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Lean In and Lead Strong

April 20, 2021, started as a normal day with a 30 minute drive to post. This spring, I agreed to serve on the Leadership Selection Team for Protestant Women Of the Chapel (PWOC) after I prayed and fasted to seek where God wanted me to serve. Coming out of the COVID pandemic, I was certain God was calling me to serve and lead on my local PWOC board. As I headed to the post to meet with the team, I prayed and asked God if I was to serve as President. We had received four applications, but we were still waiting for someone to apply for President.

The leader of the team opened us in prayer and we joined with her to interview each applicant. One applicant applied for Administration. During our interview, our third member asked her a question that changed my life. “Why aren’t you applying for President?” She answered, “I need training. I don’t know how to be a President of PWOC.”

After we finished all the interviews, the Leadership Selection Team agreed this young woman should be President but that she needed training. On my drive home, I literally could not sit still. I knew where God wanted me to serve and lead. PWOC local boards needed training for executive board positions. These positions–President, 1st VP Spiritual Life, 2nd VP Program, Financial Liaison, and Administration–work together to lead the weekly meetings and program days. Without training, the richness of PWOC history and the Four Aims can become lost and the ministry suffers. The Four Aims of PWOC are:

1. To LEAD women to Christ.

2. To TEACH women God’s Word.

3. To DEVELOP women’s spiritual gifts.

4. To INVOLVE women in Chapel ministries.

On my way home, I called my husband to tell him about this desire. Then I called a few of my friends to ask for prayer. I wrote an email to the Chief of Chaplains of the Army and the Deputy Chief of Chaplains to ask them to help me start this ministry. With their blessings, I started meeting weekly with a few women. God brought me to the Scripture, “I will make you a light for the nations, that my salvation may reach to the end of the earth.” Isaiah 49:6b. Our discussion led to the adoption of IGNITE, a comprehensive training program to equip and ignite PWOC leaders.

On Saturday, June 6th, 2021, I and three other trainers trained women from four bases: Fort Belvoir, VA, Fort Bragg, NC, Fort Detrick, MD, and Carlisle Barracks, PA. On June 26, 2021, I and one other trainer traveled to Georgia to train women from Fort Stewart and Hunter Army Airfield. The passion and mission God had birthed in me was growing and changing me and the women around me.

We met weekly and gained new team members. God continued to grow us and refine the ministry. In 2022 four of us trained at Fort Belvoir again, Fort Leonard Wood in Missouri, 7SFG in Florida, and Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in Arizona. Each time we trained, God confirmed His call on my life to reach the ends of the earth through training at military bases worldwide.

In April 2023, I and three other team members traveled to Germany to train women at a leadership retreat and then women at Spangdahlem Air Force Base. We are looking forward to training at Fort Belvoir again, and any other base that asks. His calling has changed how I see the world and His plan for me. God is calling me to lean in and lead strong to reach Air Force and Navy bases; any base that needs training.

I thought my calling would be to serve on the local board. But God… His plan includes traveling and touching women across the services. His calling is still pushing me forward and changing my heart. This current chapter of my life could be called “lean in and lead strong.” He is calling me to lean in by spending time with Him and to lead strong as Satan attacks at every turn. Jesus gave us the Great Commission in Matthew 28:

"Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age." Matthew 28:19-20

As I lean in, I know that God is with me to the end of the age. He is calling me to teach women around the world and to show them His love. What is He calling you to do?

Photo by meriç tuna on Unsplash

1 Comment

Kelli Baker
Kelli Baker
Jun 02, 2023

Jennifer, what a powerful testimony! Thank you for sharing. I am encouraged and convicted to lean in where God has called me in this season.


Hi, thanks for stopping by! 

Jennifer Wake is an Army wife, mother of 3 grown children, PWOC board member, teacher, trainer and women’s speaker and writer. 

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