EBWU mini-conference for Western Europe,[b]Wies Dijkstra[/b]Wies Dijkstra13-15 October, 2006, Prague

So many women, so many sisters, so many characters
And just ONE goal: Serving the Lord in their lives!

Therefore they came all the way to Prague to join the EBWU mini-conference for Western Europe.         

Participants of the ConferenceParticipants of the Conference

This time to learn from each other, because we all are facing so many problems in our women's work.

I have asked several women to write down their impressions about this conference, and it is amazing what an agreement of thoughts came out of those letters.

First of all everybody felt the loving presence of the Holy Spirit, and not only during prayer time... The strong feeling of sisterhood was an unexpected experience for some women who came for the first time to a conference like this.   

(For the veterans among us that was something we were longing for since the announcement of this conference!) The tie that binds us becomes a reality and you will never forget that. We are really sisters in the Lord, sisters who are working hard in their own countries in their organisations.

The presentations of the countries showed us the excellent quality of Baptist women's work. Like one of the sisters wrote: I have been struck by that work with regard to collecting funds for poor people and their activities in their own countries.   

Problems were recognized although not every country meets the same difficulties. Even within one country you are experiencing different problems: in the large cities it is not the same as in the small villages.
Most women were thinking it was very important to share our experiences and to know we are not alone: that similar problems and joys exist even in other places.       

One of the meetingsOne of the meetings

The answers to our problems will not be equal, but we can pray for each other and the Lord will understand and bless our work.
We are not struggling alone: the Lord is in our company and He will not fail!

So remember the theme of the conference: Trust in the Lord and do good.

The workshop with Dagmar Kersting on "doing good" (WHAT to do), that second part of our conference theme, took an unexpected and interesting turn. Somebody asked: "How are you doing that: listening to God's voice?? I am always speaking with Him and doing a lot for Him, but listening? I can't hear His voice!" Some experiences were exchanged about how to learn to listen and then the sisters agreed: "Let's try right now - this is our chance!"

So there was a time of silence and we asked the Holy Spirit to talk to us. And He did! We really have a living God! Trust in the Lord!
That's what all the sisters have learned: remember and share with the people around you: Trust in the Lord!! AND do good!!
                  
Dorothy Selebano, our world president told us about the theme in her opening speech in a very vivid way. She made the words very clear. The Lord needs us. So trust in Him and DO GOOD.

Our European president Ewa mentioned it in her closing speech: each one of you is unique, wonderful and very important to the world. God needs our hands, legs and our total life to work through us to change the world, our countries, churches, families.       

Workshop lead by Dorothy Selebano, Baptist World Alliance Women's Department presidentWorkshop lead by Dorothy Selebano, Baptist World Alliance Women's Department president

That made a sister write: It hit me straight in my heart. I felt, hearing one sentence of Dorothy Selebano, that GOD spoke to me personally, while feeling not to be good enough to serve Him: God makes no mistake in calling a person to serve HIM.

Report by
Wies Dijkstra, the Netherlands

 

(click pictures to enlarge)      
Dorothy Selebano,
BWA Women's Department president
Ewa Gutkowska, Polland and Dorothy Selebano, South Africa
Andrea Fisher, Austria
Patricia Eskdale and Gabriella Orienstain, France
Maria Leena Portaankorva, Finland
Janny Kingma, the Netherlands and Dina Cunha Marques, Portugal
Participants of the conference
Workshop group
Mai-Britt-Vehkaoja, Finland
Anne-Mi West and Mai-Britt-Vehakaoja, Finland
Claudia Angeletti and Alexandre Zeppien, Italy
Wies Dijkstra, the Netherlands
Sisters from the Netherlands
Sisters from Sweden
Sisters from Finland
Sisters from Norway with Ewa Gutkowska
Closing meeting
EBWU committee members with
Dorothy Selebano