In Inter-America, Women are Called to Reach and Enrich Church and Community

As we reach out to women in the church providing nurture and empowerment, we also prepare to reach out effectively in the community and reflect God's love.

Inter-American Division (WAD)

[Miami] The highlight of the two-day training conference came when more than 200 women's ministries leaders from the territories in Inter-American Division reaffirmed their role and commitment to nurture, empower, and reach the women of their churches and congregations.

"Be an agent of change for the good of society, a channel that can lead others to be the best versions of themselves," said Dinorah Rivera, women's ministries director for Inter-American Division, as she led attendees in prayer for the names of women they had just written on heart-shaped paper. Rivera challenged leaders to commit to leading at least one woman to Jesus this year.

Minelly Ruiz, women's ministries director in the Chiapas Mexican Union, inspired attendees when she described community outreach activities, particularly in areas with no Adventist presence, that have led 5,217 new believers to join the church in 2018. These baptisms are a direct result of women's ministries holding evangelistic campaigns and helping plant churches. In the 3,000 congregations in Chiapas, 97,000 women are actively involved in the purpose of reaching people.

Debra Henry, women's ministries director for the Caribbean Union, reported that women in her territory are active in prison ministries, community outreach, care of the elderly, helping single mothers, and public evangelism, and will work closer together to focus on looking at the needs of women in the community.

"You will only grow spiritually if you are determined to serve others," remarked Edna Alvarado, former women's ministries director in South Mexico, when she was honored for her 34 years of service and leadership.

Attendees were encouraged by leaders of the church to remain faithful in Jesus because they have been given a purpose to be part of God's plans and a responsibility to reflect Him.

"All of us are chosen because God needs us and He has chosen us in spite of our strengths and weaknesses" said Linda Koh, children's ministries director for the Adventist world church, in Miami, February 10 and 12, 2019. "You are chosen to be a disciple, chosen to bear fruits of mission, love, and service to make other disciples," she continued, referring to the conference theme "Chosen and Loved."

Pastor Elie Henry, president of the church in Inter-America, said, "God tells us that he loves us and the act of loving means that we have the responsibility to be like Christ, that's why He created us." Referring to God's purpose for women, Henry said, "God has put in your heart a special passion and energy to do what you do for the Lord. You represent a very important force that perhaps is not as appreciated as it should be."

"When women find their purpose in Jesus," said Rivera, organizer of the conference, "they can be used by the church with greater impact because they are living that purpose."

Guest speakers also included Laura Oros, a psychologist from Argentina, Judith McCalla, a psychologist from Miami, Abigail Chrisostomos, a therapist from Mexico, and Monica Diaz, editor at the Inter-American Division Publishing Association.

Adapted from original story by Libna Stevens/IAD, https://www.interamerica.org/2019/02/in-inter-america-women-are-called-to-reach-and-enrich-church-and-community/