The WORTHY Women Recovery program took their first steps toward expanding their reach in the community with No Secrets, No Shame! at the Clarion Inn in Michigan City on Saturday morning.
According to founder Sonshine Troche, WORTHY Women’s first-ever big event was geared toward “learning to love ourselves the way God loves us – so it’s God centered.”
The organizational success was due in part to the helpfulness of Clarion Inn and Phantom Technology Solutions, who worked with the group to set up sound and lights.
The purpose of the event was to help spread the WORTHY Women mission that focuses on helping women who have been incarcerated and addicted find purpose in their lives. It came about through some of Troche’s own life struggles.
“I’m a former addict, and when people ask me how I got sober, I just tell them, ‘You know what, someone challenged me to ask God to do his will in my life, and I thought, "Well, I don’t know about that, I kind of like my will,” and so about three months later, some things happened: my best friend killed herself, I was on my way to prison, and I just thought, I need to get serious about my life,’” Troche said. “I thought if God’s love worked for me, it would work for others. I think everybody deserves a second chance, and I believe there’s people that can heal and that want to heal, so myself and my team are there for them.”
That team consists of people from all over the community who help the WORTHY Women cause succeed in bettering the lives of women seeking help.
“I believe in the WORTHY Women cause because everybody deserves a chance,” Board Member Angie Lamken said. “It doesn’t matter, we could’ve – I could’ve – gone down the wrong road at any point in my life, so WORTHY Women is for giving women a leg up instead of going back into their own environments where they go back into the bad habits.”
No Secrets, No Shame! was a way for the WORTHY Women crew to get their message out to the community and people who they may not have reached otherwise.
“I’ve been mentoring female inmates for a long time and in mentoring some of my Christian friends and just talking with some of my Christian sisters, I’ve just realized, there’re struggles. All of us are struggling, and a lot of us don’t know how to let that out, we don’t know how to communicate with one another, we think we’re the only one’s struggling with something,” Troche said. “So I thought, ‘Hey, let’s put an event together, a Christian women’s event, God’s love-centered, and have everybody come.’ So here we are today.”
LaRonda Campbell, one of the guest speakers for the event, became involved through her friendship with Sonshine and many other women who were speaking at the event.
“I can’t be Sonshine, but I can help in my own way,” Campbell said. “God has given me the gift of teaching, so I’m here using my gift and growing, but also helping WORTHY Women.”
She spoke of the secrets of transformation and issues like fear, a lack of identity and commitment struggles that keep women from strengthening their relationship with God.
“There’s a lot of women who just need that lifeline to help them come out of their situation – whether they’re trying to get out of jail, trying to get off of drugs, trying to know who they are, trying to know their calling, just to know they can do what God has told them to do – but they don’t know how; they’re afraid,” Campbell said.
Campbell believes that WORTHY Women, is a vehicle for God to reach the women of LaPorte County and surrounding areas, a mission that was continued with No Secrets, No Shame.
“I am excited for the women that came, that they were able to pass denominational barriers and just come and flow into their spiritual life and their personal growth to come together as one, as women,” Campbell said. “Watch out for WORTHY Women, because they’re going to do great things in the community.”
Troche said she plans to continue the event annually and work toward expanding it, as well as look into hosting other, similar events for the women she wishes to aid.
“If they don’t learn a lot, that’s okay, as long as they realize how valued they are by God; and that, again, we’re all struggling with something; if they just learn that and learn how to deal with it just through being able to feel good about what they do have in their life, who they are in their relationship to God," she explained.
Along with the WORTHY Women team, four different ministries were represented at No Secrets, No Shame! to show their support for the cause.
“We just hope that people in the community, in LaPorte County, would realize it’s about caring about each other, its about loving each other and not my-church-is-better-than-yours or my-church-does-this,” Troche said. “At the end of the day it’s about one God, one Jesus, and just one community loving God and loving others the way He wants us to," Troche closed.