Name: Debby Schroeder
Town: Barra do Corda, Maranhão, Brazil
Hostess since: December 2010 (including a 2-year break while in the States to care for my folks). Resumed in June 2017.
Favorite Sweet Monday theme:
It’s a tie between Clutter Auction and Celebrating You (a birthday party for everyone).
What inspired you to start a Sweet Monday in your home?
It was an article in the magazine, Just Between Us, telling about the Sweet Monday ministry and Kim Newlen, the founder. I was on furlough at the time, and the more I read, the faster my heart beat. It was like God was saying “You could do this Debby. It’s what you love to do already.” It just looked and felt doable even though it scared the living daylights out of me.
Timidity and fear have pretty much ruled me most of my life. I tell people it’s the scariest thing I’ve ever loved doing. Another motivator was seeing how weary and overworked so many of the Brazilian women were. There was rarely anything just for them. I wanted to give them a night when they felt loved and valued, could laugh and be rejuvenated, with a scattering of God’s grace and truth mixed in.
What advice would you give a new hostess?
Just trust God with who comes. Even if it’s only one, invest in her. Don’t gauge your success by the numbers. Some of our sweetest times have been with just a small group of women. Also, find someone to help you so you don’t burn out.
How has Sweet Monday influenced your life and the lives around you:
Sweet Monday has influenced my life by allowing me to take this step of faith. I’ve seen God use me in spite of my fear. I totally relate to Moses. But God is bigger, and He has proved it over and over again. He has also opened doors of further opportunity that started in this sweet environment of love and acceptance. And amazingly enough God has raised up a team of young gals who first came as attendees, then came to know the Lord through further studies and a small group in our home and now serve with me to help carry the load. God amazes me with His awesome surprises. I’ve attached a picture of the team around my table at a recent planning session.