Touch a Heart, Reach My World
"Christ’s method ALONE will give true success in reaching people. The Savior mingled with [people] as one who desired their good. He showed His sympathy for them, ministered to their needs, and won their confidence. THEN He bade them, ‘follow Me’."—Ministry of Healing, p. 143.
"The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is upon me, for the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to comfort the brokenhearted and to proclaim that captives will be released and prisoners will be freed. "He has sent me to tell those who mourn that the time of the Lord's favor has come, and with it, the day of God's anger against their enemies. "To all who mourn in Israel, he will give a crown of beauty for ashes, a joyous blessing instead of mourning, festive praise instead of despair. In their righteousness, they will be like great oaks that the Lord has planted for his own."—Isaiah 61:1-3
Why "Reach My World?"
To encourage each woman to reach those closest to her—in her family, neighborhood, community, workplace, etc.
"Not all work that needs to be done for Christ is in faraway lands. Our work may be right in the home. We can do our duty for Christ in the home, the church, the neighborhood. We may work among friends and for those with whom we do business" —Steps to Jesus, p. 81.
SIX CHALLENGE ISSUES
impacting women globally
1. Threats to Health—Women’s health includes her emotional, social, and physical well-being and is directly affected by social, political and economic factors.
Ministry Ideas: Breathe Free for Women, Blood pressure/cholesterol programs, Osteoporosis prevention, Exercise, Weight control, Vegetarian cooking, Nutrition classes, Cancer screening/awareness, Reproductive health classes, Grief and loss support groups, Support groups, Stress reduction
2. A Woman’s Workload—Women around the world and in all cultures face the problem of work overload. Women are faced with the challenge of doing 90% of the world’s agricultural work which includes long work days, small salaries and then the additional hours of housework and childcare with limited rest and recreation and little time with God.
Ministry Ideas: Devotional life ideas, Time management, Organization seminars, Management classes, Small business classes, Self esteem, Bible study skills, Working Mothers seminar
3. Poverty—The UNIFEM report “Progress of the World’s Women 2005” presents some startling information on this question of women and poverty. Progress for women in this is improving but very slowly. The report notes that “despite parity in primary education, disparities are still wide in secondary and tertiary education—both increasingly key to new employment opportunities.”
Ministry Ideas: Small business development, Money management seminars, Preparing for retirement seminars, Professional mentoring, Time management, Budgeting, Widow support groups, Debt reduction
4. Lack of Training, Mentoring, and Leadership Opportunities—Education for all is a basic human right. For women to achieve better health, nutrition, and quality of life for themselves and their families they need equal access to education.
Ministry Ideas: Leadership training, Mentoring programs, Communication classes, Parliamentary Procedures seminars, Women’s Ministries committees, Spiritual Gifts seminars
5. Abuse—Domestic violence, incest, rape, and battering are all too common burdens that women carry. Physical, sexual, and psychological battering happens to small girls, adolescents, single, and married adult women, and elderly women. No stratum of society is immune from the epidemic of violence and as a church we believe that tolerance of abuse is a denial of Christ.
Ministry Ideas: Abuse education seminar, Women’s shelters, Support groups, Healing seminars
6. Illiteracy—There are nearly one billion people in the world who are illiterate, one-fifth of the world's population. One out of every three women in the world cannot read and write.
Ministry Ideas: Basic literacy training, Computer literacy, Second Language training program
Our desire, by God’s grace, is to provide ministry ideas that encourage women today to take up their mission as disciples of Jesus Christ.
The women of this church are eager, ready, and more than willing to do God’s work. We know God will lead us to accomplish this task by uniting our efforts as we REACH HEARTS AND TELL THE WORLD!
Did You Know?
- In 2000, 18 percent of men in the developing world were illiterate, while almost one-third—31 percent—of women had no education. Source: World Bank. PovertyNet
- One might think that food, health care, and housing are more pressing needs than literacy education, but literacy is now seen as a major tool to help address these other needs. Source: UNESCO
- In Mozambique villages women must spend more than two hours each day to collect water from the nearest rivers and springs. Source: International Fund for Agricultural Development 2004—IFAD
- In Burkina Faso—Africa it is estimated that the average farm woman every day carries on her head almost 45 pound over a distance of about 1.5 miles for marketing and other purposes. Source: International Fund for Agricultural Development—IFAD
- The child of a Zambia mother with a primary education has a 25 percent better chance to survival than a child of a mother with no education? Source: UNESCO, 2004
- The U.S. invests more than $6,000 per year for each student in public school. In Rwanda, only $19 per student can be spared each year for public education. Source: Center for Global Development, Rich World, Poor World—A Guide to Global Development Education and the Developing World
- About 200 million children under age five are underweight. Not getting enough to eat can stunt growth, slow thinking, sap energy and contribute to mental retardation. Source: World Food Programme
- More than 1 billion people—one in six—live on less than $1 a day, and 2.7 billion live on less than $2 a day. Source: World Bank. PovertyNet
- In the developing world, more than 800 million people go to bed hungry each night. Source: FAO: Newsroom—The numbers: SOFI 2004 Hunger Statistics
- 40% of the adults infected by HIV/AIDS are women. Source: Millennium Project Task Force on Educational and gender Equality, 2004
- World Health Organization reports that around the world, one in every three women is suffering some form of abuse.
What can I do as a women’s ministries leader?
- Pray with your team for those who are suffering from these challenges in a hurtful way.
- Inform the women about the Six Challenge Issues and how to minister to these needs.
- Conduct research to determine the major needs of women in your church and community.
- Start with a project.
- Give the church opportunity to participate.
- Work in partnership with the Seventh-day Adventist Church departments.
- Form a team of volunteers, including health professionals, educators, business women and people wiling to help.
- Provide training seminars in these topics.
- Help women to find a ministry in which they can be involved.
WOMEN IN ACTION
God in Shoes Project
God in Shoes is a ministry started by the Department of Women’s Ministries of the Georgia-Cumberland Conference, North American Division, in 2004. With this ministry, a group of women go to an area in the conference that needs to have a concentrated ministry effort. They bring new shoes, gifts, and other resources needed to do ministry and make a difference in the community. God in Shoes Ministry is truly an innovative method of evangelism allowing “hands on” training for women to learn how to reach out into their communities.
The women experience great joy doing this ministry because it gives them an opportunity to touch lives and make a difference. They have each taken time to put together the food boxes and add personal items that give that extra touch and make it more than just a box of food. It is one of many ways to “touch a heart” that tells the world of God’s caring love.
India Literacy Program—"Never too late to learn”
The multiple religious and caste groups meet together evening after evening become good friends. They share their joys and sorrows, problems and difficulties with each other; help each other in the learning process. They even save their daily wages and go for picnic. The community is transformed to be a better place to live in.
The Adult Literacy program ministers to every woman including the lepers in Andhra. It gives opportunity for women in all walks of life to involve in ministry in one way or the other—to be a facilitator, a supervisor, a mentor, a counselor or a donor.
They call the Adult Literacy Program an “EYE OPENER.” It opens the eyes of the illiterate to see the WORLD and the WORD.
The WORLD—Their ignorance is replaced by the worldly knowledge gained from the printed matter and the Facilitators to be better citizens in the community and to see the world beyond their village.
Cambodia Sewing Machine Project
The sewing machine project in Cambodia has resulted in one church planting. One of our sisters began this project in an effort to reach out the women of her village who were in great need.
The village women sew scraps of cloth into square stacks that is then sold to a factory. The money from their sales help to feed and clothe their families. Since returning from Cambodia, Heather-Dawn Small, women's ministries director for the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, has shared this story with women in America and $1,150US was sent to assist with this project. Each machine costs $250US.
A report has been received from Mrs. Bun Sokhom, women’s ministries director in the mission office in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, regarding another sewing machine project which has just started up. She writes that the women are very happy for the new machines and send their thanks to their sisters.