It was a power-packed weekend for the Guam-Micronesia Mission Women’s Ministries Department recently.
This past September, a bevy of events including a long-awaited face-to-face WM leader training session, as well as an outreach charity luncheon, met with great success. It concluded with motivation and momentum to get out there and share truth and joy with our island communities.
WM opened the September 16th weekend with a full day of training, breakout sessions, networking caucuses, and a lot of prayer. North American Division WM Director, DeeAnn Bragaw, led out the meetings themed “Replenished” based on Jeremiah 31:25, “For I have satiated the weary soul, and I have replenished every sorrowful soul.” This theme was selected based on an unequivocal notion that in order for us to reach others, we must first ensure that we ourselves possess enough of our own real faith and genuine hope before offering the same to others. We must first ensure that we are and continue to be replenished.
“He that watereth shall be watered also himself.” (Proverbs 11:25)
WM team leaders from Guam were joined by their counterparts from other islands who were not prohibited to travel, due to closed borders or vastly distanced flights. Sister leaders from the CNMI and Palau presented their ministry and mission reports alongside Guam’s teams to a hybrid audience composed of WM groups from around Micronesia.
At the Friday leader training meetings, Bragaw prompted discussion circles and guided team-building activities that allowed participants to not only learn how to problem-solve under time constraints with limited resources, but also cultivated a genuine bond between leaders of different WM groups.
In between Bragaw’s training seminars, which included titles such as “Believing the Truth When Lies Speak Loud,” “Replenished to Replenish Others,” “Replenished to Reach Out,” and “Be a Lead-her, Don't Go It Alone,” attendees were able to watch ministry reports from the different islands, as well as view a multitude of GMM WM exhibits featuring the different ministry projects and programs from all the islands.
The special training was designed to better prepare the leaders for both the in-reach and outreach work ahead, while ensuring a healthy mental balance along the way. WM leaders were reminded that while there is the COVID-19 pandemic being addressed right now, another pandemic arrived right along with it - the mental health pandemic. Mental health disorders and effective strategies for reversing its symptoms continues to be of paramount importance to WM.
The GMM WM weekend continued with Saturday services at the Agana Heights Seventh-day Adventist Church. The adult Sabbath School class was paneled by WM leaders and co-leaders. During the Divine Service, special music - sung in two different languages - was presented by women from the Agat-Chuukese and Happy Family WM groups. That segment was followed by a powerful message by Bragaw entitled, ”Praying Through When You're in Over Your Head.”
After a special Chamorro-style lunch, Bragaw led out an afternoon seminar entitled,“How to Strengthen Your Walk with Jesus Through Prayer.” Several people were in attendance as Bragaw taught the audience how to initiate deeper and more personalized prayers. At the conclusion of the seminar, participants broke out into small groups and lifted each other in prayer. Special handouts were distributed to ensure attendees could practice at home (or anywhere!) what was being presented. It was amazing!
The awesome GMM WM weekend culminated with an outreach charity luncheon held at the Guam Hilton Resort & Spa. Almost 200 ladies attended the special event. WM continued its theme “Replenished” which was a cue for different testimonials and talks by guest speakers Mari Kirk, Bragaw, and Lydia Sholing. An unforgettable and deeply reflective musical presentation entitled “Remember” was beautifully performed by mother-daughter duo, Jossalynn and Scarlett Sholing.
Each attendee was gifted an envelope with Christian literature to read and share with others as a way to promote outreach (and hope) beyond the day’s program. Another way women were able to reach out was by helping abused and neglected children. Several attendees donated urgently needed diapers for babies and older children, as well as related supplies. All items have since been presented to Social Services.
That same Sunday night, Bragaw, departed for Palau, where she conducted a day seminar for our Palauan WM groups. The women there also engaged in breakout activities and discussions that helped them to better understand how they could effectively reach others for Christ through their ministry.
GMM WM has several special programs planned for 2023. Please keep them in your prayers!
“Those who thus devote themselves to unselfish effort for the good of others, are most surely working out their own salvation. The only way to grow in grace is ... to engage, to the extent of our ability, in helping and blessing those who need the help we can give them.” (Ellen White, Steps to Christ, 78-80)