The location of the weekend was perfect for this purpose. It was a serene, quiet and peaceful place. Just coming from the rain season, there was a cool breeze all day long and night.
The meeting hosted a total of 41 participants from all over the country. Each congregation had at least one woman attending.
The theme of the meeting was inspired by Philippians 4:4: “Rejoice in the Lord always.” Even if we are suffering today, there is a reason for us to rejoice because we know the suffering of this present time is not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed to us in the Kingdom.
The weekend was packed with a lot of activities ranging from lessons from Bible scriptures to life skills. Women from different congregations were given the platform to share their life experiences to encourage others.
Deaconess Maureen Phiri gave the welcoming and introductory speech the first day. She explained to the women what the theme meant and talked about how keeping God’s commandments bring joy to life. She pointed out that keeping God’s commandments shows respect and obedience to God, and expresses the love we have for God and his law.
Each morning, the women prayed together and read scriptures. The morning prayer and scripture sharing was led by Delphine Banda, and she spoke emphatically about being thankful in all situations. A thankful heart is a cheerful heart, and being thankful in all situations brings joy.
On the first day, the women invited pastor Nawa Talama from the Lusaka congregation to give a talk. His message was “God Gives Us Dreams to Fulfill.” This was such in encouraging and uplifting message. In whatever we do we need time, determination and hard work. Nothing is automatic in God’s Kingdom. He said women could also be excited about the Bible and what they learn just as men do. He encouraged women to openly discuss the Bible and its truths to show others that it is possible for women to know God’s truth, understand it, live it and share it in a positive way.
Major Talama shared the example of Aquila and Priscilla who helped Apollos to understand the sound doctrine. As women, we are not trying to become pastors but to show that we love God’s truth equally and are willing to work for God. Women were encouraged to work like ants. They are tiny insects, but they can build anthills. This means that women can do great things for the congregations if they worked hard in love and unity. They were encouraged to find the role they can do in their congregations that could be of service. They can try to find time to pray, to study the Bible, meditate and learn His will and purpose for their lives.
Later that evening I shared from one of the church booklets. The topic was on tithing. We looked at the reasons why we tithe, its importance and that it is a command. We are all commanded to give a tenth of whatever we get. It is another way of expressing our love to God and honoring his commands. It shows obedience. The Church has a lot of work to do. Preaching the gospel to all nations is not an easy task, but it can be made easy by our tithes and offerings. Tithing is a way of supporting God’s work and nourishing the Church. It is an obligation for those who are called by God to tithe and give an offering; it should not be overlooked. Acts 20:35 says it’s more blessed to give than to receive.
Not only did the women learn from Bible scriptures, but they also learned how to knit, bake and many other life skills. Mrs. Banda taught how to make door mats using wool and beninah needle, which is specially used for such doormats. Miriam Sakala from Kafue showed us how to make special fritters popularly known as dondos.
Many women came from areas where there is no electricity, so Mrs. Kavungu from Itumbwe Mumbwa demonstrated how to make special and efficient clay oven. It was made using seven bricks and clay soil. It uses only two logs for firewood which can warm the kitchen and burn for a long time. This oven is easier to use, saves a lot of time, money and firewood. Many women were excited about the ovens, and they were ready to make one in their kitchen. I demonstrated how to make cakes using rubbing in and creaming methods. I showed how to decorate the cakes using glace icing, buttercream icing and royal icing. The baking was done in a homemade oven which uses charcoal or firewood. All the life skills demonstrated by women were very important, the skills will be helpful in our lives.
On the Sabbath, we had a candlelit dinner and munched on the cakes we made for dessert. Maureen Phiri lit the first candle (the biggest), then each woman had to light her candle from the woman next to her. This illustrated how an individual’s spiritual light makes a difference in our communities and how we were one in Christ no matter where we are.
A big thank-you to the women in Cincinnati and Almeda Lucas from Canada for the clothes donated. The attending women shared the clothes, and they were very excited. This brought to light the verse, “I was naked but you clothed me.” “Whatever you do to the list of my brothers thus you do to me.” Thank you for this generosity.
We thank our Church president Victor Kubik, his wife Beverly, and home office for funding this event. Without them, it could not have taken place. We thank our women who contributed towards this enrichment. It was a success.
Despite coming from different places and congregations I appreciated noticing a special closeness and caring in all the woman who attended. We were able to show oneness and service to each other in unity bound by Christ’s love.
We thank the Almighty God for this blessing that brought us together.
Felicia Sibeso Talama