Sharing Hope: Euro-Africa Division Bulgarian Women Minister to Gypsies


Sharing Hope

Euro-Africa Division Bulgarian Women Minister to Gypsies


Gypsy literacy classes in Rosino, Bulgaria

SDA Church in Bulgaria
Churches: 118
Membership: 7,622
Population: 7,621,000

The ministry for gypsy women and young people from the village of Rosino, Bulgaria, is growing fast. The population in Rosino is 5,500, but the gypsy neighborhood has more than 2,000 people.

The literacy program started months ago. There was a need and through this project relationships are built in the community and bring people to get to know Jesus.
Many illiterate young people joined the classes. A 20-year-old girl came who had never gone to school because she had had to take care of her small sister. She was a girl with a childlike faith in God but could not read or nurture herself spiritually.

After the literacy classes, seminars were given to the married women about different topics such as "How to avoid getting pregnant" since they have many children and are often forced to have abortions. The women asked many questions about sexuality and personal hygiene.

The women also talked about domestic violence. Many gypsy women are victims of abuse. They are often controlled and mistreated by their drunk husbands. You can see fear, worry, and tiredness in their faces. If they go home late, they are especially scared knowing what will happen when they arrive.

The ministry has been growing as more and more women attend. "I have been praying for more than a year to have a building with more space to invite more people; a place where we can all get together for worship services: women, men and children and grow in Christ," says Antoneta Benova, who is responsible for the Gipsy Literacy program. "There is a calling for all of us, a calling to light the world with hope, faith, and love. I am following my calling. God is the light. If we keep ourselves within His light, we will shine for Him wherever we are."

Source: EUD WM

Focus on the News

Focus on the News



Giving Hope and Being Hope

South American Women United in Hope

In April, 2009 women from three unions in the South American Division held their spring congresses in four different venues: Curitiba, Brazil South Union headquarters; Lima Peru, South Peruvian Union headquarters; Rosario, Argentina's Bonairense Conference territory, and Buenos Aires, Argentina, the Austral Union headquarters.

Working on the program "Homes of Hope," they came together to unify activities and encourage more women to get involved. The programs were organized by Wiliane Marroni, South American Division WM director who challenged each woman to accept God's call for this time and be "hope" to someone in need. The guest speaker was Raquel Arrais, WM Associate director from the General Conference, who talked about the challenges women face today, how to respond to their needs, and how we can minister like Jesus. "It was rewarding to see thousands of women responding positively to God's call and being inspired by how God is using their gifts to fulfill His purpose in their lives," says Arrais.



Hispanic Women's Retreat

North American Division

April 2009: Arizona Conference Hispanic Women's Ministries celebrated "Twenty Years of Victory in Jesus." This retreat marked the 20th year of the Hispanic Conference retreats. The guest speakers included Heather-Dawn Small, GCWM director; Dr. Linda Jimenez, from Mexico; and Ruth Collins from the Pacific Union. The international singing group, "Forgiven," performed.

The leadership felt the retreat was a great success as 20 ladies decided to accept Jesus as their Savior. "What a privilege the Lord has given me to serve Him in Women's Ministries for over 20 years, and the joy to see that many lives transformed; others have discovered their gifts and accepted God's call to serve Him," says Mariafelix Denneny, Arizona Conference Hispanic WM director.

However, Hispanic Women's Ministries is not for adult women only. They have organized mini-retreats for young girls on the topic "Keeping my Purity in an Un-pure world." This retreat was so successful that last year a retreat was held by WM for both boys and girls with 97 attendees.



Bali Evangelism Campaign

Southern Asia-Pacific Division

August 17-23, 2008, the Women's Ministries department of the West Indonesian Union Mission (WIUM) held an evangelistic meeting for the whole district of Bali.

Poppy Lubis, WM director of WIUM, was the main speaker. Each night she presented the Word of God with passion and love; as a result 19 souls came forward to accept Jesus as their personal Savior.

One of the baptized women, Gahani, had been a victim of the Bali bombing in 2002. After her baptism Gahani expressed her joy for the rescue that Jesus gave her during the bomb attack, and now she is praising the Lord again because of the new life through baptism. All her family members are now members of the family of God in the Seventh-day Adventist Church.

Women's Ministries Statistical Report 2008

Baptisms 125,674
Reclaimed Members 32,461
Evangelistic Meetings 59,018
Training Seminars 54,064
Other Meetings 139,631
Retreats/Congresses 18,144
SDA Women Attending 1,134,166
Non-SDA Women Attending 109,177
Scholarships Awarded 112


Inspiration for You



So You Think You are a Leader?

By Sharon Cress - Leadership Certification Level 4

When we look at the stories and historical accounts of some of the women featured in the Bible, they probably appear unremarkable.

• Some women might appear as foolish.
• Some women might appear as weak.
• Some women might appear as despised.
• Some women might appear as of no value.

At the most, these women probably appear rather ordinary. Many of them were shockingly lower class women, just as the disciples were considered common men.
But God, in His wisdom, knowing the value and extraordinary gifts that He put into His feminine creation, chose to use what He created for His glory.

• God chose women leaders such as the Samaritan woman whose name we don't even know.
• God chose Anna, an obscure, elderly widow who appears only in one brief scene in Luke, chapter 2.
• God chose Rahab who was a common harlot.
• God chose Mary, the mother of Jesus, who was a young girl of no particular distinction, living in a tiny village in a barren and despised district of Galilee.

Actually, the only real exception is Eve; Eve did begin life with some advantages over other women. She was created perfect and quite extraordinary in every way. She walked and talked personally with God. Still, she too became a living example that God can recover and redeem any of us who fall-and make each of us extraordinary trophies of His grace in spite of our failures.

These women ultimately became extraordinary leaders, not because of any natural qualities of their own, but because the one true God whom they worshipped and served, the God who created them and gifted them with equal leadership capabilities, refined them like pure silver.

So, you think you are a leader? Yes, in God's eyes you are created to be.



Learning from the Bible



Deborah was not driven by personal ambition, nor was she seeking an expanded leadership role in Israel. She was simply being faithful to the God she served, accepting the responsibilities given to her by others who sought her counsel; trusting in God she took on the challenge of military leadership for which she had not been trained. Deborah did what she knew was right in God's eyes, confident that the Lord would honor her actions.


Priscilla must have been a spiritually mature woman whose gifts equipped her for leadership. Her name precedes Aquila's four out of the six times they are mentioned in the New Testament, probably signifying her greater abilities as a leader.


Huldah is one of only four women with an authentic prophetic ministry mentioned in the Old Testament. The others were Miriam, Deborah and Isaiah's wife. Although prophets such as Jeremiah and Zephaniah were also active at this time, King Josiah‘s advisors did not go to them but instead consulted Huldah about the amazing discovery of the Book of the Law.


Get Inspired

  • Christian leadership is to move people from where they are to the place God wants them to be. 
  • Empowering people means enabling them to do the job for which they were chosen with excellence and confidence. 
  • Excellent leaders are led by their desire to glorify God in their success.




Illiteracy: A Global Challenge

Illiteracy: A Global Challenge

According to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), more than 771 million adults around the world cannot read. Eighty-five percent live in 35 countries and more than two-thirds are women.

The consequences become evident in the numbers. For example, in one African country alone the literacy rate among men is 26% while among women it is 11%.

Another consequence of illiteracy is the pressure put upon the population dynamics because of family size. Literate women average 2 children per family while illiterate women give birth to 6-8 children.

Literacy ought to make a difference in a woman's life and consequently in the life of her family.

For more information visit


  • Educated women are more likely to use health clinics and return to the clinic if their children's health does not improve.
  • Educated women tend to begin their families at a later age and have fewer, healthier children.
  • A 1% rise in women's literacy is 3 times more likely to reduce deaths in children than a 1% rise in the number of doctors. (Based upon a United Nations study of 46 countries.)
  • For women, 4 to 6 years of education led to a 20% drop in infant deaths
  • Women with more education generally have better personal health and nutrition.
  • The families of women with some education tend to have better housing, clothing, income, water, and sanitation.


Prayer Corner

  • Global Conference on Health in Geneva, Switzerland 
  • Heather-Dawn Small travel to SSD 
  • Abuse Prevention Emphasis Day
  • Women's Ministries Literacy Centers around the world.



August 22: Abuse Prevention Emphasis Day. For more information and to download free packet, visit