3rd Bi-Division Women’s Ministries Convention
The 3rd Bi-Division Women Ministries Convention, held in Bangkok, Thailand, in July was attended by 1004 participants. The numbers far exceeded expectations judging by the first two bi-division conventions. Participants came from as far away as the United States, and almost all the countries of the Asia-Pacific region were represented. For the first time, a group of 16 Mongolians attend a convention like this. Sally Phoon, the Northern Asia-Pacific Division WM director, and Helen Gulfan, Southern Asia-Pacific Division WM director, spent hundreds of hours planning for this momentous event.
The convention began on the evening of July 9 with a devotional from Dr. Ella Simmons, a Vice President of the General Conference. Working on the convention theme of “Avenues of God’s Touch,” she began with how the Lord touches us through His Holy Spirit. In her devotionals, which culminated in the sermon, she reminded the women of the way that God touches us with His love, His grace, and His forgiveness.
Breakout sessions provided further inspiration for learning about how to find partnerships in mission, how to care for the elderly, how to achieve success Christ’s way. Speakers came from the General Conference, the Inter-American and North American Divisions, Adventist International Institute of Advanced Studies in the Philippines, and Sahmyook University in Korea.
On Sabbath, the worship service attracted another 200 or so people from the Bangkok area, most of them Filipinos, as they re-connected with their friends from home. Mission College, Thailand, made a short presentation, and offeringscollected that day went toward two scholarships for women enrolled there. In addition, another offering collected on Sabbath will go toward helping with the evangelistic effort planned for 2009 by the Women’s Ministries Department of the Thailand Mission.
Three awards were given for the best Women’s Ministries reports from among the 14 unions/fields. The first prize of US$500 went to the tri-union report from the Philippines; the second prize, US$300, was awarded to the Korean Union Conference. Bangladesh Union Mission walked away with the third prize of US$200. It was heartwarming to learn of women fully engaged in their communities, meeting needs just as Christ would have done.