Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Women's Ministry

ladies of the Iglesia Bautista Misionera of Iquique

Soon after arriving in Iquique, I was asked to work alongside my colleague Debora Armijo in the area of women's ministries. This is an area of ministry that I personally find very rewarding, as I see the ladies growing in their understanding of God's Word and also deepening their friendships and relationships with one another. I appreciate working with Debora, who has a depth of experience and wisdom to share.

At the beginning of the semester, we met for breakfast to plan our theme and calendar for the year. We chose to work through Nancy Leigh DeMoss' book "Lies Women Believe ... And the Truth That Sets Them Free" ("Mentiras Que Las Mujeres Creen ... Y La Verdad Que Las Hace Libre") - a book in which DeMoss "exposes areas of deception she believes are common to many Christian women and are at the root of their struggles." It is an excellent resource and so far has been well-received by our ladies.

Initially, our plan was to meet twice a month on Saturday evenings at 5 p.m. for Bible study and a shared "once" (teatime) at our Iquique church. However, that plan was adjusted after a recent missionary team meeting in which we brainstormed ways to reach out with greater impact to Alto Hospicio (20 minutes from Iquique, where our new church plant is located.) A decision was made for the ladies to meet once a month in Iquique and once a month in Hospicio. While the ladies from Iquique are invited to attend the latter, our hope is that eventually we will be reaching a whole new group of ladies in this new area.

Our first meeting in Hospicio was held this past Saturday. We had the supportive presence of a dozen ladies from Iquique, and two visitors from Alto Hospicio. It was an interesting meeting! As usual, we had time for introductions, games, prayer, Bible study and (of course) eating - but due to an oversight with the electric bill we found ourselves doing it all by candelight!

Nonetheless, we enjoyed ourselves, and it was definitely a first meeting to remember! As you think of the ministries here, please pray for the ladies of the Iglesia Bautista Misionera in Iquique and for many women who have yet to hear the gospel in both Iquique and Alto Hospicio. In just the past two weeks, we have listened to the stories of two separate women who are hurting from serious marital issues and seeking answers. They have yet to understand that the only true answer will be found in Jesus Christ, but we are praying that very soon they will!

first ladies' meeting in Alto Hospicio (by candelight!)

ah, there we are - amazing what flash photography can do :)

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