Echoes of the EBWU Committee meeting,
April 4-8, 2006, Norway, Algard
This year, annual EBWU Committee meeting took place at the beginning of April 4-8 in Norway, Algard, close to Stavangar.
Margun Warem the member of the Committee arranged in the smallest details our five days being in this very interesting Scandinavian country, well known by famous fjords. We had home accommodation. Lunch and dinner were served in private houses by different women from the Baptist Church in Algard. So, every day we could experience the hospitality, and love of our Norwegian sisters in Christ. At the same time we could admire the beauty of their houses where the presence of woman's hands have been noticed everywhere. One of the lunches has been prepared by a 87 years old sister, who years ago was the president of Norwegian Baptist Women's Union.
It was also very good occasion to know more about women's ministry in Norway. Women's work has long tradition. This year will be the celebration of 90th Anniversary of women's ministry. It started in 1916. From the very beginning women were very open to help and support mission work in their own country and abroad. In 1920 they started the mission work in Congo. The Norwegian Baptist Women's Union was also represented as one of the eight countries during first women's meeting after war II in 1948 in London where the European Baptist Women's Union has been established.
During the meeting with the Norwegian Baptist Women's committee we could hear more about women's ministry now. There are groups in local churches, which have their own meeting with different frequency. The goal of these meetings is prayer and encouragement for women to take part at different work for example with children, refugees, which are more and more in Norway. Women collect money for different projects in Europe and especially for mission work in Congo, Thailand and Sierra Leone. Some of them shared with us very moving experiences concerning especially ministry in Congo where the Church only gives people hope and stability. In this country only women very often carry the burdens of responsibility for the family and children. Because of big poverty they frequently eat only one meal a day.
On Saturday in the evening we had meeting with members of the Baptist Church in Algard. It was nice fellowship when the EBWU committee had occasion to present its work and ministry in many European countries. The president of the EBWU introduced short devotion on theme: "To be extension of God's hands". At this gathering the General Secretary of Norwegian Baptist Union Magnar Maeland and the pastor of this church took part. The words expressed by both of them have been big encouragement addressed to women. The president of the Norwegian Women's Union Synnove Angen presented some aspects of women ministry and also a CD from Leadership Conference in Birmingham. The song "Seeing with new eyes" in the background and nice women's pictures from the conference were big inspiration for all participants to see in new way and to be extension of God's hands toward those in need.