JACKSON TWP. Jennie Allen brought the message from her latest bestselling book, "Nothing to Prove Why We Can Stop Trying So Hard" to the RiverTree Jackson auditorium on Feb. 17. The book tour stop drew more than 1,000 women to hear the author’s message of "No more performing, no more pretending and no more fighting to prove yourself."
The audience was ready to hear that message and more. It was a multi-faceted message when the author was joined on stage by her guests from the International Justice Mission (IJM), a global organization that protects the poor from violence in the developing world.
One of the special guests was Anu George of IJM who shared her story of oppression, slavery and violence she experienced from a young age. Johnna Artzner, communications director at RiverTree, said Jennie Allen is also the founder of an organization called If: Gathering.
"Jennie Allen’s organization is based in Austin, Texas, and it provides tools and resources to equip women to live out their purpose as God created them to do," Artzner said. "The If conferences are held once a year and are broadcast to over 2,200 churches worldwide, the message is multi-generational. When Jennie announced her book tour, we signed up immediately. I contacted her and told her she has to come to Canton. We are used to holding big events here but this one is unusual because it’s an all-female audience."
Allen talked about her deciding to do a bus tour for her latest book which was released on Jan. 31. It’s listed on the bestseller lists for "Publishers Weekly," "Wall Street Journal" and "USA Today."
The audience enjoyed watching a slide show of her showing her bus, which Allen has named "Easy Money." She also shared her stage with representatives from IJM and Noonday Collection. Noonday is an organization that sells jewelry and other fashion accessories made by artisans from around the world.
"I never dreamed of being a writer much less traveling the country on a book tour," Allen told the audience. "God always shows us he’s big enough and powerful enough to use anybody to spread his message. We’re glad all of you have come to hear more about Jesus. We are willing to travel so many miles in the bus because we’re excited about this message of no more performing, no more pretending and no more fighting to prove myself. I have found freedom in admitting I’m not enough, but Jesus is."
Women came from Ohio, Pennsylvania, Indiana, Michigan and Kentucky to hear Allen speak on issues that they could relate. Allie and Victoria Dolan (sisters-in-law) from Canton and members of RiverTree came to find balance and to feel more connected.
"I like the message because it helps add some balance to our busy lives with school, work and family," Allie said.
"We both feel we have nothing to prove to anyone but Christ," Victoria said.
One of the powerful moments of the evening was when George told her story of the oppression, slavery and physcial violence she experienced at a young age. The auditorium went completely silent as she talked of the pain and heartbreak she experienced and how God "slowly and surely fixed me."
There was an after party held with refreshments and Allen signed copies of her book. For more information about Jennie Allen, visit http://jennieallen.com/nothingtoprove/. For more information on IJM, visit http://www.ijm.org/who-we-are. For information on Noonday Collections, visit http://www.noondaycollection.com.