Women's Ministries congress includes a "royal" banquet and tiaras
WM congress theme, "Daughters of the King," reminds women in Southeast Asia how much our heavenly Father loves and treasures us.
Southern Asia-Pacific Division (SSD)
[Thailand] Sometimes we need to be reminded how much our heavenly Father loves and treasures us, and what great rewards are included with His royal Inheritance as well. On the weekend of May 11–13, 2018, 184 women from the countries of Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, Malaysia (Sabah, Sarawak and Peninsular Malaysia Missions), Thailand and Singapore gathered at Imperial Mae Ping Hotel, Chiangmai, Thailand at a congress for spiritual growth held by Women’s Ministries (WM) of Southeast Asia Union Mission (SAUM).
The theme “Daughters of the King” was carefully chosen for that short but powerful and inspirational weekend. Everything from the decorations, setup, and gifts were tied to the theme. Our invited speakers, Raquel Arrais, General Conference WM associate director, and Helen Gulfan, Southern Asia-Pacific Division WM director, shared topics relevant and pertinent to these women. Hearts were touched and not a dry eye was seen in the several sessions shared.
Each mission was responsible for presiding over different sections of the retreat. This gave opportunity for women to learn from each other. They were encouraged with the reports from each mission when women shared in the special feature segment, “Women in Ministry,” because each country and mission has its own unique challenges.
What made the retreat even more special was the Sabbath afternoon affirmation for each woman who received a tiara placed on her head by Raquel Arrais, Helen Gulfan and Debbie Saul-Chan, SAUM WM director. All the women were visibly moved by this tangible gesture of being treated so royally and affirmed as daughters of the king. It was particularly significant as it was Mother’s Day weekend and the multiple roles of women as daughter, mother, wife, worker had been highlighted and affirmed.
The congress culminated in a very special “royal” banquet for all the daughters of the king on Saturday night. All came dressed in their best gowns wearing their tiaras as daughters of the King, walking with confidence into the beautifully decorated ballroom. As dinner commenced with the delicious spread of food, a few items were prepared for an enjoyable evening. Candles were lit and Arrais and Gulfan gave a special charge to the women. Everyone departed humming and singing the theme song, “Daughters of the King.”
Indeed, it was a beautiful ending of the retreat to northern Thailand but just the beginning for the inspired women as they return home to their missions and share what they have learned with the rest of their sisters in our territory of Southeast Asia.
Contributed by Debbie Saul-Chan, Women's Ministries director of Southeast Asia Union Mission
Published in Mosaic newsletter, Summer 2018