New 2009 Women's Ministries Devotional Book

New 2009 Women's Ministries Devotional Book

“For me, editing the devotional books is a personal thing, a ministry. It is also like having hundreds of pen pals around the world who open their hearts and lives not only to me but to the world.” —Ardis Dick Stenbakken

I had never been close to my cousin, and she has not been close to the church. For a number of years I had sent the women’s devotional book to her mother, so after she died, I asked my cousin if she would like to receive it. She said she would. I sent it to her this year. I don’t know what spiritual difference it will make in her life, but I treasure the closeness that she and I have been enjoying. For many women the books have made a difference spiritually and relationally. I often hear the stories. Perhaps yours is one of them.

I have had the privilege of meeting many of these women, and I feel like I know many I have not met. I think of all these women as I edit. I am saddened when I receive a manuscript describing a painful divorce, a spiritual wandering, a deadly health challenge—these women have written for years and I feel I know them, but there is more to share. And that is what friends do—they share and they listen, and they support one another. What a privilege I have working with these women! And an added benefit: all royalties go to scholarships for women! Fabulous!

One of the hardest parts of having such friends is losing them—sometimes by death, and sometimes they just disappear. I wonder why they haven’t written again—has something dreadful happened to them? Did they get unhappy with us for some reason? I wonder how I can contact each of them, and I hope they will write again.

There is a thrill too—the increase in the number of writers from all around the world who are contributing. And we find again that women are much more alike than different—there truly is a sisterhood. I appreciate so much those like Beth Vollmer Chagas who translates devotionals into English.

And one of the fun things is to hear how women use these books as gifts and the impact it has made in the lives of family and friends. I ask you to write. Not only will this give you the opportunity to witness as to what God has done in your life, but you will then also be a published writer—and you get a complimentary copy of the book! So please let me hear from you! Guidelines can be obtained online at Let’s keep a very good thing going!

—Ardis Dick Stenbakken,
Women's Ministries Devotional Book Editor

Spreading Grace Through Scholarships

The purchase of this book continues to spread grace through scholarships. The women who wrote these devotionals have given of their time, their talents, by sharing these devotionals—the only reward they receive is a complimentary copy of the book. So all profits go to scholarships. As this book goes to press, 1,344 scholarships have been given to women in 104 countries.

Note: To order Grace Notes, contact your local Adventist Book Center

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Focus On The News

Euro-Asia Division

"I Believe" Congress

Three congresses were held this year in the Euro-Asia Division. These were in Dnepropetrovsk, Ukraine; Krasnoyarsk, East Russian Union; and Mineralnie Vodi, Caucasus Mission.

The congress in the North Caucasus Mission, in Mineralnie Vodi, was held June 27-29. The motto for the gathering was “I believe!” More than 70 women from different cities and areas came as well as from other conferences and the local unions. Women shared their experiences of faith and how it has been expressed in action. These sisters want to say thank you to the Women’s Ministries for the timely prepared materials.

The division Women’s Ministries director, Raisa Ostrovoskaya, says, “I pray that such congresses continue to be held and bring new ideas to our churches.”

“I pray that such congresses continue to be held and bring new ideas to our churches.”

—Raisa Ostrovoskaya, ESD WM director








Southern Africa-Indian Ocean Division

African Islands Leadership Certification (SID)

The Indian Ocean Union Mission in the Southern Africa-Indian Ocean Division consists of the islands of Madagascar, Mauritius, Seychelles, Reunion, and Rodriquez. The leaders in this territory are committed to enabling their women to become effective leaders in the church. Having done the Leadership Certification Level 1 last year, the Women’s Ministries director Jacqueline Blanchard organized Level 2 for the women this year.

The seminar, which took place in July in Antananarivo, Madagascar, was facilitated by Caroline Chola, SID WM director. It was attended by women leaders in all departments of the church from local church to conference level.

On Sabbath, July 26, a rally was held at the Soamanandrariny Church where women from all over the Central Madagascar Conference listened to encouragement from Chola. She emphasized the need for women to be involved in evangelism. During a commitment ceremony, 41 women were certified and the local church elders pledged to support the women in their work of evangelism.

Leadership Training in Singapore (SSD) Singapore Mission Women’s Ministries department conducted the last part of the Level 2 Women’s Ministries Leadership Certification the weekend of May 17 and 18 this year. Twenty-one Women’s Ministries leaders and lay women from the local churches attended the certification.

John Brereton, Southern Asia Union Mission publishing director, preached an inspiring sermon entitled “Are You Hungry?” He exhorted the women to serve the Lord in any place the Lord calls us. It left an imprint on the attendees that many expressed their willingness to come out of their comfort zone and give their time to the Lord or help raise funds for God’s cause; some were willing to go for a mission trip to Cambodia. The worship service was favored by a special number by Grace and Clarence Cheang, “There is a New World Somewhere.”

These women were challenged to teach, train, and equip other women for God’s services. Several attendees expressed their thankfulness that they had the opportunity to attend the certification and have indeed learned much from these classes, and as a result they have been richly blessed.

—Corinna Cheang, SAM WM director


“You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You must do the thing you think you cannot do.” —Eleanor Roosevelt


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Keeper's Page: Inspiration for You

How to Start a Support Group

Suppose that some women from your local church Women’s Ministries group came to you as the Women’s Ministries director and asked for help in starting a support group for them. They may be divorced women, overweight women, grieving women, women whose adult children have left the church, parenting women—there are many possibilities. What do you do?

Some suggestions:

  • Pray for guidance.
  • Ask other interested persons to help you in framing up the plan.
  • Involve the pastor. Be sure he/she knows of your plans and ask for his/her advice or support.
  • Choose a leader.
  • If necessary, obtain permission from the Church Board.
  • Set the time and place for your first meeting.
  • Study the needs of the group. What type of support do they need?

Plan the content of your program:

  • Arrange for a speaker, facilitator, or activity.
  • Include a devotional thought and prayer.
  • Arrange for someone to open the room and take care of lights, room temperature, seating, etc.
  • Arrange for equipment such as projectors, public address systems, overhead projectors, paper, and pencils needed during the meeting.
  • Provide refreshments if desired.
  • If the meeting will involve parents with children, arrange for childcare.
  • Remember to clean up after the meeting.
  • Advertise your first meeting. Use every means you can over and over—telling people something just once does not work any more.

Evaluate. After the meeting, meet with the leaders and discuss what went well. What needs to be planned before the next meeting? What needs to be changed? Make notes and discuss with your committee or assistants so you don’t forget.

How to Start a Divorce Recovery Group

The purpose of divorce recovery groups is to provide information, support, and friends who will listen without criticizing. This suggested format is one that provides an opportunity to grow, share, and heal in an informative and supportive environment.

  • Form a group of 10-11 people (maximum) who are seeking support through/after divorce.
  • The first hour of the meeting is informative.
  • The second hour is spent with an experienced facilitator (leader). This is support, not therapy.
  • Topics for discussions that have been the most helpful in these groups are:
    1. Accepting the reality of divorce and discussing the grief process
    2. Coping with loss and coping mechanisms available.
    3. A new sense of family, helping the children cope.
    4. Forgiveness—the importance of being honest in the relationship.
    5. Loneliness, dating, and intimacy in new relationships.


  • Provide opportunities for fellowship
  • Provide communication opportunities
  • Maintain a biblical perspective
  • Have an accepting attitude toward all
  • Speak in a basic language so that all can understand
  • Maintain confidentiality


  • Allow gossiping or complaining
  • Promote or allow prejudice
  • Be cliquish
  • Waste time
  • Stray from the planned subject
  • Label people
  • Be judgmental

Source: Pastors' and Elders' Handbook for Women's Ministries, p. 62.



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The Loving Touch: Caring for Someone with HIV/AIDS


Since the first cases of Acquired Immuno-Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) were reported in 1981, infection with Human Immuno-Deficiency Virus (HIV) has grown to pandemic proportions.


  • Over 42 million people are living with HIV/AIDS, and 74 percent of these infected people live in sub-Saharan Africa.
  • Over 19 million women are living with HIV/AIDS.
  • There are 14,000 new infections every day (95 percent in developing countries). HIV/AIDS is a “disease of young people,” with half of the 5 million new infections each year occurring among people ages 15 to 24.
  • The UN estimates that currently there are 14 million AIDS orphans and that by 2010 there will be 25 million.


This year, the General Conference Women’s Ministries Department, in partnership with the Adventist Aids International Ministry (AAIM), has been working on HIV/AIDS home-base care training material for Women’s Ministries directors to use. The Loving Touch Caring for Someone with HIV/AIDS is a tool for the women who are involved in training.

The material consists of a CD-ROM containing the PDF flip chart presentation which can be printed out to use as overheads, a PowerPoint flip chart presentation, and additional resource materials that give supplemental information on HIV/AIDS.

The resource teaching tool is available for use in the church or in the community. To get your copy of the material, contact your Division Women's Ministries director.


Love doesn't make the world go round. Love is what makes the ride worthwhile. —Franklin Jones

Prayer Corner

  • Annual Council in Manila
  • Women who are fighting HIV/AIDS
  • Women involved with evangelism
  • Praying for the women in Zimbabwe


  • October 1—Devotional Book deadline
  • October 17—International Day for the Eradication of Poverty
  • October 31—Scholarship Applications due to GCWM


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