With a slight smile, Bishop T.D. Jakes looked out over the thousands of women gathered for the Women Thou Art opening service at Megafest inside the American Airlines Center. By plane, by train, by car, by bus loads more than 85,000 men, women and children had come for the five day event. Some from other continents and other countries.
“Some of you got here by the skin of your teeth,” Bishop Jakes said to the crowd a few minutes later, after being introduced by his wife Serita Jakes.
Earlier that day, I joined them. “Welcome to Megafest” said four jubilant women, as I walked into baggage claim at Dallas airport. They were proud members of Bishop Jakes 300,000 congregation at Potter’s House. After working all day they came to the airport to make attendees feel a part of the family. I smiled and instantly felt at ease. God was in this experience.
Megafest is designed to make every person in your family feel right at home. MegaKids Zone offered fun and inspiration for kids, while ManPower hosted programing to uplift our men. The renowned Women Thou Art Loose track delivered transformation for women busy pouring into others to pour back into ourselves, the world’s life creators and nurturers.
At the opening service, Bishop Jakes reminded attendees God will fill all our needs - but first we must acknowledge them. “What God dislikes most is pride,” Bishop Jakes shared. “You are here hungry but saying you are fine.”
And he was all on my toes. I realized I was a blessing hoarder. I had subconsciously been trying to be satisfied with all God had blessed with me with thus far, including healing me of cancer. Bishop opened my eyes that God wanted us to be grateful while still asking for all the desires of our hearts and acknowledging that we need God and hunger for more.
The best-selling author and entrepreneur looked out at the thousands gathered and thought back to when he had a congregation of 100 and rented a local high school. “Wouldn’t it had been nice if I had this years ago when I was younger and stronger?” he asked. “God didn’t give me this place then, because I was not ready to fill it.” As we ask for more, we also must trust God knows what’s best and has to build our foundation before filling us with our blessing.
Bishop Jakes reminded us that two fish and five loaves was enough to fed 5,000 people, once the bread was broken. “Your blessing is in your breaking,” he shared.
Throughout the week, famous faces including MC Lyte, LisaRaye, Boris Kodjoe and wife Nicole Ari Parker got honest with attendees. Megafest also hosted the International Faith and Film Festival with speakers including Tamar Braxton, Devon Franklin, Erika Bennett of Allied Moxy and Lateef Samor of Kollide TV. ESSENCE Network alum and CEO of Egami Consulting Teneshia Jackson Warner hosted a session from The Dream Project which reminded attendees to nurture and grow your dreams. “Don’t hold God small,” she reminded the crowd. “Dream big and go get it. The world is waiting on you.”
For the Empowerment series, ESSENCE hosted the Putting Ourselves First panel with Essence.com columnist Felicia Scott, fertility coach Gessie Tug, life coach Michelle Hargrove and financial expert Patrice Washington. I had the honor of serving as moderator as these dynamic women shared the importance of taking care of self, which allows us to be great servants.
Megafest is a transformative experience. I was reminded that God wants us to have all the desires of our heart. We just have to have the courage to ask and faith to sustain the journey.