Monday, August 29, 2011

A Night to Remember

Yesterday my dear friend and co-author Pam Stenzel came to Sioux Falls.

Pam and I first met thirteen years ago. As a college sophomore I was exposed to her talk and inspired by her message. Shortly thereafter we met at a Perkins and the trajectory of my life changed. I began working in a local crisis pregnancy center and upon graduation started writing with Pam.

Eleven years of ministry help and curriculum development have passed and now we have our first book together - NOBODY TOLD ME. Being a voice of truth in a culture that perpetuates lies, we've taken actual emails of students questions, comments, and stories to expose lived consequences of sexual sin, provide needed education that many have never heard, and, most importantly, promote the goodness of God's design. Teens, parents, and all who work with youth are totally digging it.

Because we are in two very different seasons of life, Pam and I are rarely in the same place. Geographical distance divides our homes and she travelling the globe speaking to over a half million teens per year while I am leading the life of a young stay at home mom with three beautiful little girls. Our work together is done primarily by phone and email with an occassional trip here and there.

Last night Pam came my direction. Brought to Sioux Falls by Planning Life (crisis pregnancy center), she hit it out of the park to a crowd of many. People vacillated between wiping away tears to knee slapping laughter and lives were changed. Students sat between their parents and as they listened new avenues of communication opened. An area teen MOPS group came and left empowered to make new choices in the future. Educators, doctors, and counselors were empowered with new discussion tools. Youth groups and young dating couples left with much to discuss. And the stories attendees discussed with us....well gut wrenching is not adequate to describe them. Pam rocks and everyone just loved her to pieces.

After Pam finished speaking, we gifted some lucky winners with our book and then we did our first joint book signing. We met so many neat people and I got to reconnect with my favorite nurse who brought her daughter and a high school classmate who came with some girls from her church's youth group. Seriously, the smile was glued on my face!

I praise God for the work Planning Life does in our community and the center's effort to gift people in the area with a positive message. You should all follow the CPC on Facebook to stay "in the know" for future events that are certain to bless you. And, I thank God for bringing Pam into my life. Yes she is the best speaker I have ever heard and yes being her co-author is one of my greatest priveleges, but I count her friendship as one of my greatest blessings. I love that she has a heart for God that always has her prepared for deep, heartfelt spiritual discussions yet her everyday down-to-earth style makes her fun to laugh and hang with. My kids will tell you the same. Pam got a boost in the cool meter, if that is possible, when she brought them a fun connecter, construction straw set yesterday. I'm pretty sure they will be wanting to consume liquids all day. :)

I love her. I love our work. And, as my heart bursts with happiness for the many ways God worked last night, I know this will go down as a night to remember.

Make sure to follow Pam on Facebook to find out when she will be in your community. You won't want to miss her!


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  1. Thank you, both, for sharing with us last night! As a parent, teen mom mentor and teacher, you spoke to every son, daughter, parent, teacher and teen in the audience. The time flew by and I left "filled up" with wisdom, quotes, statistics, stories, and God's Word. Thank you for coming to Sioux Falls.

  2. We had an awesome night and learned so much! Thank you for sharing with us your passion and wisdom! Pam's talk has been a spring board for many discussions this week.
    PS. It was a special delight to see you for a few minutes!


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