Women's Ministries spiritual retreats refill women across Europe

Inter-European Division (EUD)

[Austria] The weekend of April 24-26, 2015 will long be remembered by the 45 women gathered in Mondsee, Austria. When a participant described the spiritual retreat as Auftankwochenende (spiritual refill), the phrase caught on and her comment is being used to describe future retreats. Speaker Denise Hochstrasser, EUDWM director, encouraged women to break with prejudice, to leave behind disagreements, and to look forward, acting now, not waiting so long that the proverbial “beautiful silk dress” no longer fits. 

Contributed by Gerd-Laila Walter, WM director, Austrian Union

Women consider what it means to live as a Christian today in Belgium

[Belgium] The 43 women attending the first Brussels International Church WM retreat, June 5-7, 2015, were filled with delicious meals cooked for them by two men. They were also filled with spiritual experiences of singing, praising God, and contemplating the messages by Hannele Ottschofski of Germany which examined “The Hole in Our Hearts,” and “The Need to See with New Eyes.” The theme, “Living as a Christian Today,” encouraged women to go into the surrounding villages of their retreat location in Macon, Belgium and distribute health literature and flyers for Bible correspondence studies.

Contributed by Denise Hochstrasser, EUDWM director

Women in Switzerland celebrate 20th anniversary of Women's Ministries

[Switzerland] An evening session of united prayer that had to be continued the following morning became the highlight of a retreat attended by French-speaking women of the Swiss Union. One participant described it as a modern-day Pentecost.

This experience came while studying the PALS program – Prayer and Love Saves – produced by Women's Ministries. Led by Gerd-Laila Walter, Austrian Union WM director, the weekend of May 22-25, 2015 in les Diablerets, Switzerland was filled with spiritual renewal and prayer for family members who no longer seem interested in faith.

Contributed by Denise Hochstrasser, EUDWM director

Trans-European Division (TED)

Participants in Scotland discover what it means to be women of virtue

[Scotland] “I’ve learned more in this series than in all the other years of my womanhood,” exclaims Mama Joyce Chengeta when describing her in-depth study of the Women of Virtue manual produced by British Union Conference Women's Ministries with Sharon Platt-McDonald, WM director.

Chengeta was not simply one of the attendees at the Faifley Community Church WM retreat held in picturesque Sorn, July 10-12, 2015; she was the speaker presenting Women of Virtue insights gleaned from the woman of Proverbs 31 to participants who responded with equal enthusiasm.

Contributed by Yvonne Blake, Scottish Mission 



Women are eager for more leadership training in Germany

Inter-European Division (EUD)

WM Leadership Certification training for Level 3 in the North German Union

[Germany] When German-speaking unions in Inter-European Division (EUD) realized graduates of Levels 1-3 want more WM Leadership Certification, they got busy and created LevelPLUS with seminar topics based on WM evangelism manual, Outreach is for Everyone, and a seminar on public speaking.

Beate Quaas, a graduate of Level 3 in North Germany, explains, “We are able to share our experiences and to try out new ideas. We are looking forward to the next level.”

This expectation is a typical response says Denise Hochstrasser, EUDWM director. “In countries where leadership training is offered, we experience a tremendous change in the way women start to engage in all areas of Church life. They find out about their gifts and are motivated to use them for ministry.”

In April and May of this year, Leadership Certification Level 2 training was held in Italy, and Level 3 was held in Germany and Switzerland.

Contributed by Denise Hochstrasser, EUDWM director

Women are equipped for service in Italy

Women are equipped for service in Italy

Inter-European Division (EUD)

[Italy] After Ophelia Obeng Dedaa Nyarko participated in a leadership program in 2013 and attended the division congress in 2014, she dreamed of sharing what she learned with her Ghanian community in Italy.

With the support of Pastor Frank and guidance of guest speaker Denise Hochstrasser, EUDWM director, the dream became reality, May 1-3, 2015, when 150 women of African and Caribbean origin met in congress under the theme, "Equipping women for service." Program highlights placed emphasis on mentoring others and young ladies' ministry.

Contributed by Denise Hocstrasser, EUDWM director


Women on Palau donate pillows to hospital patients

North American Division (NAD)

Women prepare delivery of pillows to hospital patients on Palau

[Palau and Guam] The women on Palau donated pillows with pillow cases to local hospitals and later met the President of Palau (and also sang to him) when Carla Baker, NADWM director, recently visited Guam Mission. Baker was joined by Carmen Kasperbauer, Guam Mission WM director, and Bilung Gloria Salii of Palau for a personal interview with the President of Palau.

Contributed by Carla Baker, NADWM director

Training in Okinawa encourages outreach plans

Northern Asia-Pacific Division (NSD)

Attendees of the WM congress in Okinawa are engaged in outreach

[Japan] “What is it that I can do?” was the question asked by every woman who attended the WM congress, May 23-24, 2015, in Okinawa, Japan. Plans were made for outreach and several have already been implemented.

After the congress a professional instructor in Swedish massage held a seminar for 70 women who plan to use this special form of ministry particularly for patients in hospice care. Bible studies are being given individually to truth seekers. In some areas, children are who left alone after school in the evening while parents work are being given a simple meal in cooperation with other women from the local community.

Other activities which invite a broader range of interaction with the community include holding bazaars, teaching vegetarian cuisine classes, and developing a food bank for poor children.

Contributed by Shizuko Ikemasu, Okinawa Mission Conference WM director

Local church launches a center for health, hope and healing

Trans-European Division (TED)

Women who teach Healthy Plate cooking classes in England also whip up healthy smoothies 

[England] Women of the Gloucester Seventh-day Adventist Church have been involved for 20 years in outreach programs, such as providing meals twice a week to 50-70 people in the Soup Kitchen and teaching Healthy Plate cooking classes. Active participation from all church members in various programs involving spiritual and healthful living resulted in establishing a facility able to accommodate plans for impacting their town. The church congregation officially opened the Centre of Hope, Health and Healing, Sabbath, July 18, 2015.

Contributed by Vareta Bryan, British Union Conference