I have to share something: When I traveled to the US, I had only booked two conferences, a leadership conference at Gateway Church in Dallas and a women's conference twelve days later, Designed For Life (DFL) in Springfield, Missouri, and I was going to be away for a month.
It felt like a challenge for me, as someone who is used to planning and structuring my days, to leave so much room for spontaneity. Inspired by a YouTube interview with the super entrepreneur Torsten Jansson, I thought it was important to be on site for a longer time to allow things to happen. I wanted to create space for the unexpected and see what doors would open. Not entirely easy when you're accustomed to having everything under control in advance...
On the same day that I met Annabel and Cindi in Dallas Downtown (see previous blog), Sophie Johansson got in touch and welcomed me to her home in Tulsa. It was perfect timing for me as I had to check out from my Airbnb apartment on Thursday morning. Sophie is a wonderful person whom I spoke with for the first time the day before I traveled to Dallas. She checked in on me frequently during my time in Dallas to see how I was doing and if she could assist me with anything. I am completely amazed by her commitment and enthusiasm.
It was with joy that I got in the car with my sights set on Tulsa. The scenery changed along the way, and everything became greener and more lush as I moved northward. I was happy to have my jewelry with me and that I was going to meet Sophie.
Me and Sophie Johansson
On my way between Oklahoma City and Tulsa, I made a detour to Route 66 to refuel. They were playing Dolly Parton loudly over the speakers and I felt like I was in the heart of the USA. After a coffee and an energy bar, I hit the road again. An hour or so later, I arrived in Broken Arrow in Tulsa at Sophie’s place. It was such a delight to get there. She welcomed me with open arms and we had such wonderful days together.
There are many Christians in Tulsa, comparable to Jönköping in Sweden (although Jönköping is much smaller). We visited her church, Victory Church, on Sunday and I had a lovely encounter with the pastor's wife, Ashley Daughterty. She adored the small shepherd's cross!
Ashley Daughterty and me, both with the shepherds cross in different sizes.
Tulsa hosts a large Christian university called Oral Roberts University. I appreciated the beautiful prayer hands statue at the entrance. Specifically, we got to pray for Israel, which had been hit by a horrifying massacre from Hamas just a few days earlier.
During my time in Tulsa, I connected with TBN (Trinity Broadcast Network), a major Christian TV channel. I got the chance to feature a short promotional video for ZOE HOOP during the “red carpet” event at the Dove Awards, where Christian musicians and artists in the USA are honored for their contributions over the year.
We also launched our first ring, Apple of my Eye, early in the week once I received all the photos of the rings from the photographer. It's so exciting to finally share it with you all. If you want to read about it, there’s a blog postavailable. I don't think it was a coincidence that the ring was ready for launch the same week that Israel was attacked. Israel is referred to as the apple of God's eye several times in the Bible (see, for instance,
I'm heading over to Springfield in Missouri to attend the Women's Conference, Designed For Life, at the end of the week.
I rented a quaint hundred-year-old so-called Gun Shot house in a quiet area. Unfortunately, my nights were interrupted by mice scratching at one end of the bedroom, which wasn’t pleasant. An extermination company came and set out rat traps, but they didn’t seem to catch them.
The conference kicked off with a leadership luncheon on Thursday at James River Churchwhere we were served food, had time to network, and prayed for the conference. The tables were beautifully set and you could feel so much love and care from the organizers right away.
Friday morning, the conference commenced at the Great Southern Bank Arena in Springfield. We were greeted with pompoms, balloons, and cheerful cheers. Once inside, I was warmly welcomed by the hostess Janae McLauchlin. She showed us around, offered coffee, and showed us where to sit.
There were gifts awaiting us on our chairs when we arrived: a straw cowboy hat and a bag with a nice notebook, pen, and information about the conference. It was so touching to see the generosity of the church. So much thoughtfulness and love were displayed in every way. Among other things, I also received a nice t-shirt and a bracelet.
I was deeply moved by the opening of the conference when a woman rode in on a horse, dressed in a red dress, and it concluded with her standing on the horse holding up a sword. The theme of the conference was Wild in Wonder and the scripture was Ephesians 3:20.
After a warm welcome from the hosts of the conference (the pastors of James River Church) Debbie and Savanna Lindell, we got to listen to teachings from various preachers throughout the day. What amazing women! So exemplary in their love, humility, faith, and generosity. The whole conference was so inspiring!
Debbie and Savanna Lindell
I found everything to be very enriching, but I was especially touched by Havilah Cunnington (Bethel Church) teaching about how we all hear God in different ways. Spending time with Him is more important than anything we have planned. She is sharp, witty, and humble—a true role model for me.
I got to meet other leaders in Dallas at Debbie’s Leadership Luncheons on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. It was very valuable for me to get to know Christian leaders from different parts of the Bible Belt in the USA.
Friday concluded with a pizza night at Maria and Evelina Lundqvist’s place, along with Cami Fuller Wells, who is a children's pastor at James River Church. It was a lovely gathering where we got to know each other and share life.
Saturday kicked off with another grand performance by musicians from James River Church as they belted out an infectious country tune, Hey Girl. It was incredibly professional and entertaining, on par with Sweden's Melodifestivalen. Water sprayed forming a tunnel through which the artists walked, there was pyrotechnics, videos on large screens, and big red pickups on the floor. One of the singers was carried onto a stage surrounded by neon poles. Towards the end, large inflatable balls in cheerful colors were sent bouncing over us in the audience, creating an incredibly festive atmosphere throughout the arena.
We sang praise together, and then we were treated to more uplifting teachings, including an inspiring session by Oneka McClellan, who is a pastor at Shoreline Church in Dallas.
The conference wrapped up on Saturday with a leadership luncheon where I got to know even more Christian women—such a beautiful fellowship. I had a few words with Pastors Debbie and Savanna at the end. Such kind and loving people. I am so happy to have met them and to have participated in the conference. They are already planning next year's conference, which is going to be something truly fantastic. Registration is open now — consider if it might be something for you? It would be so great to see you there! You won't regret it.
Saturday kicked off with another spectacular performance by musicians from James River Church as they belted out an engaging country tune, "Hey Girl." Incredibly professional and entertaining, on par with Sweden’s Melodifestivalen. Water sprayed forming a tunnel that the artists walked through, there was pyrotechnics, films on big screens, and big red pickup trucks on the floor. One of the singers was carried onto a stage with neon poles around her. Towards the end, large inflatable balls in bright colors were tossed around over the audience, creating a festive atmosphere throughout the arena.
We sang praise songs together, and then we were treated to more uplifting teachings, including the inspiring Oneka McClellan, who is a pastor at Shoreline Church in Dallas.
The conference wrapped up on Saturday with a leadership luncheon where I got to know even more Christian women—such a beautiful fellowship. I had a few words with Pastor Debbie and Savanna at the end. Such kind and loving people. I'm so grateful to have met them and to have been part of the conference.
I stayed until Sunday and had the opportunity to attend a morning service at James River Church. We watched a video with testimonies from the conference of people sharing how they were healed during the event. One woman had been seriously ill with cancer and during last year’s conference, many had prayed for her on several occasions. She was now completely healthy, and the doctors could find no trace of cancer. Absolutely amazing!
Happy, uplifted, and full of impressions, I got into my car for a road trip back to Dallas. It was fun to travel on smaller roads and see the towns and landscape change along the way. I passed ranches, lakes, Amish restaurants, countless gas stations, many Taco Bells, McDonald's, and Starbucks, and enjoyed watching the landscape change along the way. I listened to praise music and covered many episodes of entrepreneur podcasts. The traffic was relatively light and after seven hours, I arrived in Dallas, just as the sun was setting...
Meet the artist whose life story, filled with hope and a fight for equal rights, illustrates that ZOE HOOP's jewelry does more than just complement a style, it carries greater messages.
The first leg of my road trip in the USA in the fall of 2023. Read about both the highs and lows and discover all the amazing people I've met along the way.