Touch a Heart, Tell Southern Asia
Touch a Heart, Tell Southern Asia
Heather-Dawn Small, GC WM director;
Hepzibah Kore, SUD WM director;
Jean Sundaram, Southeast India Union
Section WM director; and Raquel Arrais,
GC WM associate director.
Women’s Ministries directors from all unions/conferences, sections, and regions of the Southern Asia Division (SUD) met for six days in November in Bangalore, India, for training and planning. Organized by Hepzibah Kore, SUD, Women’s Ministries (WM) director the advisory, “Touch a Heart, Tell Southern Asia,” was a wonderful time for training and for planning programs to help the women of the great Indian continent. The advisory provided the women with time to learn, to share experiences, and also to participate in various discussion groups.
Women leaders at the SUD Advisory
in Bangalore, India
Training included 16 topics from Level 3 and 4 of the Leadership Certification program; these were presented by Heather-Dawn Small, General Conference WM director, and Raquel Arrais, General Conference WM associate director. The women’s response to the training was inspiring. These women leaders are sincerely committed to leadership training and are ready to share the information with the women in their churches.
Ministry in India faces many challenges because of the rapid rise of this nation’s importance in the world. Until the last generation, “India was a forgotten country on the far side of the world.” Today it has leaped into the foreground as one of the most important players in world events:
- India will soon surpass China as the world’s most populous nation.
- One of every six people on earth lives in India.
- India contains one fourth (412 million) of the 1.6 billion people on earth who have never heard the Gospel.
- The Adventist church population is over 800,000 members in a country that is majority Hindu in beliefs.
Women touching hearts
Despite these challenges, the women are actively involved in outreach. During the meetings the leaders brought ideas, plans, and strategies on ways to involve more women in outreach programs. Topics such as Small Group Evangelism, Friendship Evangelism, Leadership, and The Key Issues Women Face (poverty, abuse, illiteracy, lack of training, and health), as well as many agenda items brought by the Unions, were addressed during this important advisory.
Leaders receive HIV/AIDS education
For the women gathered at “Touch a Heart, Tell Southern Asia,” this was a joyful time to share and encourage each other. It was also a time of commitment, a time to be thankful, and a time to be optimistic. “God has been blessing the women in India in many ways. Although the challenges in Southern Asia remain, we know that with God there is no obstacle too big for us to conquer,” said Hepzibah Kore at the end of the advisory.
Focus On The News
Focus on the news
South Pacific Division (SPD)
Women's Ministries Director Named International Adventist Woman of the Year
Wahroonga, New South Wales: Joy Butler, director of Women’s Ministries (WM) and Prayer Ministry coordinator for SPD, has been named one of the International Adventist Women of the Year. The annual award is an initiative of the Association of Adventist Women, an independent entity for Adventist women around the world. Butler was one of six women to receive the award.
Butler was given the award in recognition of her “outstanding church leadership.” Criteria for candidates to be considered for an award include being a role model for Adventist women, having a commitment to improving the status of women in the church, as well as demonstrating resilience in coping with stress, change, and overcoming barriers to success.
Butler helped initiate the “Keep Girls Safe” project in Thailand, which provides a secure home for girls; combats prostitution, sex slavery, and abuse; and rescues girls who have already become enslaved and are often victims of HIV/AIDS.
“This award is not something that is necessary for me; but I hope more people will become aware of the issues of abuse and hurt surrounding women and girls, and try to do something in their corner of the world as a result of the publicity,” says Butler.
Source: SPD Record/Melody Tan
Trans-European Division (TED)
Women's Ministries Day, Holland
Women’s Ministries (WM) in Holland had a WM Day on November 18, 2007. The retreat was organized by Clair M Sanches, Netherlands Union Conference WM director; the theme was “Extremely Made Over.” Valerie Fidelia, retired Middle East Union Mission WM director, held a worship service about the family tree of Jesus and showed how the five women in Matthew 1 were extremely made over—not from the outside, but from within.
Ladies take part in a “Talk Cafe.”
In the afternoon the ladies had the opportunity to use their creativity by using paint and mirrors as a reflection of their lives. One lady who created a project with a broken mirror said that the broken mirror was her life as it is now and the
complete mirror was life as it will be in heaven. She used a red color to show how the blood of Jesus makes it all possible.The cafe was an opportunity to talk among themselves about God’s blessings. A woman shared her testimony about her struggles of trying to get pregnant for four years. While attending a WM retreat in Germany, she was instructed to touch the spot where she was hurting. She touched her stomach; soon after she was happy to report that she was pregnant with twins. Her sister had been angry at God for not allowing her to get pregnant; because of this she refused to get baptized. The same day that the babies were dedicated, the sister was also baptized.
Sanches reports that the event was a success; “Sometimes the whole day just works together well to make it exceptional.”
Source: TED WM
Southern Asia-Pacific Division (SSD)
Women's Ministries Family Evangelistic Seminars
“Happiness in the Family” was an evangelistic seminar organized by the Kapa and Togop districts of Malaysia Women’s Ministries (WM) leaders in the Koporingan Seventh-day Adventist church.
The average attendance each night was 120-160 people. The seminars were conducted by Nafsiah Badin, a former Muslim who was converted to Adventism through prayer and Bible study by her sister in-law. Now she is a very active WM leader who has won 12 souls. She has the burden to share the good news of salvation to her non-Adventist friends and neighbors.
The committee organized a prayer group to pray for this event. They also held visitation with families in their community
who were facing family crises. They visited these families and invited them to attend the seminars and to join their prayer group.
All the participants on the stage were women. This experience provided an opportunity for women to use their talents and spiritual gifts to win souls for Christ. As women in the church came together in prayer, seeking God’s wisdom and guidance and praying for others, their attitudes changed. They became less critical and more supportive. The family unit also became stronger, and as a result the church family is stronger too.
Source: Jupitah Lim, Sabah Mission WM director
Keeper's Page: Inspiration for You
New Year's Greetings from GC Women's Ministries Staff
Joyful New Year, Dear Readers! One of the things I do on the last day of the year and again on the first day of a New Year is to give God thanks. I make a list in my journal of all the things I want to thank God for, both past and yet to come.
I think it’s the best way to end the year and wonderful way to begin a New Year.
As I recall some of the stories we’ve shared with you, I know that we at General Conference Women’s Ministries can join our sisters around the world in giving God thanks.
We’ve shared with you many amazing and miraculous things that God has done during the year 2007, and we expect God to do even greater things in 2008. So, why not take a moment and join us in giving God thanks for His goodness to us each day. But even more, let’s thank God for giving each of us the privilege to be part of His plan to Touch a Heart, and Tell the World.
This year I promise to do…. I really want to…. I intend to…. Have you ever made these promises to yourself at the start of a New Year? I have—many times. I’ve learned that New Year’s is a great time for looking forward to the future and reflecting on the changes we want to make—a time to make personal resolutions. And a time to reaffirm one thing: that in our ever-changing world, one person remains unchanging—our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, our foundation.
In 2008 may we all focus first of all on one thing: time with God. This is the secret to becoming all we can be by God’s grace. This is our source of light and life.
As we make plans for a New Year, as we continue our daily work, remember it was God who held our world together in the past, and it is God who will continue to be in control of our lives if we allow Him to.
People’s plans and systems may fail, but Jesus never fails. What a promise! Every day, fill your life with this promise, and go light your world. With Jesus as your source of light, you will always have light to share. May God bless each and every Women’s Ministries leader.
Another year has swiftly come to an end and last year is in the past. Let us remember what the Lord has done for us in the past and think about who He is in the present. As we leave what made us troubled in the past, let us never forget the blessings that come each day.
As we enter fully into the New Year’s plans, let us place our selves fully into God’s hands that we may receive His strength to carry on His services. Remember He is the one who keeps us above the waters when we are drowning and our faithful service brings tremendous joy to His heart.
May God bless you abundantly, and thank you for sharing and being there for us this past year.
Each year we are closer to God’s second coming, and I get more inspired to tell others about Him. I invite God to come into my heart and fill me with His love. I want to have so much of God’s love that it will shine through to everyone I come in contact with throughout the day. To strive to be a good Christian is not a task I can do on my own. I must ask God’s guidance and follow His example. God is the ultimate Christian: loving, kind, forgiving, patient, and showing grace and mercy.
My prayer is that we will all continue to seek God’s love into our hearts so that it can shine through us and spread throughout the world.
GC Women's Ministries Newsletter Calendar & Prayer Request
Women's Challenge Issues—LEADERSHIP
One of the most difficult aspects of Women’s Ministries is planning activities. How do we get started? What kind of event should we feature? Who should we target? And who will help?
Having a strategic planning session at the beginning of the year is very important. This is not only a way to generate ideas, but also provides the path for what we would like to accomplish. Sometimes this takes time, discussion, ideas, much thought, prayer, and reflection. As the leader you must have a plan; in fact, you must ensure that a plan is developed.
Some ingredients are necessary when considering planning for the following year. Whether you are considering an ongoing Bible study, special dates, a literacy project, or a single retreat, these guidelines are essential to a well planed strategy:
- Pray: prayer is essential before, during, and after your planning process.
- Decide your needs: Women’s Ministries is based on needs. If you have a need in your local church, you have a ministry. List all your projects, dates and activities; before you move forward, work with your pastor.
- Delegate responsibilities: Based on your needs, recruit people to work with your projects and activities. Start with friends. Look for encouragers and spiritual people.
- Organize your women to work on activities they feel gifted about it.
- Determine your calendar: Outline what must be done by when.
- Implement your plan: Put people into action.
- Motivate: people work better when they feel supported by their leaders.
- Evaluate, evaluate, and evaluate: this is one of the secrets of any successful strategic plan.
- Planning time for Women's Ministries directors in 2008.
2008 Important Dates
February 1—Statistical Reports due in GCWM office
March 1—International Day of Prayer
June 14—Women's Emphasis Day
October 1—Devotional book deadline for submissions
August 30—Abuse Prevention Emphasis Day
Planning is bringing the future into the present, so that you can do something about it now.