WM congress inspires women for ministry
Attendees are spiritually recharged and fervently praying for their families and neighbors.
Euro-Asia Division (ESD)
“Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In every thing give thanks.” 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, NKJV
[Tbilisi, Georgia] Taking this passage from 1 Thessalonians as their motto, women gathered in the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Tbilisi, Georgia, June 22-24, 2018, to attend a Women’s Ministries (WM) congress. They came from almost every congregation in Georgia, a country in Eastern Europe that declared its independence from the USSR in 1991.
The congress began Friday evening with a small classical concert. Children and youth pleased the congress representatives with music in piano, violin, and clarinet performances.
The attendees welcomed the Sabbath through an ancient tradition of God’s people. Every Friday evening, generations of Jewish people have observed the opening of the Sabbath with candles and challah bread. The mother lights two Sabbath candles—one symbolizes the Creation and the other Redemption. The rest of the candles are then lit by representatives of different ages to symbolize of passing the God’s commandments from generation to generation, to children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren until Messiah comes. Challah bread symbolizes the two stone-tablet of the Ten Commandments as well as the double portion of manna gathered on Friday for the Sabbath meal, and it also represents Jesus, the Bread of Life.
Guest speakers were Raquel Arrais, associate director of General Conference Women’s Ministries (GC WM), and Raisa Ostrovskaya, director of Euro-Asia Division Women’s Ministries (ESD WM).
All three days Raquel Arrais called the audience to ministry in God’s Church. She highlighted how important it is to consecrate time with the Word of God for forming a close relationship with Christ and spiritual growth. She emphasized the importance of women believers working in society, church, and family. She provided many examples from her personal life and family. She also shared experiences from the work of women around the world.
Raisa Ostrovskaya lead an interactive seminar, “The Tree of My Life,” which symbolized the seasons of a woman’s life: winter, spring, summer, autumn. Every woman was called to consider the possibilities and privileges of each period in a woman’s life.
An unforgettable moment was when women wrote their prayer requests for their husbands, children, friends, neighbors on slips of paper. The women created a paper garland, and Pastor Mikhail Skripkar lifted up a prayer for all the requests represented on each slip of paper in the garland.
A prayer breakfast started off the third day of the congress. Prayers were said for people surrounding us, for families, for children. Sisters shared their experiences, worries, thoughts. And united together, they lifted up prayers to the throne of the Most High.
Not only did the participants enjoy the singing, poetry readings, and seminars, but they also enjoyed tasting culinary masterpieces at a workshop for teaching the preparation of healthy food.
Women’s Ministries congress participants departed to their homes with inspiration and enthusiasm—so important for future ministry in local congregations—and with commemorative gifts to remind them about unforgettable moments of the women’s congress.
Thanks to this meeting, as these believers confirmed, not only was God praised and glorified, but women also recharged their energy for more fruitful ministry for their neighbors and loved ones.
Many participants approached the congress organizer, Oksana Skripkar, WM director of the Trans-Caucasus Union Mission, and shared their impressions and thanked God for the wonderfully spent time. Sisters told her that they felt unity in a family environment. They thanked God for the wonderful ministry. They were touched with the sermon, seminars, singing. They were inspired and were highly spiritually recharged. They felt the Holy Spirit’s guidance. They received ideas for future ministry.
Oksana Skripkar, Women’s Ministries director for Trans-Caucasus Union Mission
Published in Mosaic newsletter, Summer 2018