On December 1, hundreds of women gathered to launch the Christmas Season at our "Be Merry" Women's Event. It was an evening of joy, games, shopping, treats and inspiration. Little did these women know what lie ahead in the weeks to come when Ventura and our surrounding communities would be turned upside down by the second largest fire in state history. Several who came to "Be Merry" would lose their homes in the Thomas Fire. Many others would be evacuated, wondering if their homes would survive the flames, living displaced for weeks. And many would jump into action to help their sisters in Christ and anyone else who needed resources and love during this disaster. Those who attended this fun evening had no idea how much they would need the challenge of speaker, Alisa Anderson's words. Alisa shared that "Joy comes from KNOWING...knowing that God sees you and loves you, knowing that God is the main character of your life story, knowing that God's power is made perfect in your weakness and knowing that God is trustworthy." As those who have been affected by the fire have leaned on these truths, joy has peaked through their tears and God has shined through the pain.