The virtuous woman of Proverbs 31 inspires participants at a women’s conference

The Honorable Mrs. Gladys Kokorwe, Botswana's Speaker of the House of Parliament, presents the keynote address.

Southern Africa-Indian Ocean Division (SID)

[Botswana] Women, young and old, gathered in large numbers in Gaborone to attend a women’s conference hosted by Botswana Union Conference Women’s Ministries (BUC WM). Some attendees travelled from Zimbabwe and South Africa.

The Honorable Mrs Gladys Kokorwe, Botswana's Speaker of the House of Parliament, presented the keynote address. Using the object lesson of geese flying in v-formation, Kokorwe reminded attendees that geese support one another, relieve the leader when needed, and all of them stop and rest with one who is tired. They work together as a team. She emphasized the importance of being united as women. Through unity much can be achieved; and when divided very little is achieved.

The conference was based on Women of Virtue resource program which explores values and behaviors of the Proverbs 31 woman. But how do those ancient traits translate for the 21st Century woman? Included with the Women of Virtue material are activities tangibly demonstrating how the modern woman can excel. Each characteristic is also showcased through an interactive exhibit. Maepelo Sealetsa coordinated the popular exhibition hall for the modern woman.

Dr Kenaope, Botswana Union Conference president, expressed his appreciation to the BUC Women’s Ministries department and Susan Williams, BUC WM director, for organizing this vitally important conference which enabled those who attended to receive a mountain-top spiritual experience.

Special guests included Heather-Dawn Small, General Conference WM director, with her husband, Pastor Joseph Small; Caroline Chola, Southern Africa-Indian Ocean WM director; and Beauty Kotela of South Africa.

Characteristics of a virtuous woman, as defined in Women of Virtue, naturally were the topics addressed in plenary sessions and workshops during the conference. The twelve characteristics are: women as wives/helpers/supporters, women as mothers, women maintaining their appearance, women as investors, women of godly character, women of strength, personal development for women, women encouraging and affirming each other, women of excellence, women as community activists, women as singles, and industrious women. Sharon Platt-McDonald, WM director, British Union Conference, developed the Women of Virtue curriculum.

A gala dinner, complete with music, laughter, tasty food, beautiful evening wear, and the honoring of pioneers in women's ministry as Women of Excellence closed the conference.

Contributed by Susan Williams, WM director, Botswana Union Conference, Southern Africa Indian Ocean Division

Published in Mosaic newsletter, Winter 2018