God often works in ways we don’t expect. Terri Ponce de Leon’s story is proof. He gave her a vision and called her out from behind a desk and into the lives of women who longed to know their purpose. Along the way, Terri found her purpose too (above right).
Here’s her story.
Several years ago, I helped a family starting a women’s giving circle. At their year-end meeting, I heard how the women in the circle struggled knowing where and how to give. They did not know their purpose and passion for giving. I was burdened, so I brought this to God in prayer.
Soon after, I learned about Women Doing Well Initiatives’ survey. I began to cry when it confirmed my burden that so many women don’t know their purpose. I also cried from fear as I realized that God was calling me out of my comfort zone. The first step was serving as the City Leader for Inspiring Generous Joy (now WDW Signature Event). It wasn’t hard; I like doing events and bringing women together.
After the event, I saw that women really wanted to go deeper. I knew that I was called to take the journey together with them. The foundation president recognized the same thing I did. He heard the testimonies of the women who were moved by the generosity message, and he asked the board to support what God was doing by providing me with administrative support so that I could get out of the office and meet and pray with women face to face.
I found myself very comfortable relying on God to lead me.
One CEO friend shared the message of giving by hosting a generosity retreat. Another is selling her family business and contributing to her donor advised fund to give to Kingdom work. Still another named her real estate business after her two-word purpose statement. I started a Facebook group connecting about 100 women who want to join the generosity conversation.
Igniter Karen Lorenz added, “Without Terri’s guidance, Spirit – sensitive wisdom and most of all friendship, I would not be the generous woman I am today. Generosity has become my mission in life, thanks to Terri’s mentorship.”
It’s hard to measure the ministry I have with women as we walk together. Yet this movement has led to one of the largest gifts we have ever received in Orange County. That is nothing I could have planned!
But I know it’s not me. I just keep saying ‘Yes’ to the Lord and setting up coffee appointments. Conducting Kingdom business is exciting and intimidating. I’m committed to quickly obey what God asks me to do and to trust Him for the outcome. I call on my Women Doing Well friends to pray and coach me. They believe in me.
I discovered my own purpose for generosity, “inspire transformation.” Now I’m living it each day and saying ‘Yes’ to God.