For the first time in the Northeastern Nebraska District, Easter was celebrated by having a preaching series fully created and presented by women every Sabbath during the month of April. It was titled “I Have Seen the Lord.”

The idea and title for the series came after reflections by  Pastor Sandro Sandoval on the book of John. “This is how I imagine things happened on that Sunday”, says  Sandoval. “The door was probably still swinging open when Mary Magdalene entered the room and screamed with great excitement: ‘I HAVE SEEN THE LORD!’ That was the first evangelistic cry after Jesus’ resurrection, and it came out of the mouth of a brave young woman who was ready to serve Jesus while everyone else was hiding.”

Five women of diverse backgrounds and ages were invited to share the gospel in their own words and experience. The series started on April 2 with Cristina Mendina-Muñoz’s presentation. She invited everyone to listen to God and to each other.

This was a new experience for most of the presenters. “I was nervous, and I was not sure if I would do it,” shares Tidalire Lindani, a high school student from Norfolk. “But when I got behind the pulpit, I had a confidence that I didn’t know where it came from. I think it was God.”

For Taurayi Oberhauser, a nurse and Tidalire’s mom, this invitation was sacred. “I felt that it was God’s call for me to preach and whatever the Lord asks me to do I will humbly obey,” she says. Her sermon titled “Turning Points” reflected on the transformational power of God seen in critical moments.

Perla Catalán, a newly admitted student at Southern Adventist University, was aware of the magnitude of this challenge. “When Pastor Sandro asked me to speak at church, I wanted to say No. Public speaking is my biggest fear. Even though it was scary, I learned a lot about myself. It was a rewarding experience, and I am thankful for the opportunity.”

“I was surprised and a little scared when my dad asked me to preach,” shares Stella Sandoval, an 8-year-old from Columbus, Nebraska. “I liked being able to make my own sermon and organize my own ideas. When I stood there, I felt nervous but after a while I felt better especially after people laughed a little. Some even said that my sermon was ‘short and sweet’. My dad (Pastor Sandoval) says they have never said that about his sermons,” says Stella with a big laugh.

Representatives from the University of Nebraska, Norfolk Public Schools, First United Congregational Church, Immaculata Monastery and others came on the last Sabbath of the series to celebrate the church’s diversity and empowering of every church member.