“I went from being co-host on the 700 Club in the morning, and by that evening I was in the locked ward of the psychiatric hospital,” Sheila Walsh said. “I felt I failed everybody…I’d never felt so desperate in my life. Sometimes God will take you to prison to set you free.”
Walsh and Steve Amerson inspired 225 men and women through song and story at the recent Women of Vision Orange County’s annual spring celebration fundraiser. The afternoon event, which also included a silent and live auction, was titled “Sounds of Hope: Fullness of Life.” It was held at Pelican Hill Resort.
“We are so grateful our event gave our guests a sense of God’s power and presence through Sheila Walsh, Steve Amerson and volunteer auctioneer Jim Franklin,” said Melissa Johnson, Chair of Women of Vision Orange County. “The fundraiser directly benefits the children, families, communities and refugees that Women of Vision supports around the world and it exceeded our ministry goal of $250,000, funds that impact the poorest of the poor. We’re thankful to all our sponsors and guests for supporting our ministry.”
Women of Vision is a national volunteer ministry of World Vision, a Christian humanitarian organization dedicated to helping children and families worldwide to reach their full potential by tackling the causes of poverty and injustice.
Walsh is a best-selling author, and world-renowned speaker, singer-songwriter. She inspired more than five million women over 20 years of cross-country touring with Women of Faith Conferences, and has sold over five million books. Her newest book is titled “The Longing in Me.”
Amerson, known as “America’s Tenor,” has been a featured soloist with orchestras around the world and made his debut at Carnegie Hall in 2006. He performs for the Congressional Medal of Honor Foundation and his voice has been heard on over 160 films, TV shows and commercials.
Amerson captured the room’s attention and applause with his singing. He lauded the work of World Vision and encouraged the audience to share God’s grace lavishly. Then Walsh spoke.
“I’ve seen the difference World Vision makes,” she said. “We are given the opportunity to impact the destiny of children, and who knows if one of them may become president of their country.”
During Walsh’s years with Women of Faith, 240,000 children were sponsored through World Vision at the well-attended conferences.
Walsh also spoke about painful journeys of her life which included her father becoming violent after suffering a brain aneurism, covering her shame of feeling unworthy by over-functioning in Christian ministry, time in a psychiatric hospital, and being asked to be part of the Women of Faith team where she could share her story, and God’s healing.
“It’s not about me getting it right, it’s about Jesus making us right,” she said. “I’ve come to discover that sometimes God will use the most broken people to achieve some of His most beautiful work. God can do amazing things with a broken life if you give Him all the pieces. Your history does not dictate your destiny.”
“Your brokenness is a far better bridge to other people than pretend-wholeness will ever be,” she continued. “Each one of us has a story, a life we are gifted with and part of your story can unlock broken secret places in someone else’s life. I don’t care how old you are, if you have a pulse it’s not too late to live out your destiny….You don’t have to walk out of here thinking you’ll be a better Christian, just let God love you. It’s all grace, His amazing grace.”
Walsh ended by singing “Amazing Grace,” which inspired a standing ovation.
For further information, see womenofvisionorangecounty.org.
Contact Cindy at [email protected]