Arise and Shine was the theme of the first Women’s Ministries Conference in the Baltics. The idea of having a conference for sisters from our Adventist churches in the Baltics was born about a year ago when some of us could participate in the first TED WM conference in Slovenia. Having been inspired and touched by the sermons given by Raquel Arrais (Associate Director for Women’s Ministries at the General Conference of SDA) we wanted more women to hear her and be empowered to be the women God designed them to be, and to be encouraged to do the work God envisioned them to do.
At the opening meeting of the conference on Thursday evening David Nõmmik (President of the BAUC) talked about light and emphasised that we are the visible part of light on this Earth if we let God’s Spirit fill us and change us. Lord, the Light of Your Love is shining sang the participants, as echoing the message, led by the group of young women, whose musical talent made every song a masterpiece.
Friday was a day full of activities. It was proved that Adventist women are active – a lot of ladies took part in the morning exercise led by Inga Vitole-Saliete and started the day with a common prayer with Inta Priede. They participated in workshops about women’s health, stress relief, forgiveness, crafts and mission work, moreover, handed out invitations to EXPO and charity concert.
Health EXPO, organized by Baiba Berzina, was very well attended by local people from Saulkrasti. Health talks, consultations and massages were given, health measurements taken and books were handed out during the event. It seems that everything went so smoothly, whereas actually it was probably the most prayed about topic before and during the conference, as the permit to hold the EXPO literally came in the last minute. But it did! Praise God!
Sabbath is the time of rest and healing. The message of Raquel, the charity concert organised by Elina Gaile, the performances led by Inga Šlakota, the prayer land prepared by Inta Priede, the friendship game conducted by Jana Roderte – all lifted us higher, led us closer to God and each other, and talked to our hearts that God is Love and He wants His love to shine through us to others around us. Many of us took time to take a Sabbath afternoon stroll at the seaside, admiring God’s beautiful handiwork.
Each participant took home something different from the conference, but there were some Hebrew words that all of us probably remember. There’s nothing to fear, said Raquel, quoting E. G. White, unless we forget how God has led us in the past. Remember, emphasised Raquel, remember your experiences with God, remember to read His word, remember to talk to Him. There is darkness in the world, and even in the church. Fear, guilt and shame are the feelings that keep a lot of women in bondage. Yet in God, there is light that overcomes the darkness.
The WM Conference was a result of the efforts of many people. Some of them are already mentioned above, but a big thank-you goes also to the programme leader Marite Lipska, to Guna Rimane, who was responsible for the workshop area, Eliza Šuvarikova, who organised the accommodation, Ilze Latgale, who led the voluntary work in the kitchen and dining room area, Kaile Tuvi, who designed the songbooks, Junita Cirvele for decorations in the meeting room, and also to all those who led the workshops, volunteered at the EXPO and in the kitchen, and helped in many other ways to make this conference a success! It wouldn’t have happened if local conferences and especially the Baltic Union hadn’t supported it with a substantial amount of money. Thank you all and thank God!