girls


By: Adra Chandler

Managing mental health can be a real struggle, but the little things can make all the difference. It can also be hard to reach out for help when struggling, but I promise, it gets easier every time you reach out to a trusted friend or mentor. I have struggled with mental health since elementary school; I am now 26 and still struggle at times, but I am thankful for a great support system and Godly women in my life to help me through the rough days.

A well-rounded life is important in taking care of yourself mentally. So, taking care of yourself physically, spiritually, and socially is very important to help keep your mental health at its best.

Here is my go-to list of things to do to help keep me at my best or help pull me out of a slump:

  • Have daily time with God.
  • Attend church regularly.
  • Only sleep in your bed, don’t hang out in bed.
  • Take care of yourself physically (shower, take a walk, eat a balanced meal, floss and brush your teeth, etc.).
  • Spend time speaking kindly and encouragingly to yourself.
  • Tidy your room for a few minutes every day; having a clean, relaxing living space does wonders for anxiety and depression.
  • Find hobbies you like and do them regularly (sports, music, reading, hiking, crafting, etc.).
  • Find an adult Christian woman whom you can trust. Talk to them, ask for advice, and ask for prayer.
  • Be honest when your doctor asks how you feel; they can help you find a counselor to speak to. A Christian Counselor is a great resource to help guide you in your mental health journey.
  • Find uplifting friends.
  • Taking medications as prescribed and not skipping doses.

Ultimately find what works best for you. Do things you enjoy and take care of yourself when you feel great and when you hit a slump.

About the Author: Adra Chandler is the Media Coordinator at Free Will Baptist Foundation and the Social Media Coordinator at WNAC. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her family, husband, and 5 cats. She is passionate about mental health and sharing the hope that is only found in Christ.
For Girls

Who Me? A Missionary?

By Abby Walker

I never had any desire to live in another country until God spoke to me about missions in my last year of nursing school. I enjoyed going on short-term trips while I was in high school, but I thought long-term just wasn’t for me. But God, in His perfect timing, had other plans for me and I am so thankful.

You may not feel like you’re called to missions either, and that’s okay! I didn’t!

God has you where you’re at right now for a reason. He has given you your talents and passions on purpose. Keep pursuing what you believe God wants you to do. However, keep your heart open to the possibility that He might change your plans and send you somewhere you’ve never imagined going one day.

Matt Price, a missionary to France, said one thing that has stuck with me for the last five years. He said, “If you tell God that you are willing to do anything for Him, but you won’t even consider going to another country, then are you actually willing to do anything? Or just what makes you comfortable?” That doesn’t necessarily mean He will call you to another country, He just wants you to be willing to go if He does ask you to.

If you ever start to question whether or not that’s a possibility, start praying! Look for opportunities to go and see! He will open and close doors to show you the correct path. Pray and ask God how He wants you to share the gospel with the world. Maybe it’s praying for or financially supporting missionaries. Maybe it’s going on mission trips or one day moving to another country. God will let you know if you seek and ask.

So…go on those short-term trips. Pray to God for understanding and clarity. See the need for the gospel in other cities and countries. After all, you’ll never know unless you ask and go!

About the Author: Abby Walker has been living in Tokyo for the past year and working with the Hope Alive Team. Before that, she worked as an orthopedic nurse for 2 years. She enjoys playing basketball, reading, and a good iced café latte!
For Adults

God’s Plan for My Kids

By: Melinda Walker

When we dedicated our first daughter to the Lord, we never imagined how God was going to use her. We simply trusted in Him to help us lead and guide her to where she is today.

I never thought one of my girls would be led to be a foreign missionary, especially to Japan. But God knew what He was doing when He gave her several opportunities to go on mission trips when she was younger.

I have always prayed that both of my girls would be in the center of God’s will. So, when the time came for God to send them somewhere else, I had to let them go. God gave them to me for a season and that season was over. I had to remember that it’s God’s will – not mine – for their lives that is most important. I know they are safer in God’s will than anywhere else.

One of the most important things you can do for your children is to pray for them. Pray that they follow God’s will to be whatever He wants them to be (a missionary, pastor/pastor’s wife, nurse, teacher, trash collector, etc.). Also pray that God will help you to accept His will for their lives. If they are interested in missions, don’t be afraid to let them explore the possibilities. God will lead them to where they need to be and you just need to stay out of the way.

It’s never easy letting your child go. There’s that fear of the unknown. But I know my girls are where they are supposed to be (Abby in Japan & Sydney in Tennessee), and I couldn’t be prouder.

“I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth.” 3 John 1:4 (KJV)

About the Author: Melinda Walker is the wife of Darren Walker, pastor of First FWB church in Washington, NC. She is the mother of Abby Walker (Japan) and Sydney McClure (TN). She works at East Carolina University College of Nursing as the assistant director for the simulation labs. She loves coffee, chocolate, HGTV, her 2 dogs and 2 cats, and the Arkansas Razorbacks.

Shine! in Oklahoma

We just wrapped up the first conference of 2017 in Oklahoma! We loved meeting so many new girls, youth leaders, and moms, and we even got to see some God’s Girls for the second time with our new alumni track. God moved among the almost 100 participants as we talked about finding identity in God, God’s plan for our bodies, and strategies for making smart decisions that honor God.

Moms and youth leaders learned ways to pray for their teen girls and gained new resources for ministering to girls. Everyone heard testimonies of God’s grace from two different women who shared about how finding their identity in God has transformed their lives.

After a fantastic meeting at Randall University, the Shine! team is gearing up for the next conference near Tampa, Florida. We can’t wait to see you there!


Announcement: TWO new dates!

We are so excited to finally share with you all that Shine! will have TWO conferences this year. That’s right, Shine! is expanding to reach even more girls in 2017. Join us in Moore, Oklahoma, at Randall University on October 28, or attend Shine! at Seffner Christian Academy in Seffner, Florida, on November 18. If you can’t make it to one, we hope you can catch the next event. Keep checking back here for more blogs, resources, updates, and travel info. If you’re planning to attend, don’t forget to RSVP right here on our site…just head on over to the Registration tab. We can’t wait to see you at Shine! this fall!


Shine: Getting Started

Caught in a deluge of programs, from both within the church and without, teen girls today are spun in a dizzying number of directions. Since the messages they soak in are so often at odds, it’s crucial that girls hear biblical truth from godly women they can trust and relate to.

Shine! has already reached girls from Ohio, to the Carolinas, to Arkansas, and we can’t wait to bring Shine! to your region. Keep up with blogs from our Shine! team here, and stay tuned for an announcement about upcoming conference locations.