Bags of Love; Hands of Hope


There is a growing crisis in our lands-drugs, abuse, and child neglect. When the adults, who have children in their home make wrong decisions and are taken from their homes, handcuffed, and put into police cars to go to jail, they leave behind children who are traumatized, frightened, and very alone. They are not allowed to take anything with them but the clothes on their back. Many children are taken to a clinic, showered, and strange clothes put on them. They can't even keep their own clothes! They do not have the comfort of a teddy bear or a favorite blanket, and the older children are not allowed to take family pictures or personal care items. They have nothing and feel like nothing! These children are in need. They find themselves in this type of situation not from anything that they have done, yet they blame themselves.

The Conroe, Texas, Adventist Church has taken on a ministry to these precious unfortunate children. It is called "It's My Very Own-Bags of Love." These are duffle bags made of colorful, sturdy cloth with a pocket on the outside for personal care items and a rope to draw it shut. Inside are age and gender appropriate items, a cuddly soft animal, toys, and a homemade quilt. It is the desire that these will ease the transition from a traumatizing situation into foster care.

Church members and members of the community routinely donate items and money. $1,500 has been raised since March and 40 "Bags of Love" distributed. The bags and quilts are made by volunteers. Among the volunteers are an 84-year-old Methodist lady, the Presbyterian Ladies Sewing Circle, and a 15-year-old girl who has committed to making two infant blankets a month.

Heather-Dawn Small, GCWM director, has been a great inspiration and is currently working to send "Mini Bags of Love" to an orphanage in India and Kenya. We continually praise God for His wonderful love and guidance over this ministry.

-Norma Jean Rose, Conroe Adventist Church WM Leader


Let kindness and love, the sweetest fruits of Christian life, find a
place in the heart of children toward their parents.
-Adventist Home, 362.


Quilts made by volunteers        


Focus on the News: A Christmas to Remember


A Christmas to Remember
How the Women in Lebanon open the church to the community

Christmas, the celebration of the birth of the greatest giver of all time, is characterized by giving and sharing. The Women's Ministries Department of the local church in Lebanon took this mandate to heart by sharing the joy and warmth of Christmas with the elderly ladies of the community.

Under the leadership of Sana Issa, the head of this ministry, subcommittees were formed to plan the Christmas program and meal. Issa and other members of her group welcomed the ladies to the brightly lit cafeteria. The program consisted of a song service, inspirational comments, and a reading of the Christmas story. The women were touched by the uplifting words.

A wonderful time of fellowship ensued as the women shared a meal as well as sharing their hearts' joys together. At one point, one of the invitees got up to sing a hymn in Arabic.

Each woman was given a gift bag which included an Arabic copy of Steps to Christ, Desire of Ages or The Great Controversy, a pen, and the Bible Answers Your Questions. One of the ladies has asked to join a ladies' prayer group that meets every Tuesday evening. Issa was pleased with the results of the day. "The purpose of this event was to raise awareness about the Adventist church and its desire to serve the community by sharing the good news of salvation. I believe we have accomplished that goal today."

-Eileen Ghali, Beirut


Lebanon is part of the East Mediterranean Field, with 7 churches; membership, 556;
population, 29,578,00. (Source, YEARBOOK, 2008)

 Classic reading for Women's leaders:



Grace Notes Devotional Book for Women
Edited by Ardis Dick Stenbakken



Ellen White On Leadership
by Cindy Tutsch




Women of Spirit Magazine
Available in English, French, and Spanish





Prayer - and Love's Languages

The 2009 International Women's Day of Prayer packet, "Prayer - and Love's Languages" by Soledad Alvarez de Sanchez is available to download free at  For French, German, and Spanish translation, contact GC WM.


5 things you will find online this month

  1. International Women's Day of Prayer Package
  2. Fresh ideas for International Women's Day of Prayer
  3. Touch of Joy
  4. Women's Ministries Six Issues Spot
  5. A Ministry for Every Woman Spot


Inspiration for You: 8 Ways to Enjoy a Prayer Retreat with God


8 Ways to Enjoy a Prayer Retreat with God

  1. Read a short book from the Bible-for example, Mark, Ephesians, Philippians or 1 John. Talk to the Lord about what you are reading. Hear His heart through this portion of Scripture.
  2. Walk with God. Talk to Him about creation. Try to imagine what delights Him about what He has made-or better yet, ask Him.
  3. Pray some of the great prayers of all time. You might start with the prayers of the Bible-Psalms, Daniel's prayer, Jehosophat's prayer or others. Use other classic books on prayer and make them your own. Ask God to purify, strengthen, heal and help you.
  4. Ask the Lord to refresh you both spiritually and physically. Prayerfully select Scripture. Sit comfortably and meditate on the verses, letting each word or phrase soak in. Ask God's Spirit to let you see and experience all He has for you from these Scriptures. After you've enjoyed time pondering, talk to the Lord about what He  has shown you.
  5. Bring a specific burden to the Lord and ask Him for wisdom, comfort, perspective, direction, correction or help with it. Tell Him exactly how you feel, even if-perhaps especially if-you feel angry, discouraged, confused or skeptical. Invite Him to speak to you about your concern. It may aid the conversation if you write down both your prayer to God and what you believe He is saying to you about it. Talk to God as you would a friend or family member. Take time with this. Heart-to-heart conversations are not to be hurried.
  6. Read a short portion of a devotional classic on prayer or the Christian life. Steps to Christ by Ellen White, writings by Andrew Murray or A. W. Tozer are good places to start. Use what you read as a springboard for prayer.
  7. Spend time in intercession for those for whom you have committed to pray. Ask the Holy Spirit to show you how to pray for them. This may lead you to intercede for their spiritual, mental, physical, emotional, or relational lives. Linger over the things God shows you to pray about that seem especially significant.
  8. Ask God what He would like to talk to you about, and then just listen. Let Him pick the topic. Write down what you believe He is saying so you can reflect on it and respond immediately and in the future.

Adapted from Pray, January/February, 2007.
Joy Butler, former SPD coordinator of Prayer Ministries and Women's Ministries

6 Starters for a Prayer Group

  • Seek out other Christians and ask if they will pray with you on a regular basis.
  • Don't be discouraged if you are finding it difficult to invite others to join you,. Pray that God will lead you to someone.
  • Pray that your group will grow.
  • Choose a suitable meeting place. For example, meet in each other's home; meet outside in a park; find a spare room in the office during your lunch hour.
  • Make a commitment to meet at a certain time once a week, fortnightly, monthly, or whatever suits you.
  • Set aside a specific time period - most groups are comfortable with one hour.

If you wish to bring your prayer group to the attention of others, begin to advertise as soon as possible. A notice could be placed in church or school newsletters and bulletins, or in community noticeboards. It will attract other Christians to your group, and it will let your church and/or community know that you are praying for them.



Women's Health, Global Statistics


Women's Health, Global Statistics

  • Every minute of every day somewhere in the world, a woman dies giving birth.
  • In sub-Saharan Africa, one in four women aged 20 to 29 is infected with HIV-AIDS.
  • Of the 1.2 billion people living in poverty worldwide, 70 percent are women.
  • Being pregnant continues to be a life-threatening condition in resource-poor nations. The rate of mortality in the developed world ranges from about 8 to 12 deaths per 100,000 live births, but in the developing world ranges from 100 to 1000 per 100,000 live births.
  • The numbers alone are staggering: 58% of people infected with AIDS are women; one-quarter to one-half of all women have suffered abuse from an intimate partner, and two million women and girls are bought and sold into sexual slavery each year.
  • One in four young girls in developing countries suffers from iodine deficiency.

More Information:
Global Health Council:
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services:
Global health portal (operational in several weeks):

Prayer Corner
  • Women's International Day of Prayer
  • Women's Health
  • Heather-Dawn Small travel to TED
  • Raquel Arrais travel to IAD 
  • February 1: Division Statistical Reports due to GCWM Office
  • March 8: Women's International Day of Prayer