The Solomon Islands Celebrate Twenty-five Years of the Department of Women's Ministries
Beverly Ima Maega gives personal testimony to what WM to her.
South Pacific Division (SPD)
[Solomon Islands] The Department of Women’s Ministries in the Solomon Islands Mission started casually in the late eighties until it was voted to be a full-fledged department of the Eastern Solomon Islands Mission, and our Mission President’s wife Mrs Janette Kingston was the first Women’s Ministries Director in 2006. From that time until to date, the Women’s Ministries department is fourteen years old. In 2011, I was the first local to be elected as the Director for Women’s Ministries department in Solomon Islands Mission of the Seventh day Adventist Church.
The last fourteen years have been very challenging to us, especially the introduction of the Ministry. All of a sudden, it was seen as a new concept, thus was not readily accepted by women and churches. In the world where Dorcas society was very well established and has been seen as the only avenue women can, involved in doing all women’s work, any new idea which will override the old ways of doing things or change the statuesque will go unchallenged. However, slowly by the grace of God the message touched a few women, and they started prayer groups. Eventually, the churches accepted the concept, and the ministry started to flourish.
Initially, we had three missions, hence, a woman was in placed in the Eastern Mission as a part time for the women’s ministries department, thus, awareness and advocacy was done and the work gradually spread to churches in Honiara the capital of Solomon Islands. Our women went to Australia for training and that helped spread the ministry out to the Provinces.
In 2006, when Women’s Ministries was a full-time department and had its own office, the work went all over the country and a lot of women and the churches were involved and accepted the work. Women and men have expressed appreciation for the work of Women's Ministries which has touched and changed their lives, even their families, and their prayer lives have been a great blessing. The work has grown in the last fourteen years. Places that had not been reached and opened to the love of Christ have been reached. Women are now different, and they have the confidence to preach in churches, in public in their communities, and to minister in their families. They now hold church offices in the church. Because of our cultural norms, women are not allowed to preach in church, pulpit, make decisions, and speak in public, but now these barriers are broken and women can participate in sharing God’s love like never before.
This year we have planned for a nationwide Adventist Women and Communities Service congress in August with a target participant of seven thousand women and men. We had invited speakers, planning committee had given out plans, women and men were preparing for the event until the COVID-19 pandemic came and ruined all our plans. Hence, the congress is now postponed to 2021. It would have been the best twenty-fifth anniversary celebration for women’s ministry.
For the last fourteen years we have been celebrating these activities that women’s ministries department have organized. Some of the activities are as follows and shown in photos:
- ADVENTIST WOMEN CONGRESS – A nationwide congress hosted at one of our township called Munda, in the Western Province. Two thousand plus women and men were attending the congress and a march through the street on saying NO to violence.
- LITERACY PROGRAM – Literacy program was organized with a curriculum in a pidgin version called BUK SAVE; church members were trained to teach the classes. It’s a blessing and joy to see women and men who can now read and write.
- PRAYER RETREATS – have been organized for the spiritual empowerment of women and girls.
- TEENAGER SEMINARS – for teenage girls have been organized for four phase of seminar called Real beauty, Real friends, Real Love and Real Me. There are thousand plus girls that got through this seminar and that really helped them to see themselves as special created in God’s image.
- ENDITNOW – A march and truck float have been organized through our city Honiara, and with the outboard motor. Women advocating 'Adventists Say No to Violence' the slogan of enditnow, an initiative of the Seventh-day Adventist Church.
- TRAINING WOMEN LEADERS – More than two thousand women have been trained in the Women's Ministries Leadership Certification program, learning to be effective leaders in various areas of their involvement.
- BAPTISMS – The result of Women's Ministries in our field is women and girls giving their hearts to Jesus in the waters of Baptism.
For more photos, download PDF report
By Beverly Ima Maega, director of Women's Ministries, Children's Ministries, and Family Ministries for Solomon Islands Mission
Published in Mosaic newsletter, 2020 Q4, fall issue