DIVAS for Christ (DIVAS stands for Divinely Inspired Virtuous & Victoriously Anointed Sisters) hosted their first annual Red Heart Luncheon and Self Care Fair on Saturday, February 23rd at Hotel Louisville in support of American Heart Association's Go Red for Women campaign.
Virginia Bradford, registered nurse with the KYANNA Black Nurses Association was the expert speaker. A registered nurse and healthcare advocate, she has been in the community raising awareness of health disparities in the African American community for many years. She reminded everyone to do basic things to prevent heart disease, know their numbers, cholesterol, blood sugar and BMI, and to get regular blood presssure checks and annual screenings.
Three panelists, Ann Kitchens (Zion Baptist Church), Benetta Hawkins (JCPS teacher), and Barbara Smith (St. Stephen Church) shared their stories of triumph with heart disease. Barbara Smith, in the cream blouse, is the Prayer Coordinator for my Sunday school class, Learning About Jesus. She talked about the role stress played in her illness. She habitually put the needs of family members and others before her own. Here, as we presented gift baskets to all four speakers, I am commenting on God's presence in the midst of her trial. Last month, she learned of having a heart attack upon arriving at the hospital for a unrelated scheduleded procedure. She had heart surgery that day, received a pacemaker and was in Sts. Mary's and Elizabeth Hospital for two weeks. Wasn't God good to have placed at the hospital right when she needed to be there!
Ann Kitchens reminded everyone not to overlook heart disease in their family history. She began to get tired and short of breath after walking short distances, but delayed seeing the doctor. Although two relatives died of heart attacks, she attributed her symptoms to just needing to lose weight. Benetta Hawkins, seated on the far end, spoke of discovering she had heart problems after giving birth. Heart disease is no respector of age as it is the number one killer of women in the United States.
Attendees received free health screenings, and health assessments by Norton's Healthcare. Vendors from Saba ACE, Ardyss, A&B Fashion Jewelry, Symmetry, Smart Electronics Zone, and Jesus Saves Ministries shared information about their products. I brought along Christ-centered custom-made gift baskets. These baskets make great conference gifts for speakers, door prizes, birthday gifts, or comfort and care gifts for the sick-n-shut-in, members in hospital, and nursing home.
Founded by Rev. Altonnette Hawkins, Pastor, Shawnee Christian Church, DIVAS for Christ Ministries is an interdenominational Christian sisterhood that focuses on self-care awareness and support, promotes nurturing and supportive siter-to-sister relationships, celebrates the gifts and talents to build and edify the Body of Christ in churches, communities, and in the world through worship, mission and community outreach. For additional information, log onto divasforchrist.org
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