News and Views
Editor: Aniko Ujvari
usza@galamb.net
Editorial office: Budapest, Jozsef u. 12. 3/1 1084 Hungary
Biannual newsletter of the European Baptist Women's Union

December 2007 issue
Table of Contents

 

Dear Sisters,

"The Lord has helped us all the way..." said Samuel (1Sam 7:12). We can say the same when we look and think about women's ministry in our own countries during last period of time. It was my great privilege and honor to take small part in your great ministry. 

In May the EBWU committee organized and covered all the costs of the conference for women from Uzbekistan (Central Asia) in Taskhent.

 

Ewa Gutkowska

 

Together with Olga Mocan we led the workshop and presented lectures connected with the theme: "If we are not living for the time like this?" At this meeting 155 women took part, mainly from Russian 40 Baptist churches (officially accepted by government). There were also Christian women from Muslim background and quite big group of deaf women (about 30). They could understand lectures by interpreters using the sign language. Uzbek sisters try to help children and people in need. Uzbekistan is a very poor, Muslim country. God works through his children among Muslims and many of them accepted Jesus Christ but they are secret believers because of persecutions. We visited one Christian women's group with the Muslim background and we could listen amazing stories about their way to Christ.

Also in May God allowed me to go to the Netherlands and to take part in the Jubilee conference of the Dutch sisters – 75th anniversary. Over 350 women participated in this gathering. The theme of this meeting was "A time for everything". Very good program, power point presentation of the history of women's ministry also mission's work abroad and personal testimony of the missionary to Cameroon allowed to see how God worked through women's generations and still works. Full of energy and enthusiasm sisters are big encouragement. As you know the team of the Dutch sisters are involved in the preparations of the EBWU conference in the Netherlands next year May 15–18. Please keep in prayer this group of women.

On June 25th to July 1st2007 the BWA Women's Department Executive Board had a meeting in Accra, Ghana. At this meeting WD president – Dorothy Selebano, secretary/treasurer - Donna Grover, director – Patsy Davis and continental presidents took part. Chiyo Murakami – Asia and Judith Chambers – North America because of serious reasons did not participate in this meeting. Judith Ch. is very ill so please pray for her. Generally it was nice possibility to see how God works through women in other continents.


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We had also a meeting with Ghanian sisters. It was a very moving experience for all of us. The worship was very special for us. African women really dance to worship God. They are full of enthusiasm, joy and gratefulness to God when they sing the songs and do the offering. Their reaction to God's Word is very vivid. They pray aloud and passionately. We could also listen about their ministry for neglected children, girls, young widows and women who have been sold to sexual slavery.  



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Directly after the WD meeting on July 1–7 we took part in the Annual Gathering. At this meeting about 500 people participated, majority of them were from Africa of course and from America. Europe has been represented by about 60 brothers and sisters from about 30 countries. The theme of the gathering was: "Freedom in Christ". It was an interesting form of the reports from different continents. There were "journalists", interviews and power point presentations. Generally it was a very interesting meeting. During this meeting the official farewell for General Secretary – Denton Lotz his wife Janice took place. The members of the gathering prayed also for new General Secretary – Callam Neville and his wife Dulcie. Callam Neville, a Jamaican is the first person outside of North America or Europe to be elected to this position.


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In August I visited Children Health Centre "Zhemchuzinka" in Belarus. During summer there are 5 camps, each one for about 200 children and teenagers, so together for about 1000 children. The aim of the camps is to help poor, numerous and with single parent families, and also healthcare of the children living on the contaminated areas of Chernobyl nuclear disaster. There are three main purposes in this work with children: spiritual and moral education; medical examination and treatment and healthcare program. During my stay in the Centre I could observe great and fruitful work of many volunteers and workers. I could also see happy and smiling faces of children almost all the time. Next year they will continue the same work. The name of the project is: "By the Road of Faith" .


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In the beginning of September the mini-conference for women leaders from former Soviet Unions (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Moldova, Russia, Tajikistan, Ukraine and Uzbekistan) took place in answer to the dream and prayer of many women from this part of Europe, also of the EBWU committee and other sisters. Two European Unions supported individually and partially this important and blessed event.

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The conference was holding in Chisinau (Moldova). It was nice opportunity to have fellowship together, to talk, to pray, to participate at the seminars, to share some experiences concerning women's work and to listen to testimonies about God's work in personal women's life and in the ministry. It was big encouragement and inspiration to all of the participants of the conference. 


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Part of the EBWU committee took part at the EBF General Council in Budapest in September. During this meeting the president of the EBF Helari Puu has finished his work and new one – Toma Magda from Croatia has been elected for next two years. At this gathering we farewelled Janice & Denton Lotz, the former General Secretary of the BWA in the time of 19 years. On behalf of the EBWU we gave them a nice gift. Part of the committee had two meetings during the short break at the Council. We could work together especially with some issues concerning the EBWU conference next year, May 15–18 in the Netherlands.


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In October I had privilege to participate at two women's gatherings: Conference in Poland and Jubilee Congress in Latvia. The Conference in Poland with the theme: "Let's Stimulate One Another to Love" was holding in a very nice southern area of the country. There were also workshops concerning difficult issues like: How to cope with the cancer or depression apart from the main subject of the meeting. One of the guests of the conference was the previous president of the Women's Work in Germany – Anita Jancen. Anita introduced the lecture concerning reconciliation and she presented us pictures of the 80th Anniversary of the Baptist women's work in Germany. The biggest joy of the conference was the decision one of the participants to follow Christ.

It was also great and blessed time together with the Latvian sisters. About 200 women we took part at this Congress. Reports, sharing, testimonies concerning God's work in the women's ministry showed clearly to the participants that God is full of power and He is the source of strength. The Bible study and the lectures were connected to the subject of the congress "The Lord Gives me Strength" (Hab 3,19). God empowered many Latvian women, with its leader Livija Lame in the ministry during last fifteen years.


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I am very grateful to God for everything what He did and still is going to do through women who belong to Him. Great work was done but there are still numerous needs. There are a lot of women and children who suffer, who have not hope... God wants to use each of us! 

He wants to be our hands full of power and might, which will change the life of other people. He wants to be our eyes to see like Him, women, children, others in need. He wants to be our ears listening to cry of suffering. He wants to be our feet to go where people are waiting for him. He wants to love by our heart! 

Therefore my Dear Sisters "stand firm and steady. Keep busy always in your work for the Lord, since you know that nothing you do in the Lord's service is ever useless." (1Cor15:58) 

In His grace humbly submitted,
Ewa Gutkowska

 

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