Avenues of God's Touch

3rd Bi-Division Women’s Ministries Convention









The 3rd Bi-Division Women Ministries Convention, held in Bangkok, Thailand, in July was attended by 1004 participants. The numbers far exceeded expectations judging by the first two bi-division conventions. Participants came from as far away as the United States, and almost all the countries of the Asia-Pacific region were represented. For the first time, a group of 16 Mongolians attend a convention like this. Sally Phoon, the Northern Asia-Pacific Division WM director, and Helen Gulfan, Southern Asia-Pacific Division WM director, spent hundreds of hours planning for this momentous event.

The convention began on the evening of July 9 with a devotional from Dr. Ella Simmons, a Vice President of the General Conference. Working on the convention theme of “Avenues of God’s Touch,” she began with how the Lord touches us through His Holy Spirit. In her devotionals, which culminated in the sermon, she reminded the women of the way that God touches us with His love, His grace, and His forgiveness.

Breakout sessions provided further inspiration for learning about how to find partnerships in mission, how to care for the elderly, how to achieve success Christ’s way. Speakers came from the General Conference, the Inter-American and North American Divisions, Adventist International Institute of Advanced Studies in the Philippines, and Sahmyook University in Korea.

 On Sabbath, the worship service attracted another 200 or so people from the Bangkok area, most of them Filipinos, as they re-connected with their friends from home. Mission College, Thailand, made a short presentation, and offeringscollected that day went toward two scholarships for women enrolled there. In addition, another offering collected on Sabbath will go toward helping with the evangelistic effort planned for 2009 by the Women’s Ministries Department of the Thailand Mission.

Three awards were given for the best Women’s Ministries reports from among the 14 unions/fields. The first prize of US$500 went to the tri-union report from the Philippines; the second prize, US$300, was awarded to the Korean Union Conference. Bangladesh Union Mission walked away with the third prize of US$200. It was heartwarming to learn of women fully engaged in their communities, meeting needs just as Christ would have done.






Focus On The News

Southern Africa-Indian Ocean Division

Ready to Tell

Leading Angola to Jesus was the theme of the Women’s Ministries congress in Huambo, Angola, June 11-14. The first day, the national congress attracted 5,000 women from a large area, including the Islands of Sao Tome and Principe. On Sabbath, 13,000 women, 3,000 men, and 2,000 children were in attendance. Women who attended through the week were 10,000.

The devotional speaker was Caroline Chola, SID WM director. After the sermons, many women gave or rededicated their lives to Christ. Five were baptized on Sabbath afternoon.

At the close of the congress, Chola gave a charge and the women pledged to forge ahead and take part in the SID Mega Evangelism program.

 In Mozambique more than 400 local Women’s Ministries church leaders attended the first Leadership Certification Program in Beira. Under the leadership of Caroline Libombo, Mozambique Union Mission WM director, the women enjoyed their learning time together. The program finished with a graduation challenging all the women to “Touch a Heart and Tell the World.” Carolina Chola, SID WM director, and Raquel Arrais, GCWM Associate director, were the main speakers during the training.

Trans-European Division

On Wings of Prayers

Baghdad, Iraq—Women’s Ministries (WM) Emphasis Day was celebrated in Baghdad 14 June when 13 church members fellowshipped together, enjoying the WM program, “Show Me the Savior—Then I Shall See.”

In spite of the Adventist church in Baghdad being closed for the last two years due to being severely damaged by bombs, church members are still gathering for worship in homes every Sabbath.

“When we think back on how our church was filled to capacity before the war in 2003, it saddens our hearts that we would end up being just a small group meeting in private homes. We are praying for strength and courage until the day when the situation will improve and our many church members can return to their beloved church, to their houses and their jobs,” said Basima Nahab, Women’s Ministries Director in Iraq.

The President of the Middle East Union, Kjell Aune, says: “Many of our members in Iraq have for safety reasons fled to western or neighboring countries. I have personally met them in different parts of the world and know their dedication, their love for Iraq and the church, and their longing [to return] back to their country. We pray for the day when people can return home, where we can meet in our churches without security risks. I am inspired by the fact that our sisters in Baghdad could celebrate and focus on the Savior in the midst of so many distractions. It reminds us all of the importance of lifting our heads and look beyond our problems. As I have done before, I will again urge the world family of believers to carry their Iraqi sisters and brothers onwards on wings of prayers.”

— B. Nahab; Anne-May Wollan; TED News Staff; TED News

South Pacific Division

Welcome Erna Johnson (SPD)

We would like to welcome Erna Johnson, who has been voted by South Pacific Division to be SPD WM director. Prior to this, Erna was WM director for Sydney Conference in Australia.

Erna’s passion is to see women reach their potential. She has seen the impact Women’s Ministries has on women as it empowers them to go forward and use their God-given gifts and talents for Him. She is totally committed to their ministry.

Erna, my sister, we welcome you to the joys and challenges of working at the division. As you settle into your new office, you will be in our prayers. We look forward to meeting you someday soon.

— Heather-Dawn Small, GCWM director

Keeper's Page: Inspiration for You

Listen to God's Voice

Daily devotions are important. They help us spend time with our Creator which helps us build a relationship with our Savior. Here are just a few ideas on how to help the relationship grow on a daily basis:

  1. Realize that personal devotions have to be a choice. If we have a relationship based on a “have to,” then it is more like a work relationship than a love relationship. Devotions have to be based on love.
  2. Do devotions as soon as you wake up. At this time you are still relaxed and setting the tone for the day; spending time reflecting on God’s Word must be included in this.
  3. Have a set place for devotions and a variety of ideas on how you will “do” your devotion.
  4. Start by listening to God, read the Bible, and spend time meditating on it. Devotional time is not a good time to follow a reading plan; otherwise you will get sucked into a “have to” and not spend time listening to God. However, a separate Bible reading plan is useful as we need to know what God is saying and know how to place Scripture in context, but this is different from a time of personal devotions.
  5. Involve prayer in your meditation; you can pray verses or converse with God while reading the Bible; just make sure you are also listening to what God might be saying. A relationship is two-way. Meditation should include quiet reflection and an open heart.
  6. Set out to read a passage of Scripture rather than a verse or two as context is important; if you do find that one verse has a lot to say to you, allow yourself the flexibility to meditate on one verse. A relationship needs flexibility.
  7. Do not beat yourself up about missing a daily devotional time; make sure you complete it later in the day if at all possible. God is not an angry dictator but loves you enough to understand.
  8. Keep a devotional journal. It can be a very useful tool for remembering how things touched you, and for reflecting further, or at a later date. A dedicated notebook and pen or pencil are useful for this and should be kept with your devotional Bible.
  9. Go through a few questions before starting, such as: Do I need to forgive anyone? Do I have to ask anyone to forgive me? Is anything in my heart blocking me from getting the most from this personal act of devotion? Do I need to confess any sin?
  10. Enjoy the relationship. What a great way to start the day—by talking with God!

Things You’ll Need

  • Bible
  • Pen or pencil
  • Blank notebook or artist sketchpad
  • Time
  • Comfortable chair
  • Bible concordance

Source: http://www.wikihow.com/Have-a-Personal-Christian-Devotion

Think About This . . .

If we know Jesus Christ, we have all the power we need to pursue personal and spiritual excellence.

Trouble is only temporary. The lessons it teaches are permanent.

“For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory” (2 Corinthians 4:17).

My Bible, My Friend

Cultivating a meaningful habit of reading your Bible:

  • Make time for Bible study
  • Look for the teaching of the Holy Spirit
  • Read the Bible methodically
  • Read your Bible with a pen in your hand
  • Turn from the printed page to prayer

(Thoughts taken from Rev. F.B. Meyer (1847-1929): The Best From All His Works)


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Women's Challenge Issues—Leadership Mentoring Opportunities

High Tech and High Touch

Jesus influenced individuals from a wide variety of educational and vocational backgrounds. Some were from dysfunctional families. A few were professionals, many were common laborers. Some were fearless and others lacked courage. However, He saw in each the potential to become great leaders, and He inspired them to commit time and energy to learn from Him.

As we think about this, let us ask ourselves a few questions:

  • Am I currently available for a season of mentoring to a variety of women from different backgrounds?
  • Am I asking God to help me see the potential of the women He wants me to mentor?
  • Am I living a life that inspires them to fulfill their purpose?
  • Am I eager to discover what these purposes are?
  • Am I willing to be accountable for what I learn?
  • Have I avoided the responsibility of mentoring others because I feel inadequate?

Will I say to God today, “I will follow You with a pure heart. Show me the people You want me to impact with biblical principles, a listening ear, and encouragement for the journey of life?”

—Source: Mentoring Seminar by Lynnetta Hamstra; WM Leadership Program Level 3

“I tell you the truth, anyone who believes in me will do the same works I have done, and even greater works, because I am going to be with the Father.” (John 14:12, NLT).

Prayer Corner

  • Annual Council in Manila
  • Women who lack adequate healthcare
  • Women who are victims of sexual trafficking
  • Heather-Dawn Small travel to EUD


  • September 8—United Nations International Literacy Day
  • October 17—International Day for the Eradication of Poverty


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