Touch a Heart, Tell the World: Sharing the Blessings

Touch a Heart, Tell the World: Sharing the Blessings

Interview with Heather-Dawn Small, General Conference Women’s Ministries Director

What is your biggest challenge as Women's Ministries Director?

I believe the biggest challenge I face is helping our sisters deal with their daily challenges such as poverty, health problems, abuse, and other such issues that women around the world face on a daily basis. We have many Women's Ministries projects in countries around the world to help women in the community and in the church deal with these challenges, but sourcing the funds is an ongoing challenge.

There are so many issues facing women today. How is Women's Ministries helping?

One of the first things Women's Ministries is doing is raising awareness of the issues that women face around the world. We have identified six challenge issues that women face - poverty, lack of education and leadership training, health, abuse, work loads, and illiteracy, and created a set of six brochures and teaching PowerPoints to help our sisters at the local church level learn more about these issues. As a result of our new theme this quinquennium - "A Ministry for Every Woman - Touch a Heart, Tell the World" we are placing intentional emphasis on evangelism in action through showing God's love as we seek to meet the needs of those faced with these challenges.

How do you reach women from different cultures in your territory? What is your strategy?

Women's Ministries believes that before we speak one word about Jesus we must show Him to others. How? By reaching out to those we meet in love, extending our friendship, caring for their needs and showing them that Jesus lives in our lives. All of this motivated by our love for God and our love for those we meet.

Heather-Dawn's favorite thing in ministry is sharing the joy that God has given her with her sisters.

What has been the greatest blessing for you as you work with Women's Ministries?

Meeting my sisters from around the world and experiencing the love we share. I have been inspired, blessed, and supported by my sisters around the world. The sisterhood we share in Jesus surpasses boundaries of culture, class, and nationality.

What do you think is the greatest need for women today?

The greatest need of women today is love. Too many of our sisters struggle with loneliness, depression, and other mental diseases and problems. They are in need of healing, healing that comes through the love of their sisters. I believe that God has given women big hearts to love, soft hands to touch, arms that can embrace a world in need. I thank God for my sisters and their commitment to touch the world for Him.


Focus on the News

Focus on the news

Southern Africa-Indian Ocean Division

Botswana Union Women's Ministries Confront HIV/AIDS Issues


More than 25.8 million people in sub-Saharan Africa are living with AIDS, translating to 64% of the population.

Over 157 participants from churches across Botswana attended the HIV/AIDS "Trainer of Trainers" seminars conducted by Doctors Giodanio from Adventist AIDS International Ministry and Dr. Alex Llaguno from the Southern Africa-Indian Ocean Division. The training was held earlier this year at the Botswana University.


The seminar addressed different issues: Youth, Compassion and Caring, History of HIV/AIDS, Transmission and Prevention Methods, and General Counseling Techniques.

People living with AIDS often lose their jobs, families, and friends. By starting a church based support group, members can help to make a difference.

Botswana falls within the first 10 countries for prevalence rate and people living with AIDS. In Africa there are more than 6,000 deaths a day due to HIV/AIDS. With 60% of woman living with AIDS the outlook is bleak. It is estimated that 10 million young people are living with HIV/AIDS, and only a very small percentage know that they have the disease.

After the seminar, the participants signed a pledge to commit themselves to making a difference towards fighting the HIV/AIDS pandemic.

Susan Williams
Botswana WM director (SID)


Euro-Africa Division

Romanian Women Complete Leadership Training

Over three hundred women converged on the Adventist church facilities in Stupini, Romania, September 5 - 7, 2008, to complete Level 4 of the General Conference Women's Ministries (GCWM) leadership certification course.

Heather-Dawn Small, GCWM director and Christiane Vertallier, Euro-Africa Division WM director, were present during this final segment of the training and were happy to see that many of the women in attendance had also completed Levels 1 - 3.

This program was planned and organized by Silvia Dima, Romania Union WM director. Dima is committed to seeing women trained and empowered to work for God, and this enthusiasm has been conveyed to the women who were eager for more information. Her goal is to equip every church WM leader with skills to be able to carry out her commission from God and to feel a sense of worth because of what they have learned. Women in Romania are ready to face the challenges because they know that God goes before them always.


East-Central Africa Division

First Women's Ministries Division Congress, Uganda

The women came by the hundreds to attend the first division WM congress in the city of Kampala, Uganda, from July 23 - 26, 2008. Preparations had been made by Joy Gashaija, ECD WM director and her team of hard working ladies.

The theme for the congress was "Women, Discover Your Value." The languages were varied but the message of God's love and affirmation for each of His daughters was understood by all.

The main speakers for the congress were Heather-Dawn Small, GCWM director, Priscille Metonou, West-Central Africa Division WM director, and other women's leaders from the division.

The opening day began with a march of about 1,000 women dressed in the WM uniform of their country. They marched through the streets of Kampala with banners proclaiming the Six Challenge Issues that women face around the world and in Africa.

We thank God for the support of the church leadership In ECD and for God's many blessings, but most of all that our sisters were empowered and filled by the Holy Spirit.


Keeper's Page : Inspiration for You

7 Steps in Developing a Plan

  1. Pray and reflect: Time is well spent on prayer and reflection before any start on a collective vision.
  2. Plan: Contrary to many impressions, the usual route of developing a vision for a team or an organization lies along a path of planning and work.
  3. Gather information: There are at least three main sources of information for you to use.
    • Information about the needs of women in your local community and in your local church
    • Information from Women's Ministries itself. Around the world, Women's Ministries groups are working in a variety of different ways.
    • Your team itself as a source of information.
  4. Analyze and discuss values: When you have your first meeting it is helpful to develop a common basis for your approach to the work. Discuss the goals of Women's Ministries; discuss what you as a team believe is important and what should guide your planning.
  5. Analyze and discuss the information: Now that you have set your values which will guide your ministry, and a guiding statement which is your mission statement, it is time to examine the possibilities.
  6. Prioritize: Give each team member five votes and have them place them alongside the suggestions as they see fit. That way the whole team has set its priorities for the year.
  7. Consolidate an action plan: Begin by obtaining a church calendar (speak to your church pastor if you don't have one) and also a regular calendar, which has school holidays, public holidays, etc. Use the prioritized suggestions and mark them in on your calendar. Do not attempt too many projects in the year. It is better to have a few successful projects than some failed, grandiose plans, which will accomplish nothing for women or the reputation of Women's Ministries.

Source: Leadership Program Level 1 -
"Visioning and Goal Setting" by Marion Shields

The Best Gift

Make someone blessed this Christmas with Grace Notes, Women's Ministries new devotional book for 2009. To order, contact the Adventist Book Center at All profits go to women's scholarships around the world.