Women’s Ministries leaders from throughout the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Inter-America raise their hands during prayer as they commit to dedicate their ministry this year to nurturing and witnessing to women all across local churches and communities back home.  The one-day training conference took place on Feb. 20, 2020, in Miami, Florida, United States. [Photo: Libna Stevens/IAD]

February 27, 2020 | Miami, Florida, United States | Libna Stevens, Inter-American Division

Dozens of women’s ministries leaders overseeing thousands of local leaders throughout the Seventh-day Adventist Church in the Inter-American Division (IAD) vowed to continue their role and commitment to enrich the lives of other women in churches and communities this year.

Nearly 200 directors from unions, conferences and missions, met for a one-day training conference in Miami, Florida, Feb. 20, to worship, pray, network and commit to personally reaching at least five women with the message of hope in 2020.

Dinorah Rivera, women’s ministries director for the church in Inter-America encourages the delegates to keep their focus on bringing people to the feet of Jesus. Esmeralda Guzman(right) serves as translator. [Photo: Libna Stevens/IAD]

“This is a commitment you are making to bring people to the feet of Jesus,” said Dinorah Rivera, women’s ministries director for the church in Inter-America and main organizer of the event.  The conference follows last year’s evangelism initiative momentum which resulted in more than 25,000 new persons discipled by the dedicated work of local church women’s ministries leaders, explained Rivera.

Under the theme “Chosen and Loved,” drawn from Jeremiah 31:3, the conference sought to motivate women who have been chosen and loved by God with a great purpose, said Rivera.  “We have a tremendous opportunity once again to continue the momentum of this initiative that activated so many women to lead evangelistic campaigns and reach so many in the community,” she added.

“I saw how this initiative really took off throughout the IAD and women are excited to continue touching the lives of so many more.”

Delegates performe in a special drama of the Samaritan woman at the well referenced in John 4. [Photo: Libna Stevens/IAD]

The initiative encourages women to be intentional about loving and nurturing those who are in the church, finding out their needs and extend that compassion and love to women in the community, explained Rivera.

“Seal your commitment with the Lord this year, let God cleanse, bless and use you in His service this year,” said Rivera.

Inter-American Division President Pastor Elie Henry, thanked the women’s ministries directors for being so involved in the mission of the church. “We understand what that involves for each one of you to continue in that calling,” said Pastor Henry. It’s about a daily transformation in Jesus to be ready for the Second Coming while witnessing to others with the message of the gospel, he said.

Milder de Palacio, women’s ministries director for the church in West Venezuela Union shares with the delegation her experience grieving the loss of her husband who passes away last year. [Photo: Libna Stevens/IAD]

That witnessing has to come wrapped in compassion and genuine care for the well-being of others, said Rivera. “We must be intentional in understanding the needs of all the groups of people in the church and make sure our programs, our efforts are all about nurturing and empowering others,” she added. First, the focus must start inside the church, and then it expands into the community, said Rivera.

Rivera led a panel of three women: a young woman who was welcomed, nurtured and trained to serve in the church, another who recently mourned her husband’s death, and another who has a son with special needs. Each of the women shared their own experiences and challenged the women to extend their compassion even if they don’t understand each other’s circumstances.

“When we have not gone through certain experiences, we tend to minimize what others have gone through, but the Lord wants us to have the empathy and compassion and kindness that Jesus showed,” said Rivera.  It’s important that we pay attention to each woman who comes into the church, looking for ways to supply all their needs, because we do not know what each is struggling with.”

Pastor Arnaldo Cruz of South Miami, makes a call to the dozens of women leaders for a special prayer for their ministry. [Photo: Libna Stevens/IAD]

Arnaldo Cruz, an Adventist pastor in Miami, challenged the delegation of women to continue finding ways to impact the community with their God-given potential and their inherit sixth sense.

“The church needs women who will be spiritually mature, who not only see the negative in the church but see the positive things happening within the church,” said Cruz. What is going to grow women’s ministries across the territory is not the budget but women filled with the Holy Spirit, he said.  “This is the time to make a change, a mental change, a personal change, a spiritual change and a change with your relationship with God.”

Cruz called on the women’s ministries leaders to depend on God’s transforming power to keep them strong in leading in the church and community even when they feel exhausted, stressed and at times ready to give up.

Greisy Murillo of Montemorelos University in North Mexico, addresses the delegation on Feb. 20. [Photo: Libna Stevens/IAD]

With tears in their eyes, dozens of women reached the stage to be prayed for and recommit their ministry to God.

Guest speaker Greisy Murillo of Montemorelos University, in North Mexico, reminded the delegation that they are vessels that the Lord fills and calls upon to be nurturers to those around them.  “You may see that your vessel may be broken, and think you can fix it yourself, but only God can fix it,” said Murillo.

The event included moments of praise, prayer sessions, drama presentations, additional speakers and more.

Group photo of Inter-America’s Women’s Ministries Conference, Feb. 20, 2020. [Photo: Libna Stevens/IAD]

To learn more about Inter-America’s women’s ministries and its initiatives and activities, Click HERE

To view the program of February 20, 2020, online, Click HERE for morning program, HERE for afternoon program

For the photo gallery, Click HERE

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