Christi Johnson’s doctor was a family friend.
So when he made a face at her ultrasound, Johnson — then pregnant with her daughter Hannah — thought he was joking.
But he wasn’t.
The doctor saw small spots floating in Hannah’s spinal fluid which meant she had an infection on her brain.
Johnson would later give birth to a 6-pound, 11-ounce baby girl who looked so perfect that even nurses wondered if she might have been misdiagnosed.
But she wasn’t.
Tests indicated Hannah would be legally blind, wouldn’t hear well and might not live long. Such results could prove jarring for anyone. Yet in a YouTube video, Johnson shares a strong faith.
“I knew that God was going to take care of us, that she was a gift from him and that we would be OK,” she said.
On Nov. 10, area residents can learn more of Johnson’s story at the Nebraska Christian Women’s Conference in West Point. The eighth annual event is set from 9 a.m. to 12:15 p.m., with lunch following in the Nielsen Community Center, 200 Anna Stalp Ave. Doors open at 8:30 a.m.
The theme of the 2018 event is “Finding Strength in Your Struggle.”
There is no charge for the event, but a freewill offering will be accepted.
Women are encouraged to register before Oct. 27 for door prize eligibility. Free nursery will be provided for children ages 0-4. Please RSVP with names and ages of children.
Faith-filled fun and activities will be provided for children ages 5-11.
Sara Trimble, whose husband Aaron is pastor of West Point Family Worship Center, coordinates the annual conference. She believes women will benefit by attending.
“As women, we’re all busy. It doesn’t matter what age you are,” Trimble said. “Life is busy and I think it’s important to focus on what life is all about — and it’s all about Jesus and our relationship with him. This is a perfect opportunity to break away from the busyness and take the time and recharge and refocus.”
Trimble sees the benefit of women ministering to each other.
“We understand one another. There’s so much we can identify with in one another. It’s a great blessing to be able to do that locally,” she said.
An average of 130 women attend the event each year. Women have come from Grand Island, Kearney, Fremont, Omaha, Lincoln, Norfolk and Sioux City and Council Bluffs, Iowa.
“When word gets out, they’re willing to travel to something like this in a small town,” she said.
Johnson, the keynote speaker, is from Russellville, Ark. She is a wife, mother, assistant pastor and author.
Trimble said Johnson was recommended by a pastor friend from Arkansas. “He thought she would be a great fit,” Trimble said.
In the video, Johnson talks about Hannah —who’s now 10 years old. She cannot see and is fed through a feeding tube.
“Through our story, God has taught me the true meaning of love and what it means to have a selfless love, how to put others first, how to care for somebody like he cares for us — and it’s made me a better person,” she said in the video.
Every day is difficult.
“I truly believe with everything within me that if I didn’t have the word hidden in my heart that I would not have the strength to face each day. But I know that when we are weak, we are strong and when I have a weak moment I begin to quote, ‘I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me,’ ‘My help comes from the Lord’ and he begins to strengthen me,” she said.
“Each day I have to get new strength and new mercy that I only can get from the Lord,” she added. “… He’ll give us the strength we need to fulfill each task he has for us, whatever it may be.”
Singer and songwriter Rachel Scott of Omaha will lead the worship for the event.
Scott has partnered with non-profit organizations such as Compassion International and Love 146, a ministry committed to rescuing children out of human trafficking.
She’s also partnered with Rachel’s Challenge. Darrell Scott, the founder and president of that organization, asked the Nebraska woman to write a song in honor of his daughter and produce a theme song they could use within their high school assembly presentations nationwide.
“Rachel’s Anthem” is a song dedicated to Rachel Joy Scott, the first person killed in the Columbine tragedy.
As a singer and performer, the Omaha woman has shared the concert stage with artists including: Hillsong London, Sara Groves, Rebecca St. James and Michael W. Smith, her biographical information states.
Various items will be available for purchase during the women’s conference.
To register for the event, call Trimble at 402-922-1665 or leave a text or voice mail with your name, address, phone number and names and ages of children you plan to bring or email that information to: email@example.com.