Happy New Year! Let's Rejoice!
[Silver Spring, MD] Celebrate with praise to God! Women’s Ministries is 20 years old! Yes, my dear sisters, General Conference Women’s Ministries is celebrating its 20th birthday as an official department of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. What a way to begin the New Year as we celebrate God’s leading and abundant blessings. Looking back at the past 20 years, we can see many hills and valleys in our journey but through it all we can also rejoice.
I love the words of Solomon, “He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end” (Eccl 3:11). As sisters we know what God has done for us, His daughters. He has affirmed us, renewed us, filled us, empowered us, nurtured us and given us a sense of purpose and direction. So as we go forward into 2015, rejoice that God made you a woman. His child. His treasure.
Heather-Dawn Small, GC Women's Ministries director
2015 GC Session Women's Meetings
Join us for Women's Meetings, July 6-9, 2015, at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center Grand Ballroom, 200 East Market Street, San Antonio, Texas 78203.
Morning meetings, Monday-Thursday, 9:00 AM - 10:00 AM.
Women's meetings with seminar, Tuesday and Thursday, 2:00 PM - 4:00 PM.
Theme is "Arise and Shine, Jesus is Coming!"
ALL WOMEN, OF ALL AGES, are invited to attend these meetings where we will worship toegether as daughters of God from every corner of the world. Speakers include Dr. Ella Simmons, Janet Page, Heather-Dawn Small, and Raquel Arrais.
GC Session 2015, general information.
Adventist Women's Bible
The first Adventist Women's Bible, co-produced by Safeliz Publishing (of Spain) and GC Women's Ministries, features full color portraits of women in the Bible with their biographies, a Bible Study series to help share Biblical truth, colorful prophecy charts, a list of the 28 Fundamentals of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, and a choice of covers in four colors.
2015 Women's Devotional
Altogether Lovely, the 2015 Women's Devotional, is available at local Adventist Book Centers. All royalties from book sales fund Scholarshipping Our Sisters (SOS). In the past twenty years the GCWM program has awarded one million scholarship dollars to 2,164 women in 124 countries.
Southern Asia-Pacific Division Holds First WM Congress
Women: Fulfilling End-Time Mission
[Bangkok] The first Southern Asia-Pacific Division (SSD) Women’s Ministries Congress was held in Bangkok, Thailand, July 2014. Although similar events have been held in Southeast Asia under the auspices of Far Eastern Division, this is the first congress hosted by SSD since the territory was divided into two divisions in 1997.
Keynote speaker Nancy Wilson, wife of the world church president Ted Wilson (pictured above), encouraged attendees to recognize their uniqueness as women and to see that they have much to offer to God in their service of end-time mission.
Featured speaker Raquel Arrais, GC WM associate director, described three types of special calls to women from God and challenged them to remember that “God does not use the most talented people in the world; He chooses the ones He can use best.”
Workshops and seminars centered on the theme “Women: Fulfilling End-Time Mission” gave participants more than they expected. Erna Johnson, South Pacific Division WM director, guided women in finding their own beauty, and talents, and purpose in God, Gabriella Profeta Phillipps, Muslim Relations coordinator for North American Division outlined key points in understanding Muslim co-workers and neighbors and how best to cultivate a relationship of mutual respect and friendship, and Dr. Janice Brown, psychology professor and pastor’s wife from Nashville, Tennessee, U.S.A., kept participants laughing even while learning a wealth of insights she generously shared.
Inspired to fulfill their end-time mission, 540 attendees returned to their corners of the world, often thousands of miles away from each other. Adding to the distances within SSD, guests also came from India, Tahiti, and the United States.
Contributed by Teresa Costello, Southern Asia-Pacific Division
Southern Asia Division Holds First WM Congress
Women of Worth in Action
[Roorkee, India] The first Southern Asia Division (SUD) Women’s Ministries Congress was held at Roorkee Adventist College campus, October 2014. Following the official opening of the congress by Northern India Union President Ezras Lakra, women in state costume formed a grand march while carrying the flags of each of countries in SUD, along with the flags of each SUD union, and a special flag bearing the logo for Women’s Ministries of the Seventh-day Adventist Church.
Pastor Hidayat Masih, Rosenita Christo, and Adriana Garcia inspired attendees with morning and evening devotionals. Congress organizer and SUD WM Director Premila Masih, Diana Jaworski, and other guest speakers presented seminars which included Women of Worth, The Precious Pearl, These Chains Don’t Break, God’s Daily Menu, and God’s Mirror.
The topic of women's health, included nutrition, physiotherapy, and the importance of regular tests for cancer in women. Exercise breaks encouraged movement in the midst of so much sitting. Food played an important function in the congress. Every meal was a meeting, making friends and providing time for fellowship. Other activities included a testimony time, cultural night, and an enditnow rally.
To close the congress Masih emphasized “What One Woman Can Do.” To conclude the commitment service, the faculty of Roorkee Adventist College vividly portrayed Masih’s message in a choreography titled “Carry Your Candle.” Three hundred women returned home with a refreshed spirit and stronger sisterhood. They held assurance that they are indeed "Women of Worth in Action."
Contributed by Premila Masih, SUD WM director
Pacific Adventist University Women are Challenged to Give Their Best to God
[Papua New Guinea] A women’s conference held in September 2014 at Pacific Adventist University in Papua New Guinea was designed for the campus women of all ages. The theme was “Our best for God in the Last Days.”
South Pacific Division Women's Ministries Director Erna Johnson challenged the participants to accept that they have an important role to play at home, at church, and in the community as we prepare for Jesus’ second coming. It was a real spiritual awakening as we studied and challenged each other to be what God wants us to be and to do what He has gifted us for.
Papua New Guinea has one of the highest rates of domestic violence and rape in the world and in many places women have no rights. Therefore, self-esteem and self-worth is lacking in many women. Adventist Women’s Ministries is there to help them understand how they can grow in Jesus and become confident women of God accomplishing the work God has entrusted them with.
Contributed by Erna Johnson, SPD WM director
French Women Take a Christ-Centered Cruise
[French Antilles] The French Antilles Union hosted a Women’s/Family Ministries Cruise onboard the MSC Musica, December 10-16, 2014. The theme was “En Route avec le Merveilleux Seigneur Consolateur (MSC); “In Route with the Lord, Our Wonderful Counsellor." The main speakers were Cecilia Iglesias, Inter-American Division WM director, and Heather-Dawn Small, GCWM director. Both women were accompanied by their spouses, Pastors Pedro Iglesias and Joseph Small, who assisted with their presentations.
The cruise began on the Caribbean island of Martinique, progressing to islands of St. Lucia, Guadeloupe, Dominican Republic, Tortolla, St. Martin and Antigua. Over 200 women and a few spouses participated. By the end of the cruise, blessings were overflowing and women left committed to serve the Lord.
Contributed by Heather-Dawn Small, GCWM Director
"That I May Know Him" Conference Brings Women Together in Atlantic Caribbean Union Mission
[Turks and Caicos] Providenciales, the picturesque island known for its natural beauty in the Turks and Caicos, was the site for the annual Women's Ministries Retreat of the Atlantic Caribbean Union Mission, comprising the North & South Bahamas Conferences, the Cayman Island Conference and the Turks & Caicos Mission.
About 120 women attended. Guest speakers included Raquel Arrais, GCWM associate director, and Cecilia de Iglesias, IAD WM director. The theme of the retreat held October 31-November 2, 2014 was "That I May Know Him" motivating women to live by God's Word in such a time as this.
Contributed by Raquel Arrais, GCWM associate director
Mission to the Cities
[Silver Spring, MD] Mission to the Cities is a call to mobilize all church entities, departments, and members to focus on urban mission. This is an ongoing initiative of the church because for the first time in human history more than half the global population lives in urban areas. By 2050 it is expected that 70 percent of the world will live in cities. "We have a vital task to carry out, and we resolve to proclaim the message of the kingdom in every metropolis on earth—no matter the cost" (from "It's Time" document adopted by Annual Council, October 2013).
Participating in urban mission will require careful attention to:
- Reaching the least-reached people groups within a city
- Participating in community services
- Encouraging personal witnessing
- Embracing health ministry
- Developing integrated media evangelism
- Empowering, equipping, and inspiring disciples for mission
- Establishing centers of influenceEnhancing small group ministries
- Distributing literature
- Conducting public evangelism
- Developing relationships with public authorities
Goats Give Women Financial Support in Nepal
[Nepal] A special project of Women's Ministries in Nepal provides goats for poor women as a way to supplement family income. Goat recipients might be widows, or young mothers who care for their children at home, or wives who need additional sources of income because of the irregularity of day work for their husbands. These women might be from the local community or members of the Adventist church.
A church congregation in North America donated funds for the 2014 Nepal Goat Project. If you would like to contribute to other goat projects or microbusinesses from GCWM special projects, contact the GCWM office. Email: TimonR@gc.adventist.org; Tel: 1 (301) 680-6608.
The Love Dare project in Serbia
[Belgrade, Serbia] In the icy cold dawn of New Year's Day 2015 (10 degrees F), the street named Svetogorska in downtown Belgrade changes its name to Open Heart Street and becomes a street market for foot traffic. Volunteers arrive by 6:00 AM to set up the booth for the publishing house in Serbia.
Two volunteers carry around special advertisements for the book Love Dare that speaks about the divine principles on which love in marriage, home, family and interpersonal relationships should be based.
Every visitor is invited to select a free gift from a selection of books, periodicals, and DVDs provided by the publishing house. Surprised recipients ask what they may give in return. They are happy to give donations for Safe House, a women and children`s shelter in Smederevo.
By the end of the day, 98,000 dinars (about $1,000 USD) has been donated for the women's shelter and 25,350 items of Adventist publications have been distributed. Copies of Love Dare, given by warm hearts with icy hands to open hearts with freezing hands, total 3,500 books.
Women's Ministries of the South-East European Union Conference printed this book as an enditnow project, partially funded by GC Women's Ministries special projects.
Contributed by Mary Trajkovka, WM director in the South-East European Union of Trans-European Division
February 6 is International Day of Zero Tolerance for FGM
[United Nations] February 6 is declared the International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation (FGM).
More than 130 million girls and women alive today have undergone FGM in the 29 countries in Africa and the Middle East where FGM is concentrated. Although the United Nations banned the practice in 2012, if current trends continue, as many as 30 million girls are at risk of being subjected to FGM before their 15th birthday.
German Adventist Hospital Treats FGM Victims
[Berlin] The Krankenhaus Waldfriede (a German Adventist Hospital) opened the Desert Flower Center in September 2013 to help restore victims of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), a cultural ritual in parts of Africa and Asia. The hospital began using techniques invented by physicians who have operated on more than 4,000 women to repair damaged caused by FGM. The World Health Organization estimates that 150 million women are victims.
The Desert Flower Center is a partnership with the Austrian-based Desert Flower Foundation established in 2002 by Somali supermodel, author, and international activist Waris Dirie, herself a victim of FGM at age five.
“When women have lost parts of their body through misunderstanding, tradition, incomprehensible practices, crime and abuse in the past, then if we can, it is our duty to give them back whatever we can so they can live a normal life, as God has meant it to be from the beginning,” said Inter-European Division WM Director Denise Hochstrasser in her visit to the Desert Flower Center in Berlin.
Learn what Seventh-day Adventists are doing for Maasai girls at Kajiado Rescue Centre in Kajiado, Kenya: read the Adventist Review archives; the Adventist News Network archives. and the GCWM Mosaic Newletter archives.
Donate online to GCWM enditnow projects for the Kajiado Rescue Centre.
How to Create Spiritual Balance in Your Life
Experience God in His Word daily
- Read the Bible through in one year
- Speed read a book of the Bible
- Write scripture . . . and interact with God on the paper
- Repeat read a portion of scripture, every day for a week, slowly, thoughtfully
- Read a chapter expressively, i.e., Isaiah 53
- Memorize meaningful chapters
- Sing scripture songs
- Carry with you Bible promise cards on a ring, read while waiting
- Search the scriptures for the top 10 values by which to live
- Search Jesus’ life to learn how to minister to others
- At home, alone . . . and with your family
- Pray at work . . . in the halls, in the offices
- Find a prayer partner, pray often together
- Feel free to ask a co-worker for prayer
- When someone asks for prayer, pray right then
- Pray over your To Do List, for God’s priorities
- Pray over your project of the moment
- Pray scriptures
- Invite the Holy Spirit to dwell in your heart and to pray FOR you
Share a testimony daily
When you spend time in God's Word and in prayer, you WILL have a testimony. It just happens.
- What God gave you in His Word today
- How God is changing you through His Word and His Spirit
- How God answered your prayer
- A need for which you would like prayer support, expressing trust and thanksgiving for God’s answer that will come
- Share with your family/kids, work associates, neighbors, seatmate on the airplane, anyone you spend time with
- Organize sharing partnerships, triads, small groups that meet during lunch to share your testimonies
So . . . if like Jonah you find yourself running away from God or you are simply drifting away or sinking in a sea of busy-ness, call out to God. Ask Him to bring you back to Him . . . back to where you will find true balance for your life!
Marti Schneider, March 2007, Women's Awareness Week worship at the General Conference
Education and Leadership Opportunities for Women
- Two thirds of the 774 million adult illiterates worldwide are women – the same proportion for the past 20 years and across most regions.
- The global youth literacy rate has increased to 89 per cent, while the gender gap has declined to 5 percentage points.
- Gaps between girls’ and boys’ primary enrollment have closed in the majority of countries, but gender parity is still a distant goal for some.
- 72 million children of primary school age are not attending school, out of which over 39 million (or 54 per cent) are girls.
- While secondary school enrollments show improvement, fewer countries are near gender parity than for primary education.
- In tertiary enrollment, men’s dominance has been reversed globally and gender disparities favor women, except in sub-Saharan Africa and Southern and Western Asia.
- Women in tertiary education are significantly underrepresented in the fields of science and engineering; however, they remain predominant in education, health and welfare, social sciences, and humanities and arts.
- Worldwide, women account for slightly more than a quarter of all scientific researchers – an increase compared to previous decades but still very far from parity.
You may help educate women around the world. Donate online, GCWM Scholarship Fund
See GC Women's Ministries Illiteracy and Leadership resources, two of the Six Issues identified by GCWM as the greatest needs of women to address.
Tips for Leaders
- Be grateful
- Practice good thoughts
- Put people first
- Model kindness
- Embrace good standards
- Seek improvement
- Live out your faith
- Be like Jesus
- Keep the faith
- Get moving
- Eat more grains, fruits, and vegetables
- Make new friends
- Keep in close contact with family
- Appreciate the beauty around you
- Sit less
- Help others
Date To Remember
- 7-17 Ten Days of Prayer
- 1 Statistical Report due at the GC WM office
- 6 International Day of Zero Tolerance to Female Genital Mutilation
- Ten Days of Prayer, January 7-17, 2015
- Mission to the Cities
- Women in war zones
- Women local church leaders
- GC Session Women's Meetings
Missionary Book of 2015
Health & Wellness: Secrets That Will Change Your Life, Mark A Finley and Peter N Landless, editors, order online
Revived by His Word
Revival and Reformation
10 Days of Prayer
January 7-17, 2015, see more here