Shake off your dust; rise up, sit enthroned, Jerusalem. Free yourself from the chains on your neck, Daughter Zion, now a captive. Isaiah 52:2
OUR MISSION & VISION
Dare to BravelyRise
The mission of BravelyRise is to engage, equip, and empower women to discover their true identity & bravely RISE up to fulfill their purpose.
The power of the story is one that has been documented throughout the course of history and has the power to transcend cultural, geographical, and racial barriers. However, in this age, women struggle to find a place to develop, understand, and then gain power from their own stories. Too often as women, we are locked in by ideas and lies that the world has told us about ourselves. BravelyRise is interested in reclaiming transparency, not as a tool to flaunt but as a tool to be used in freedom. We do this by bravely sharing our stories and in turn teaching other women the power of their own stories. We will push away the lies of the world and embrace the truth of whom God says we are. In doing this we seek to work in partnership with Jesus to heal and empower women across the city, the country, and the world.
Our model starts with the BRAVELYRISE retreats. Over the course of 3 days, a cohort of twelve women will come together for an immersive writing, healing, and releasing experience. Each day will contain Lie to Truth sessions designed to help women confront the lies that have been spoken over them and release them to take on their true identity in Christ. Over the course of the 3 days, women will also produce an original essay that may be submitted to our yearly publication: BravelyRise, the Anthology.
ENGAGE THROUGH SPEAKERS
Speakers are women who are committed and ready to share their stories with other women. During the first stage of each session, speakers will share their powerful stories of breaking free from the lie that attempted to trap them. Speakers are the first to show their bravery and model for the cohort the power and value of sharing their lies and their truth.
EQUIP THROUGH DISCUSSION LEADERS
The second part of our sessions includes diving into thought provoking discussions on identity, purpose, pain and truth. The cohort is broken up into smaller groups with discussion leaders and led deeper into examining their lives through the lens of Jesus. This stage is essential in preparation for the writing stage.
EMPOWER THROUGH STORYTELLERS
The final stage of the session includes helping women to release their story through writing an essay about a specific lie they are leaving behind and the truth that they are now carrying. Women are guided through this process throughout the sessions from brainstorming to the final stages of editing.
OUR MISSION IN ACTION: PARTICIPANT TESTIMONIALS
"Three days of non-stop truth, honesty and love. Three days of seeing inside the heart of other women, three days of realizing we are not alone and that this isn't the end of a beautiful story, it's the beginning. There will be so many other women holding pens to paper, there will be new stories and new friendships and how good is our God that we were given the chance to create the foundation."
Crystal Santana, Cohort 1
“RISE was three days of allowing myself to be vulnerable and begin a healing process. It was realizing I am not alone on this journey, that I have sisters that can walk alongside me while on this journey. Though our stories might be different the pain that we all experience is the same. All the pain and every frustration I had been carrying around with me, I finally found a place where I could leave it. My pain and my past does not define me.”
Natasha Douglas, Cohort 1
"Never had I delved so deep into the impact the lies of the enemy had in my life, but more than that, never had I shared the vivid details with anyone. The power of these sessions is nothing short of God's hand. It is a chain breaking move of God and I can not wait to see the impact our fearless women will soon begin to make as we pour out into the next generation and beyond."
Bernice Alvarez, Cohort 1
"There is something special about coming together as God-fearing women. There is something painful, yet so beautiful about being vulnerable for the Glory of God. By opening up, God exposed things I didn't know were there and I'm grateful RISE was the vehicle He used to accomplish this. Sharing my story during RISE's first cohort began a healing process that I was not expecting to leave with. I went into RISE with expectations of seeing its impact on the other women in the room... I left with that and so much more. I now see the value in sisterhood. I realized how essential it is to do this walk with people who constantly lift each other up."
Natalia Ramirez, Cohort 1
"RISE has been such a blessing. God put me in a place where I was allowed to be vulnerable, where I was allowed to be human and just let me emotions flow freely. By being obedient and sharing these painful, not so pretty weaknesses, came strength. He blessed me with courage, boldness, and most importantly family. A sisterhood that I know I can trust, fall back on and call at any moment and can count on. It has been a stepping stone that has helped, and continues to help, me continue walking confidently towards my calling."
Steph Jimenez, Cohort 1
Charisse, Cohort 2
I came into RISE with slightly nervous anticipation, because I didn't fully know what to expect out of the experience. What I gained in the end was a transformational 3 days that I didn't know I needed. RISE was a gateway for me to dig deeper into my emotions than I was prepared for - or even knew I could - and having a room full of women to support me in that exploration meant more than I have the words for. RISE meant healing, being comfortable getting uncomfortable, feeling safe to release years of built up tension, both verbally and on paper, and exploring a new sense of purpose. I'm forever grateful for it.
Kathleen, Cohort 2
RISE was an absolutely life-changing experience for me! I had the privilege to become part of a community of strong, caring, and vulnerable women. With their support, I learned to dig deeper and to not settle for familiar insecurities. Through the moments of laughter and tears, I saw how many women had similar stories to mine. Knowing that I don't struggle alone is such an empowering feeling and I'll always be grateful for the opportunity to connect with this incredible group. RISE has given me a strong foundation to build on as I continue to grow closer to God and His plan for my life.
Arlene, Cohort 2
Rise has forever changed my life. It has set me on a course to forever conquer against the lies that have been spoken to and over me. I'm learning I'm free to be me and God loves me with such a fierce passion that He wouldn't let me stay where He found me
Cynthia, Cohort 2
Rise was a huge memorable experience! To be around such beautiful women who are all striving to continue their walk in faith was such a blessing. I signed up for Rise knowing that I was in for some spiritual awakening but I didn't think I was going to be capable of digging as deep as I did. What I loved about the retreat was that even though I didn't know these women that well, by the second cohort I felt like they all were my sisters. To be able to shed tears and be vulnerable around strangers, yet still feel safe and loved is something truly special. I think what was challenging for me was confronting all of the things I've been trying to avoid, and allowing God to finally heal me. But by the end of it all I felt so free! This is something I believe all women should partake in at some point of their lives, ESPECIALLY young girls. Rise was a reminder that I am strong, intelligent, worthy, beautiful and most importantly chosen!
Yoli, Cohort 2
RISE was a way of learning more about the lies that have been placed on me and turning them into truths. The thing that stood out to me the most was that everyone has a story to share and that we can all be there for one another in ways we never thought about. The most surprising thing about the RISE program is that within only 3 Saturdays I came out with a new set of Friends/Sisters who will be there for me no matter what. The most challenging part about the program was facing my story and sharing it with the group. RISE is definitely worth participating in and I highly recommend it
Alexis, Cohort 2
Rise was one of the most transformative milestones I’ve experienced in my 28 years. Before, during and after the sessions, it has become increasingly evident that God used Rise as a vessel for change in my life. The time to come to our sessions were well worth it and developing authentic relationships is something I absolutely needed. Every woman I know can absolutely relate and be transformed by the topics discussion in the Rise workbook.
Nilsa, Cohort 2
When I first heard about RISE, I knew in my heart it was meant for me and the timing couldn't be any more perfect. God knows, he listens! I always had God in my heart & at this time I yearned for more. He gave me so much more than I expected. I needed something to help me release years of pain I didn't understand or couldn't let go of but also how to build the strength to let go of the memories that kept me in a dark path so that I can start moving forward with my life. RISE gave me hope as HARD as it was, every emotion put into it was absolutely worth it. Whether it was tears, sadness, feeling angry or even wanting to run out a few times just because it was just in too deep. It became normal to feel out of place with so much tension coming from having to think of our pain or how can we ever forgive or let go. I not only learned from RISE but I gained sisters and without them I wouldn't have felt the weight that has been lifted off me. I no longer feel like a prisoner to my past. God has blessed me & for that I am forever grateful! I look forward to continuing this journey with God as he continues his plans for me. With full confidence I can say I know I am Worthy, I am a Fighter & I am a Survivor. God knew just what I needed and gave me the Chance to Bravely RISE. Thank you Maxine!
Maria Teresa, Cohort 3
When we are hurting we tend to isolate ourselves and embrace the victim identity. Bravely Rise taught me that there is power in writing and speaking our stories to other women who are also coming from a place of hurt and pain. Together and with God’s grace, we became empowered, no longer victims but now overcomers.
Yazmin, Cohort 3
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Natalie, Cohort 4
“The Bravely Rise Retreat was a great experience! It was amazing to hear the redemptive work of God. To hear the stories of many beautiful women who overcame some hurdles in life and yet can smile with the light of Jesus is proof of the extraordinary work God has and continues to do in and through their lives.
It’s amazing how a clear mind can show the layers of healing. God is healing! It was truly a time and the beginning of a healing journey for me!
Eugenia, Cohort 4
“Bravely Rise was probably one of the most courageous and best experiences I did this year. I went into it broken and I came out of it a brand new person. It was like a weight had been lifted off my shoulders. It was such a powerful experience. It was amazing to hear all of these brave women’s stories and to hear everything they had been through. Despite all that they continued to be healed, used and blessed by God. I will forever be grateful for this retreat because it began my journey of healing and loving myself. I will always remember God’s promises for me. I encourage anyone feeling broken, lost or in need of healing in anyway to do this retreat. You will not regret it.
Mylene, Cohort 4
It was beyond a blessing to be able to be a part of the Bravely Rise retreat. If I could go to every single one in the future, I would! I truly believe that every single woman should attend this life-changing cohort. It will heal you in ways you never thought imaginable. I walked in with women I didn’t know and left with a sisterhood and a bond that’s unlike any other. In a nutshell, that next Monday morning, I woke up from the cohort back in my bed at home and felt a peace that I have NEVER felt EVER in my whole life. The best part about that is that it hasn’t gone away. I’ve only grown to have more of that peace in my life and I know it’ll continue to grow. This experience has changed me in so many ways for the better. God is beyond good and I’m forever grateful for Maxine, all my new sisters, and this once-in-a-lifetime life-changing opportunity!
Ana, Cohort 4
We repeat what we don’t repair. Rise forced me to dissect myself and face my deepest fears in order to reach true healing. It reminded me that I’m not in this alone. Every woman has a story but God has the final word. It’s a powerful encounter I wish every woman has the opportunity to experience!
Martha, Cohort 4
I so badly needed the Bravely Rise Retreat. I needed time away from NYC to hear from God and gain clarity, more than ever before.
What I didn’t expect was to feel so loved at the same time by the women attending the retreat who I barely knew and by God. I thought I just needed answers but He decided I needed to be still and be loved. Love leads to healing.
Grateful for the women from Bravely Rise Retreat!
Josephine, Cohort 4
When I first decided to tell my story for RISE I had great reservations. I thought to myself, 'My story is not a big deal. No one is going to connect with it.' But then I looked into the faces of these brave ladies and saw tears rolling down their cheeks as I spoke. I began to understand that my story does matter. My story can make a difference in someone's life. It has been a true blessing. It has been a place that is safe, a place to tell your story and a place to be heard