By Michelle S. Nogra
More than 400 women throughout Central Visayan Conference territory (Masbate, Bohol, Cebu) eagerly came last May 17-19, 2018 at Capitol Central SDA Church to join the most awaited Women’s Ministries Convention.
The event was graced by Rachel Arrais, MA., Women’s Ministries associate director for the General Conference; and Helen Gulfan, Women’s Ministries director for the Southern Asia – Pacific Division (SSD), both empowered the attendees to be “Like tress planted by the River”. Along with the other resource speakers were Pastor Violeto Bocala, retired SSD president, taught how women can play a great part in witnessing and evangelizing; Dr. Evelyn Pepito, MD, FPOGS, enhanced women’s awareness on reproductive health; Dr. Sharleen Lim, MD, imparted the importance of mental health; Dr. Arn Evange Mendoza, MD, shared expertise on skin care and beauty inside and out; and Glenda Catane, Women’s Ministries director of the Central Philippine Union Conference, reminded women’s big role in building great marriages.
The convention featured women’s talents in the cultural presentation which displayed the rich and colorful Filipino custom. A religious musical presentation highlighted different singing groups of women in praise to the giver of every perfect gift.
The culmination and Sabbath services were held at Crown Regency Hotel and the women wore their best long dresses fit for worship, for the rare occasion and for the lovely place.
The host, Fe Pigon, MAEd, Women’s Ministries director of Central Visayan Conference, was overwhelmed by women’s zeal to learn and be empowered through the three-day convention.
The following were the testimonies of some of the attendees: “I am so thankful to God that I have the privilege to attend this convention. I really feel blessed and equipped. I learned that God has called us (women) for a greater work. So let’s get involved in doing what God wants us to be,” shared by Analiza Marcos, a delegate from Southern Bohol District.
“I want to thank our facilitators for the messages that we have heard. I learned many things: we need to have the eyes to see the people who are in need, we need to have a compassionate heart to feel the burden of the people who are in need, and we need to have a hand to reach out for them. We need also to be builders of a great marriage. I learned that whatever circumstances we face, let’s approach God for He is always willing to help us,” according to Wilma Tejano, a widow from Capitol Center SDA Church.
“I really don’t have regrets in attending this convention. I really feel blessed for the messages that I have heard. It is so uplifting. I am reminded that we have to stay connected to God no matter how filthy we are in our sight.
When we humble ourselves before God, He is faithful to forgive us and bless us according to His power. I am very grateful to the organizers of this convention, to the speakers and to everyone as well,” heartily said by one of the delegates.
“No words can express how happy I am that I was able to attend this convention. It is so overwhelming! I feel renewed and rejuvenated by the messages that I have heard. I feel the urge to be fully committed to God and be a blessing to my spouse, my children, to the church as well as to the community,” said by one of the delegates from Camotes Island.
“This convention empowers women to be the best of the best, honing them in all areas to be of help in the church and in the community for the glory of God,” said by one of the delegates from the Adventist Academy of Cebu.
About the writer: Michelle S. Nogra, MAEd is the Women’s Ministries leader of the Adventist Academy Cebu Int’l Church, Bulacao, Talisay City, Cebu.