After changing buildings for security reasons a Christian ministry for women saw a physical confirmation they are where they should be with some writing in the snow outside.
Shona Stewart is the Founder of Set the Captive Free (StCF) services in Winnipeg which helps women recover after being trafficked.
"I offer counselling to groups that will start up again soon," says Stewart. "We had a thrift store that the women could work at and get some experience there and I run an online church called Serenity Church and give food away."
Stewart recently needed a new space and building for her ministry because of the overwhelming amount of crime that happened near her previous spot.
"In October 2020, I had to close down the Overflow Women's Boutique store due to a lot of crime. We've been looking [for a place]. The first time I took time off, God told me to write a book. This time off, again He told me to write a book. I thought, oh no, I won't be able to do anything until that's done. But we kept searching for this place, whether it was the store or encompassing everything."
Stewart shares that one year later the Lord provided a place for it all. This new space will include a trauma wellness program, a clothing store, and a space for a meal and a message for Stewart to do church in person once a month. She hopes to have it up and ready by April.
A Confirmation in the Snow
"We've been, 'Okay God, we haven't heard from you.' We've had advisors, met, and prayed and they've said we haven't heard from God whether it's yes or no. I didn't have a check in my spirit. Katherine is my partner and she said, 'let's carry on.'"
As Stewart continued moving forward with this building, something wonderful happened when they checked out the space for the first time.
"I looked outside and thought, what's that man doing? There's a snowbank outside because they finally shovelled. We carried on as I didn't think too much of it."
When Stewart stepped outside with her dog, she could see someone had written in the snowbank.
"There was a heart and a cross and thought, that's amazing. It said Luke 1:37 and then it had 'peace,' 'love,' and something else written in the snow. It was bizarre because I had never seen something like that before."
During this meeting with the new owner, some concerns came up between Kathrine and Stewart, including a higher rent price than initially anticipated.
"I said to Katherine, 'you got to come out and see this.' I took her out and she looked at it and said, 'What?' I said, 'I know. Is that like a sign from God?'"
The ladies went back inside and looked up the Bible verse. It says, "For with God nothing shall be impossible." They believe it was a confirmation to continue making this space into their ministry spot.
"We felt so much peace after that. Thank you, Lord."
Stewart is asking people to pray for her online church and its members, as well as the permits for the new space.
"Prayer is so amazing and helpful. You can't do anything without it. Like Nehemiah, pray, do. Pray, do."
Since her previous store and counselling space closed down, Stewart has written eight books and she is in need of a graphic designer to help her with the interior design of the books.
"I've collected all these resources over the last 20 years and God said, 'that's what you're going to do. Write a book for trauma.' The program is eight modules and eight facilitator guides. I need an artist because it needs to look like a workbook, not a textbook."
People interested in helping Stewart and StCF with her books, volunteering, or financially can connect through email at firstname.lastname@example.org.