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.
Jael Serrano Altamirano on Overcoming in the Immigration System
Join Jael Serrano Altamirano and Rev. Liz Testa as they discuss what overcoming has looked like in the face of immigration and detainment for loved ones.
Jael is grateful that God has blessed her with many talents; from teaching music, to starting a makeup line, to creating YouTube videos, to hosting a radio show, to serving as a youth pastor, to being a mom (her favorite), she does her best to use all of them. She has now started a new organization called UNITY, a nonprofit that helps families and loved ones detained by immigration. She is also a full-time seminary student. Join Jael and Rev. Liz Testa as they discuss what overcoming has looked like in the face of immigration and detainment for loved ones around her.
Rachel Lohman on Hope in Grief
Rachel Lohman is the founder of hopeagaincollective.com. Hope Again Collective shares the stories of women who have lost babies through handmade earrings, and a part of every pair sold gives the gift of hope to women in grief through tangible grief/self-care resources. She is a former Miss America title holder and broadcast journalist. Join Rachel and Rev. Liz Testa as they discuss navigating challenges in the media, the pain and loss of miscarriage, and gaining resilience by following God’s voice into new ministry avenues. Note that this episode includes discussion of miscarriage, which could be traumatic for some listeners.
Race, Resilience, and Writing with Rev. Donna Olivia Owusu-Ansah
Join Rev. Liz Testa and Rev. Donna Olivia Owusu-Ansah as they discuss race and resilience, artistry, creativity and writing. Reverend Donna Olivia Owusu-Ansah is a preacher, chaplain, teacher, artist, writer, thinker, and dreamer who loves to study the Word of God, encourage others, and worship God. Currently, Rev. Owusu-Ansah works as a chaplain at Haven Hospice located at JFK Medical Center (Hackensack Meridian Health) in Edison, NJ, and is an associate minister at the New Hope Baptist Church in Metuchen, NJ. She is the author of Loves…Regardless: Forty Devotions Inspired by Womanist Creative Thought and Theology. She also writes about ministry, family, and life on her website: www.reverenddonnao.com.
Vanessa Pollock Talks Resilience and Faith in Marketplace Leadership
Join Vanessa Pollock and Rev. Liz Testa as they discuss resilience in business while working to remain faithful to God in marketplace leadership.
The last 16 years have brought success to both Vanessa and her clients, as her team has negotiated and closed new housing for hundreds and hundreds of families, amounting to over $350,000,000 in sales. Vanessa is a Keller Williams University-approved trainer, cultural ambassador for Keller Williams, and the leader of the #1 real estate team for Maplewood/South Orange area in New Jersey. Pollock Properties Group has raised and donated over $225,000 in the last 7+ years to local charities, community events, global initiatives, and the Pollock family's very own www.VanessaPollockMusicInitiative.com.
Lauralyn Vasquez on Resilience and Bouncing Back
Join Rev. Liz Testa and Lauralyn Vasquez as they talk about finding the resilience to bounce back from setbacks and overcoming challenges. Lauralyn Vasquez serves God in a variety of ways, including as a cultural intelligence coach, spiritual director, and school chaplain. Her love for learning about other cultures took root as she got to know a college roommate from Kenya. She also caught the travel bug. And as she moved around the country for work, the excitement of learning about each place strengthened her passion for learning and engaging in different cultures.
Mario Sprouse on Being Faithful in the Arts
Join Mario Sprouse and Rev. Liz Testa as they talk about overcoming by way of the arts and creativity and “trying to make it.” Along the way, they seek to uncover what it means to be faithful to God while following your call. Mario Sprouse is the Arts Ministry Coordinator at Marble Collegiate Church, where he has been a member since 1982, and the Artistic Director of the "Theatre Upstairs-downstairs @ marble." In 2019 he produced "A Light in the Night," the very successful premier production of the company. He is also the author of “Precious & Honored – a Spiritual Handbook for Artists,” which he developed at Marble.