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Baptist Women's Union of Africa holds southern region conference
by Dorothy Selebano
BWUA SOUTHERN AFRICA CONFERENCE
HELD AT TSHWANE UNIVERSITY OF TECHNOLOGY
South Africa – April 5-8, 2006
By Dorothy Selebano
Oh! What a blessed spirit uplifting conference. Truly it was like we were on the mountain of transfiguration, just wanting to stay there and build shelters like Peter suggested, and not come down to the realities of life.
The Lord’s presence was experienced in a mighty way.
The attendance was good: 218 women from 4 countries, namely Botswana, Malawi, Zimbabwe and South Africa.
The theme of the conference: Harvest Time Now (John 4:35). The program included Bible Studies, Preaching, Praise and Worship, Testimonies and Reports about the women’s departments’ activities in various countries.
The preacher of Friday evening opening services was Mrs. Lillian Nziramasanga (BWUA Secretary). Scripture: John 4:53: She emphasized the importance of preparedness for harvesting using the necessary resources or equipments for example:
**The word of God
**Distribution of tracts
**Testimonies (Word of mouth)
Thursday morning service was preceded with a flag procession at the end of which each representative explained the colors of their flags.
The Rev. Mrs. Yemi Ladokun (The BWUA President) gave an opening address. A powerful message, among other things she emphasized the importance of co-operation within the women’s department, the people must be prepared to move from their comfort zones, stand up and work for it is harvest time.
The program of the successive sessions included testimonies from women testifying about the mighty hand of God which they experience in the midst of very difficult situations e.g. abuse, disease (HIV and AIDS), poverty, wars, and blood shed.
Theme interpretation was done by various countries.
Praise and Worship was the real highlight of the conference. Traditionally Africans like dancing so we danced, jumped, sang, we had a wonderful time at the feet of our Master. There were various musical instruments for example: Drums, Key Board, and Guitars.
Tears of joy were shed. It really was good, real African way of worshiping.
Bible studies were conducted by Rev. Yemi Ladokun. She explained the various types of leaders for example servant leader with her characteristics and self serving leader, and she encouraged us to be servant leaders like our Lord who washed the disciple’s feet.
We are advised to focus on Him, the author and finisher of our faith. Jesus taught and trained leaders by precept and example, said Ladokun. A wise leader guards his/her tongue (Proverbs 16:32).
Various Baptist Women’s Department (BWD) groups participated in the program. The Baptist Union of South Africa presented a very good informative paper on the Role of the happy family.
Reports from the various BWD groups were presented and the following information was gleamed from the reports.
**That the BWD is very active at church local level, regional level and national levels.
**BWD engages in projects though the problem of devaluation of the currency contributes to increased poverty, disease and death.
**Zimbabwe women, manufacture fabric to raise funds.
**South African Baptist Union has second hand shops to raise funds to help the needy, orphans, the unemployed also run training sessions to empower women.
**Baptist Convention South Africa Women’s Department have small projects at local churches and regional level. They want to start a home for abused women (Indawo ya kho)
Another highlight was the evening service sermon by Rev. T. Mmoledi (a woman pastor).
Scripture Exodus: 1: 8-22. She emphasized that women should fear God more than men. Like the king whose midwives refused to do what king Pharaoh wanted them to do in killing the baby boys at birth.
Two South African Indian groups reported about their work which included teaching women skills to ensure independency.
The conference raised enough money that we were able to pay the air fair of Mrs. Yemi Ladokun and Mrs.Raynor Kawamba’s fares.
The conference adjourned on Saturday after breakfast.
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