I am so glad to share with you about observing the Women’s Day of Prayer in our union. We have celebrated this whole week end church activities, I mean we (women) lead the Friday evening meeting, Sabbath School program, English divine service as well as Bangla divine service. We tried to involve many women as well as girls also in the program.
We have requested every women to wear purple colored dress as the color of the day, which represents justice, dignity, self-reverence and self-respect. The church was colorful. Every women was happy for the day and they felt the day as a special day and the blessed day. We have made and distributed badge & Bible marker to all the women and young girls.
Really sermon of the day was so nice with the children story. I believe that each one of us has been blessed through the special message.
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Mountain View college ladies from different departments joined Women’s Certification level 1 last April 7-9, 2011. It was a long awaited program for the MVC women. Many of them especially the faculty asked if they really belonged to a group of women, according to them; “ if ever there is an activity, or congress held at MVC we were not invited or we have to file a few days leave in order to attend such activity.” But this time sixty (60) ladies were given a two-day free time to attend the said program.
Mrs. Helen B. Gulfan, the SSD WM & SI director, Mrs. Shirley C. Aguinaldo, the SPUC WM. FM. ChM & SI director, Rofely G. Dumpasan, PhD., the NMC WM,FM, ChM, & SI director with Mrs. Methyl R. Almocera, SPUC department secretary were the facilitators and lecturers of the said certification. It was a heart searching week end for MVC ladies. They now felt they belong to a group of women who can do their best for the Master. Pastor Clyde T. Sumatra, the church Pastor of MVC and Mrs. Rosemarie F. Cacho the Women’s Ministries Leader of MVC church initiated the program.
It was the earnest desire of MVC ladies to do for the Lord in spite of their responsibilities in the college. They were recharged, challenged by the messages given during the devotional and the commitment program. MVC ladies look forward for WM Certification Level 11 possibly next semester.
The week end program was culminated by a commitment message of Mrs. Helen B. Gulfan challenging every woman to do their best wherever they are.
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In the Seychelles, a seminar to give leadership skills to women membersof the local Adventist churches was seen as a huge success when it also saw men coming and wanting to take part. There was a large turn-out at the St LouisSeventh-day Adventist Church where the training course took place under the theme "Women of Faith." The course was comprised of four levels, each covering topics such as self-empowerment, self-worth and self-appreciation, mental health, mentoring young women, balancing home and career, personality assessment, and spiritual gifts. Two representatives from the General Conference led the course: Raquel Arrais and Katia Reinert; they were assisted by Caroline Chola from the Division and help of the Women's Ministries director at the Seychelles Mission, Doris Bick. Source: www.nation.sc
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On May 19-22 a youth congress, "Holiness and Purity," was organized byIsrael Field Youth Department. Nina Usacheva, the IF/WM director, was invitedto present some seminars such as "Sexuality" and "Purity" to the girls. Theyhad very good meetings with a very strong experience shared by one girl.The enditnow campaign was presented to all the youngpeople. They showed strong support and signed the petition. Each one received awristband and a pledge card.
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Adventist women are using Christ’s method to touch lives in the community. The Women's Ministries department prepared a one week training to sensitize women about how early marriage of young, inexperienced and dependent girls always leads to poverty, health problems, and violence against women. Home management, personal hygiene, and prevention of some common diseases were included in the seminars. More than 20 women attended regularly. As a result of this program, about four women are now ready to participate in the weekly Bible study small group.
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By Omobonike Adeola SESSOU
I was born into a non-Christian family. I am the second of the three children. My parents divorced when I was about three years old. My mother later married another man with whom she had two children. So we became five. Through her marriage to my stepfather, my mother became a Christian, an Adventist; thus I got the opportunity to attend church and learn about Christ. Life with the stepfather was difficult since he found it difficult to educate another man's children. And I had no access to my father, who was upset with us because we became Christians.
At the age of 13, I met my father for the first time that I could remember. He came with the intention of taking over his responsibilities as a father but on condition that we returned to his religion. The offer was accepted by my elder brother, who was already fed up with constant problems with our stepfather. But I could not accept because I was in love with Jesus, so my younger brother and I could not benefit from our father’s offer.
When I was 15, a terrible problem broke out between my stepfather and my mother that led to their separation. Then my mother abandoned the church and commanded all the children to also leave. However I could not leave the Seventh-day Adventist Church because I had learned the truth and embraced it with all my heart.
My firm decision to remain in the church despite my mother's threat brought me great trials. She determined to pour all her anger upon me for remaining in the church. She cut off all financial support, and I had already rejected my father’s offer. I was between two choices; accept my father’s religion to benefit from his offer (He is a rich man living in Saudi Arabia.) or join my mother’s charismatic church to gain her support.
Both of these two options were in conflict with my conscience. I knew fully the consequence. Refusing their offers would mean a terrible war between me and the parents.
Notwithstanding, I made up my mind to obey God rather than men. My younger brother made the same decision. I will not bother you about the suffering we received from my father; he even attempted to kill us, but God hid us from his wrath.
My mother became an instrument in Satan’s hand to torture my life. She refused to give me food, clothing, or pay my school bills. I felt keenly my separation from her. It was just at the age I needed my mother for instruction and guidance, but she became my bitterest enemy.
Finally she sent me away from home. I had no place to go. In my desperation, I decided to fully seek God. My Bible became my best friend. The more I read the more convinced I became that I was on the right road. Like Joseph who finally made a decision to honor God in all his life after he faced the reality of a lonely life away from his beloved father. I renewed my vow to God and made the decision to follow Him all the days of my life. God led me to a special text, 2Corinthians 6:17, 18. This passage became the most precious gift to me. I believed it and claimed it all my life;
Throughout those days of trial, God sent me people who encouraged and gave me wise advice at every point when I needed it most. Yet I needed a home, a family to enjoy the warmth that love brings. I finally finished my Senior Secondary Certificate Examination. Just in time God touched the heart of an elder in the church, who told me that God had asked him to accept me into his family circle.
I became a member of this family, and it served as a home for me. I received the love, warmth and education needed to carry on. Papa, a foster-father, took me as his own daughter and supplied all my needs according to his means.
It was in the house of this elder that I came in contact with the Spirit of Prophecy books. Papa would always call me to read to him from those books. Gradually I got interested in them and soon discovered what a fountain of truth they are. I became fascinated with the book Desire of Ages. I met Christ personally through it. I spent all my time reading all the Ellen G. White books I could find. They were my counselors. The book Messages to Young People offered me all the necessary counsels that my parents could not offer me. It was in this family that I verified the saying in Psalm 119:9, "Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? By taking heed thereto according to thy word." God's word became my guide and I was safe from dangers of adolescence.
I have lived in many homes, but this particular elder’s home was a blessing. I count all other trials that befell me as nothing compared to the treasures of life I found in his library. It was the greatest legacy I ever received. Yes, I was influenced for life. No more doubts. I had new vision, new hope, new aspiration. I decided to attend a Seventh-day Adventist institution to earn a BA degree, no matter the cost. I was convinced of God's leadership.
I told my foster- father of my decision to attend an Adventist university. I had always dreamed of becoming a medical doctor, but this program was not available in ASWA. He asked me what course I was going to pursue. My response was quick, "I am going to take a Religion major and Biology minor. I want to know more about God. Later I can continue with medicine." He gave his approval and regretted his inability financially to sponsor me. But with eyes filled with tears he prayed for me, asking God to supply my needs and to fulfill His purposes in my life.
Then I knew I had to begin a new life of faith with God. It was time to put into practice all the lessons of faith I have learned from God's word and the Spirit of Prophecy. Soon I went to my mother to announce to her my success in the Exams and my desire to further my studies in an Adventist Institution. I was disappointed when she mocked my decision and expressed her inability to sponsor me. All I could get from her were some notebooks and one old travelling bag.
I set out for school without my school fees. It was a journey of faith, and God faithfully rewarded it. I found a guarantor who agreed to sign for me so I could begin my studies. I quickly joined the work-study program and got a job washing the dormitory toilets. But I was not ashamed to do it since I have learned to do well all things that my hand finds to do.
I determined to study hard and concentrate my energy and time for God. No idle time to invite temptation. I knew God was preparing me for something great, so there was no time for self pity, but rather I would happily do all that comes my way.
It was not easy to meet my financial needs in school, but God always opened the way when I needed it most. I finally got a sponsorship from a foundation that helped me to cover part of my expenses. Praise God for that. I also canvassed during the holidays. Finally I got the job as Assistant Dean, which was a blessing indeed. With the sum earned, I was able to pay for the rest of my debt, and the last two years of study at ASWA were blessed for me. God blessed me with success in my studies, and I graduated Magma Cum Laude.
By God's grace I met Selom Kwasi Sessou, a Togolese, who proposed marriage. After much prayer, we were certain that God was leading us. We got married December 25, 2001. God has blessed us with a daughter, Jokebed Sessou, almost eight years old. We also have an adopted son, Joela, who is thirteen, the son of my sister-in-law who died at the time of his birth. His father has been traumatized ever since. Those lovely children have constantly been our source of encouragement and blessing. They are precious to us.
For about nine years, I have been in Togo . I can now speak and write in French. It was a new school. But I found peace and joy in my home. My husband is an ordained pastor, a gentle and peaceable man. He has served as a father, friend and brother to me. I do not regret marrying him. I also found my mother-in-law an exceptional woman. She was constantly a source of blessing to me until her recent death.
I found that the difficult times I passed through were a preparation to be a good shepherdess of the flock of Christ. Though young in age, I have experienced the demonstration of God's power and the fulfillment of His promises.
I stayed at home for almost eight years without a paying job, yet God supplied our needs. I have learned to live with plenty and with little. During those years of silence, I was fully involved in the ministry with my husband. I conducted seminars for women, young ladies and youth. I shared my experiences to help foster the faith of those who are in need of help, and God blessed the ministry.
In 2006, God gave me the opportunity to further my education. I became part of the leadership class students where I served as the president of the class for four years. One of the youngest in the class, but not the least, I graduated in August 2009.
It was after my August graduation that the Togo Mission decided to engage me as a Bible Instructor as a result of the blessing of the special tithes from the GC, though I had been elected as the Women’s Ministries Department and Children's Department Director, and later Education Director of Togo Mission since January 2008. It was a wonderful experience to work for God in those capacities.
In December 2009, my husband was called to be the Director of the Niger Mission Station. We arrived at our new station the following January; there I continued to be a Bible Instructor. I also assist the Women’s Ministries and Children Ministries Departments here. It is a new experience. With God all things are well and good for us. I gained new insight into working for the salvation of women of the local religion here in Niger .
And by the grace of God, I was named the Women’s and Children’s Ministries Director for the West-Central Africa Division.
EBENEZER!!! Hitherto the Lord has led me in life.
"We have nothing to fear for the future, except as we shall forget the way the Lord has led us, and His teaching in our past history" CC, p. 359.
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Over the weekend of April 29-May 1, the Oregon Conference Women’s Ministries Department sponsored a mini mission weekend in the small town of Sweet Home, Oregon, where the median income in near the poverty level. Cheri Corder, conference women’s ministries director, and Tawny Sportsman lead the team. The purpose of the community impact weekend was to reach out as Jesus did and touch the lives of individuals. Every job performed was simply a gift – with no strings attached.
The idea was for women (and men) from around the conference to participate in the weekend events in whatever activities they wished. The weekend was called a mini mission because even though it isn’t overseas, it’s considered a real mission field, due to the number of people with incomes below the poverty level.
On Friday members started out with service projects and tackled everything from cleaning, maintenance, painting local community centers and yard work, to litter pickup for the town, and much more.
In addition, the Sweet Home church hosted a health and safety fair and provided free blood pressure and pulse checks, eye exams, hearing tests, hearing aid cleaning, massages, free fingerprinting and photos of children, plus free car seat checks by the Police Department. The Fire Department was also there with a big shiny red fire truck for the children to visit.
On Friday evening, conference women sponsored a free vegetarian tasting event at the senior center, where the public could sample vegetarian food and take home the recipes.
Conference volunteers set up a military honor board where people placed the names of loved ones who are currently in the military or who had served in the past. On Saturday there was a roll call of names with a patriotic song afterward.
At the end of the weekend, every job on the list was completed, and the people of Sweet Home are looking forward to the Adventists returning next year.
Litter patrol for the town of Sweet Home. They don't have enough staff to pick up litter all over the town, so the volunteers helped.
Weeding and gardening at an apartment building in town
Painting the staff house for the Battered Women's Shelter
In tune with the instructions from the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, the SDA church at Ranchi, (Jharkhand, India) celebrated a special spiritual weekend during the Sabbath hours of 26 and 27 August, 2011.
It began with a lively song service for vespers by the women which was followed by a lively panel discussion organized by Mrs.Manmaya Jeba Singh, the principal of Metas college of Nursing. The panel consists of teachers, Tutors, a lecturer and a lawyer. It became an eye opener to many who have been, suppressed, depressed and locked under the inhuman orthodox and cultural practices of the society. The presence of Mrs.Naina Niral gave opportunity to the church enriching with better comprehension of the legal aspects of abuse prevention.
The Sabbath school presentation was simply superb with a natural counseling done to a woman who was being abused by her husband and who was at the cross roads of her life. While the negative advices left the church members in a kind of a frustration and stress the positive brought relief and hope. The presentation made a direct impact on the hearts of the members.
The divine hour was presented by Dr. Suranjeen Prasad, M.D.in Community who works directly with and girls and women. His effort in saving the victims in trafficking has been remarkable. However he declined felicitation as he felt that it was part of his job description and not a voluntary deed. The power point presentation which was earlier downloaded from the SDA website made the sermon all the more effective. Pr.E.Gordon who retired as the Director of IFA of SUD offered special blessings for the abused in his benediction making it very unique.
Sabbath evening we had one of the longest sessions of group discussion where everyone was involved having divided the entire church into 6 groups. The participation was immense and the contribution great.
Special music by the Hindi and English groups added glamour to all session of worship.
I promoted the “end it now” website. Thanks to General Conference for such a wonderful idea. We look forward for more innovative programs in future.
God has blessed the evangelistic efforts of the Adventist women in Honduras. This being that during the second semester of this year, 430 precious souls were baptized for the kingdom of heaven, by performing the following activities:
In Honduras, the month of September is considered the month of the child. During this month special efforts are made toward children, such as crusades, week of prayer, visits to the poorer neighborhoods, in order to celebrate the Day of the Child. This gives them the opportunity to provide evangelistic materials to the parents at the same time.
Top photo: Honduras women praying; bottom photo: Women teaching children.Back to the top
Evangelism brigades of women, led by Pastor Henry Calderon and his wife, attended an indigenous community of Puerto Inirida Guainia, Colombia. The people were given oral health care by a dentist. There was recreation for the children, classes in oral hygiene, seminars on healthy eating. Food was distributed to families and names were collected to continue meeting with them and giving them Bible courses. Also, to continue giving them food and visitations in their homes.Back to the top
The Women’s Ministries group in Kayangat SDA church conducted evangelistic series for 10 nights led by Shepherdess member, Mrs Saine Golotoh. Women’s Ministries Director, Mrs Jupitah Lim have encouraged them to use the “Family Evangelistic Seminar series”. The meeting started on June 15-25, 2011. This was the first evangelistic meeting ever conducted by women in this church. In fact, there were two churches combined together for this meeting. The attendance was good every night. The people were excited to hear women preaching for the first time. A bible studies were also conducted each night and at the end of the meetings, 11 souls were baptized.
At first, the women were very afraid to go up to the stage but after much encouragements from Mrs Saine Golotoh, they took the challenge to try their best. At the end, they were so happy for that experience.
In September 8-17, 2011 a similar meetings were also conducted in Rani SDA Church in Tenghilan district. This time only two woman speakers, Mrs Saine Golotoh and Mrs Jupitah Lim. The church members had never had woman speakers for Evangelistic series in the past so at first they were a little concern thinking that a woman speaker is not good enough to preach. But both of them accepted the challenge to preach each night with much prayer. The nightly meeting went on smoothly with increasing attendance each night. At the end of the evangelistic meeting, 30 souls were baptized. We praise God and give glory to God for all His blessings and for the many souls that had been won for His kingdom. Through these experience, it had strengthen our faith and also had encouraged us to reach out for more souls and also to revive the spirituality of our members.
Women’s Ministries were also actively promoting the Action Plans for REACH UP. The “ A Walk with God” “S.O. A.P” and reading the “Spirit of Prophecy books”. Pictures of were as follows:
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