Shining God's Love

Simple Reflections: Images of God’s Love—Netherlands (TED)

The first ever joint women’s retreat organized by the British and Netherlands Union Women's Ministries directors occurred March 28-30, 2008; 193 women attended. The Mooirivier Congress Hotel in Dalfsen, the Netherlands, was the setting.

Heather Haworth, British Union Conference WM director; and Clair Sanches, Netherlands Conference WM director, welcomed everyone on Friday evening. Raquel Arrais, GCWM Associate Director, spoke on the Holy Spirit. She encouraged women to form a unit as the disciples did, praying that God will help to open hearts to Him.

Haworth opened the Sabbath morning with worship and shared projects which are running in the British Union. Heather-Dawn Small, GCWM Director, spoke for the divine service.

In the afternoon the women had an opportunity to visit one to three workshops: “Creative Prayer” by Karen Holford; “Young Women’s Workshop” by Raquel Arrais; and Choir by Valerie Fidelia.

Arrais held her last presentation on inviting women to put Jesus first. The choir, Advocals from Arnhem, joined her to make the closing of Sabbath a wonderful experience. In the evening the ladies enjoyed painting, using wooden forms of tulips. Each tulip was different.

On Sunday, Sanches had the last morning worship service and closed the morning with four different prayer corners where ladies prayed for one another. Heather-Dawn Small spoke again, bringing laughter as the women were fed from God’s word.

 It is wonderful how God can help bridge language and cultural differences and make us one in Him.

Women’s Retreat Brings Great Inspiration—Israel

Fifty-six women from Romanian, Russian, English, and Hebrew churches of the Israel Field attended a Women’s Ministries retreat April 3-5 in Kibbutz Beit Alpha, Middle Galilee. Guest speakers were Heather Dawn Small, GC WM Director; Raquel Arrais, GC WM Associate Director; and Anne-May Wollan, Trans-European Division WM Director; they spoke on the theme, “Let Your Light Shine.”

The event started with a Galilee tour to places where Jesus began His ministry, and continued to Tabha, the place where Jesus is believed to have fed the four thousand, and then on to Capernaum. The tour proceeded to the National Park Sahne (Gan Hashlosha) where the Amal River traverses the length of the Gan Hashlosha National Park.

Small, Arrais, Usachev, and Wollan

During the retreat, the women participated in various activities: gymnastics, early morning walks, and blood pressure and blood sugar level check-ups. During the workshops Arrais talked about the six critical issues of women, and Small spoke about “Touch a Heart, Tell the World.”

In the afternoon, Small gave a demonstration on card making, and all were able to make two cards each. The Israel Field Women’s Ministries department plans to start a card-making ministry.

A Kabalat Shabbat led by Pastor Oleg Elkine welcomed the Sabbath, followed by a vespers devotional by Wollan entitled “It Is Not How You Feel, It Is How You Deal.”

After Sabbath lunch the delegates had opportunity for fellowship, prayers, testimonies, rest, and visiting nature sites on the Kibbutz. A non-Adventist lady who attended commented, “This has been beyond my expectation. The fellowship and the learning was inspiring; all of it has been worth it! During this weekend I have strengthened my decision to accept Jesus as my Savior and to be baptized.” Another woman who was attending this type of event for the first time said, “I am full of positive emotions! I feel love, warm relationships, and kindness. I want to attend a church to know more about Jesus.” Praise the Lord!

—Nina Usachev, Israel Field WM director

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Focus On The News

Leadership Certification Training—Testimony (SID)

It is God’s love that helped me use the gift that He has given to me. When I discovered that the gift I have is to be a shoulder for people to cry on, I tried to find a way in which I could develop it. I went to Nyangagwe hospital in Francistown and requested to minister to the patients. In the year 2004, I was ministering with a megaphone three times a week. By God’s grace many souls were won to Christ and some were baptized.

On many occasions I visited HIV/AIDS out-patients. I developed a great desire to be a social worker. My district pastor referred me to a qualified social worker in the same hospital where I used to minister to the patients. The administration requested my certificates. I had no qualification other then the Women’s Ministries Leadership Certification Level 1. I was told that in order for me to be employed as a Social Worker, I needed to have a high school qualification and a college diploma. She then referred me to another organization.

I was now losing hope, but I prayed to my Lord. On arrival, I presented my case. I explained that I wanted to be a social worker on a voluntary basis. I was once again told they needed someone with a high school certificate and a college diploma; I replied that the only certificate I had in my possession was the Women’s Ministries Leadership Certificates. Upon examining the certificates, they exclaimed, “You are the kind of people we are looking for—people with Christian qualities. We can work well with you.” I am now volunteering my services as a counselor.

I praise God for the WM leadership certification course. Previously I never had any certificate apart from my birth certificate. I am now a public speaker after doing “Communication Skills,” “Public Speaking,” and “Principles of Counseling” leadership courses. I am looking forward to doing Level 3.

Comfort currently works as a house maid. She is working on her high school certification. During her spare time, she ministers to HIV/AIDS patients at the hospital. Many souls have been baptized through her ministry.

—Comfort Hlatshwyo, Botswana Union Mission

Women of Spirit To Be Printed in Spanish and French

Beginning with the June/July 2008 issue, Women of Spirit will be available in both Spanish and French! This arrangement is a result of a partnership between the Inter-America Division Publishing Association and Women of Spirit (published by the Review and Herald Publishing Association.)

For only US$22 (plus $7 postage for each address outside the US) you can buy one subscription and send one subscription for free. To take advantage of this offer, log onto, or call 1-800-456-3991, and specify your preference for the, English, Spanish or French editions.

Bulk pricing is available for US$8.47 each (plus postage) for 1-99 copies to the same address; US$7.97 each (plus postage) for 100-299 copies, and US$7.47 each (plus postage) for 300-499 copies. For questions on bulk orders, e-mail [email protected].

—Jacki Smith, Women of Spirit Director of Marketing

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Keeper's Page: Inspiration for You

Communication Skills Running Effective Meetings

Meetings are wonderful tools for generating ideas, expanding on thoughts, and managing group activity. But this face-to-face contact with team members and colleagues can easily fail without adequate preparation and leadership.

The Importance of Preparation

To ensure everyone involved has the opportunity to provide their input, start your meeting off right by designating a meeting time that allows all participants the time needed to adequately prepare. If any participants must travel to attend, you must allow adequate time for travel arrangements.

Once a meeting time and place has been chosen, make yourself available for questions that may arise as participants prepare for the meeting. If you are the meeting leader, make a meeting agenda complete with detailed notes. In these notes, outline the goal and proposed structure of the meeting, and share this with the participants. This will allow all involved to prepare and to come to the meeting ready to work together to meet the goals at hand.

 The success of the meeting depends largely on the skills displayed by the meeting leader. To ensure the meeting is successful, the leader should:

  • Issue an agenda
  • Start the discussion and encourage active participation
  • Work to keep the meeting at a comfortable pace—not moving too fast or too slow
  • Summarize the discussion and the recommendations at the end of each logical section
  • Ensure all participants receive minutes promptly
  • While these tips will help ensure your meeting is productive and well-received, there are other important areas that need attention to make sure your meeting and negotiation skills are fine-tuned.

Managing a Meeting

Choosing the right participants is key to the success of any meeting. Make sure all participants can contribute and choose good decision-makers. Try to keep the number of participants to a maximum of 12, preferably fewer.

If you are the leader, work diligently to ensure everyone’s thoughts and ideas are heard by guiding the meeting so that there is a free flow of debate with no individual dominating and no extensive discussions between two people.

Time Keeping

Meetings are notorious for eating up people’s time. Here are some ways of ensuring that time is not wasted in meetings:

  • Start on time.
  • Don’t recap what you’ve covered if someone comes in late: it sends the message that it is OK to be late for meetings, and it wastes everyone else’s valuable time.
  • State a finish time for the meeting and don’t over-run.
  • To help stick to the stated finish time, arrange your agenda in order of importance so that if you have to omit or rush items at the end to make the finish time, you don’t omit or skimp on important items.
  • Finish the meeting before the stated finish time if you have achieved everything you need to.

Issuing Minutes

Minutes record the decisions of the meeting, the actions agreed on, and who is to carry out actions. They provide a record of the meeting and, importantly, they provide a review document for use at the next meeting so that progress can be measured—this makes them a useful disciplining technique as individuals’ performance and non-performance of agreed actions is given high visibility.


Mid-Year Evaluation

Evaluate the first half of the year by reviewing what’s working to touch the lives of women: List your events, projects, activities, and ask your leaders to help answer these following questions:

  • What results were we expecting from what we hav planned? Did we get them?
  • Were we prepared with materials, resources, information, and people for this project/activity/leadership training?
  • How many women were benefited by it?
  • What would we change next time?


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GC Women's Ministries Newsletter Calendar & Prayer Request

JUNE 2008

Women's Challenge Issues—Globally

Issues that Women Face Globally

The United Nations Millennium Declaration set 2015 as a target date for achieving most of the goals. This report, presented at the United Nation in March of this year, shows the global assessment of progress to date prepared for a number of international organizations and the United Nations.


The following are some measures of progress that has been achieved:

Poverty: The proportion of people living in extreme poverty fell from nearly a third to less than one fifth between 1990 and 2004.

Education: Progress has been made in getting more children into school in the developing world. Enrollment in primary education grew from 80% in 1991 to 88% in 2005 Gender Equality and Empower Women: Women’s political participation has been growing, albeit slowly. Even in countries where previously only men were allowed to stand for political election, women now have a seat in parliament.

Maternal Health: Child mortality has declined globally, and it is becoming clear that the right life-saving interventions are proving effective in reducing the number of deaths due to the main child killers—such as measles.

Other Diseases: Key interventions to control malaria have been expanded. The tuberculosis epidemic, finally, appears on the verge of decline, although progress is not fast enough to have low prevalence and death rates by 2015.

By pointing to what has been achieved, these results also highlight how much remains to be done and how much more could be accomplished if all concerned live up fully to the commitments they have already made.

It is worth noting how many of these goals are similar to the Women’s Ministries challenges; the difference is that for Women’s Ministries these are ministry opportunities, a way to Touch a Heart, Tell the World.

Source: The Millennium Development Goals Report, 2007

Prayer Corner

  • Women's Ministries Challenges
  • Raquel Arrais travel to SID
  • Heather-Dawn Small travel to IAD


  • June 5—World Environment Day. 2008 slogan is "Kick the Habit! Towards a Low Carbon Economy."
  • June 14—Women's Ministries Emphasis Day ”Show Me the Savior” Packet available for free download at


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