Lavish Hope is about finding inspiration during a time when there are so many challenges, especially for marginalized communities and peoples. On this podcast you’ll uncover the kernel of resilience, the mustard seed of faith, that helps you get back to leading faithfully.
Through our featured stories of resilience and overcoming, we hope you find a shared space where leaders can talk about the hard things. We hope you are shaped and transformed by the story. And most importantly, we hope you’re drawn into reflecting upon the narrative that is uniquely and wholly your own.
Identity, forgiveness and strength with Gerri Yoshida
In this special episode of Lavish Hope, we focus on solidarity with the AAPI (Asian American & Pacific Islander) Community. Host Liz Testa is honored to be in conversation with Gerri Yoshida, a third-generation Japanese-American, NYC-based actress and church leader, who is passionate about dismantling racism in transformative ways. Over the past two years, God has called her to courageously use her voice and family stories to engage Asians and Non-Asians alike in deepening their understanding of the root issues and discovering opportunities for justice and healing. Gerri’s compelling, heartbreaking, and hopeful story offers an inside look at the power of forgiveness and living into God's calling with courage and purpose at any stage of life.
Irma Williams' incredible journey: "Blessed is she who Believed"
Irma Williams went from being a high school dropout who was navigating addiction, a challenging health diagnosis, homelessness, and despair, to embracing God's love and plan for her life. Today she is the director of social services at Barrier Free Living, an organization that supports survivors of domestic violence and veterans who have disabilities. She is a proud Afro-Latina originally from Guatemala, a mother of four, a leader in her church, and a beloved child of God. She shares her story with Rev. Liz Testa in the latest episode of Lavish Hope.
We get knocked down, but we get up again: Lessons on resilience with Rev. Leslie Carpenter Bolt
This episode of Lavish Hope first releases as the Lenten journey enters Holy Week, moving towards Easter. Rev. Leslie Carpenter Bolt, a radio show host, wife, mom and pastor, has a powerful story to share about what it means to journey with Jesus in the most challenging times of life, and how it’s possible to experience deep healing and liberation as a result. Leslie shares candidly about her experiences with an abusive marriage, perinatal depression and an unexpected pregnancy, alongside the joy of finding true love and a new calling as the mom of a son with special needs. Her pastor’s heart shines brightly as she offers insights for how others can navigate similar situations, holding fast to the truth of our faith: that God will meet us in our most shadowed times and bring redemption and new life.
Michelle Loyd-Paige, PhD
Welcome to Lavish Hope, Season 3, I’m Liz Testa. It’s Women’s History Month, and for this episode, I’m delighted to welcome fellow-podcaster, diversity consultant, preacher, professor, founder of Preach Sista!, a nonprofit that helps people deepen their faith and care for their souls and co-author of the recently released book Diversity Playbook: Recommendations and Guidance for Christian Organizations. Michelle shares some of her journey as a woman of color in the church and academia, and the many ways God has called her to overcome barriers, live freely and fully into her gifts and help others do the same. You won’t want to miss her reflections on persistence, understanding that we are following God’s call and not our own, and the importance of refilling one’s tank, especially when engaged in diversity work and what she describes as the Lily Pad effect. You will leave this session inspired and hopeful, with new insights and tools to apply to your own life. Let’s jump in!
The Movement Effect: With Grace Ruiter and Liz Testa
It’s Women’s History Month, and for this episode, I’m excited to do things a little differently, and be in conversation with my colleague and friend, Grace Ruiter, co-founder and overseer of Faithward, a digital discipleship space that currently reaches 50 to 100,000 people each month and is the home of this podcast. Grace is a dynamic next gen leader, longtime member of our Women’s Transformation and Leadership guiding coalition - and quite honestly, a key catalyzer in our ministry to encourage, equip and empower women in their God-given gifts and callings AND to help create and strengthen healthy environments where men and women can lead together, freely and fully. She is also passionate about helping folks wrestle with their faith, their doubts and their fears so that they can overcome them and find meaning and purpose. In this episode, we go back and forth interviewing each other as we share pieces of our own journeys of hope, resilience and overcoming, especially as they relate to being part of a collaborative, Holy Spirit-led ministry movement that, despite the challenges, continues to grow and flourish. Along the way, you’ll get an indepth peek behind the scenes of the #sheiscalled/#ellaesllamada movement to celebrate and embrace the gifts and callings of women in the church and beyond! Let’s jump in!
Welcome Back Jael Altamirano Serrano
Welcome to Lavish Hope, Season 3! In episode 2, I welcome back Jael Serrano Altamirano, a wife and mom, radio host, non-profit business owner and pastor in southern California, who joined me one year ago to share how she stayed hopeful and resilient in the midst of an ongoing journey to see her husband, Allan, be released from ICE detention. Two months after we spoke, the miraculous news came and since then, Jael and Allan have been “in the process” of navigating life, ministry and the amazing possibilities God has laid on their hearts. In this episode we get to hear from both Jael and Allan to share pieces of their journey. To put this in context, they had been married for a less than a month when their world turned over, and as Allan so poignantly shares, nothing in his life up to that point could prepare him for what 20 months of detention would be like. Surrounded by strong faithful parents and supporters, this couple overcame unbelievable odds, even founding a non profit to help other detainees and their families. In the 11 months since Allan’s release, they have continued to lean into their callings, build their ministries, process and heal, and (this is the best part) grow their family. You don’t want to miss this multi-faceted episode full of rich, very real inspiration on how to stay hopeful, purposeful and healthy in the midst of adversity and beyond.
Have really enjoyed each podcast. Enjoy hearing people’s stories and the excellent takeaways to bring into my own life.
This was very hopeful and love the guests