In April 2022, Esmeralda Guzman- Harris received and answered “yes” to God’s call to minister to the women of Southeastern Conference as the new women’s ministries director. She called current and former district women’s ministries coordinators to the Conference office for a one-day power training on July 30, 2022. They were also blessed to have Shirley Scott, Southern Union women’s ministries director, to join the power-filled day of fellowship.
The theme for the day was “Sharing the Vision, Advancing the Mission,” and the challenge was to respond, “I Will Go!” The journey began with a devotional thought “Alone with God,” presented by Brenda Owusu, D.N.P. She shared the urgency and importance of leaders first spending time with Jesus and following Him before seeking to lead. She warned that if they did not, they could become like Elijah who right after a great divine victory on Mt. Carmel, turned and ran in the face of threats from Jezebel.
A women’s ministries training session would not be complete without the Conference’s retired women’s ministries director, mentor, and advisor, Nicolle Brise, who is still allowing God to use her at 81 years young! She presented “Go Light Up Your World,” and reminded all that they bear responsibility to shine brightly for the glory of God. “Our Christianity should be visible in all aspects of our lives,” she declared. “If you are asked to lead a ministry, ask God for a vision,” she admonished.
In her worship sermon, Guzman-Harris shared her own inspirational testimony. Just as so many women in the Bible were willing to go, she herself told God, “Here am I. Send me.” Guzman-Harris concluded her message by reminding all that Jesus also answered the call to sacrificial service. “Jesus looked at me and you, and said, ‘I will go,’ even though He knew He would be abused and abandoned,” she said.
A highlight of the day, “Mission and Ministry: Is God calling you?” was presented by Patricia E. Pates. It included each person taking a detailed spiritual gifts test to discover how and where God is calling each woman to minister for Him. The women were reminded that every believer has received specific gifts from the Holy Spirit, and these gifts are given to nurture and grow the body of Christ. “We are called to be mission-driven, living examples of God’s love in our communities,” Pates declared. “…The harvest is ready, but the laborers are few.” In conclusion, each woman received an invitation to complete and sign a personal commitment card to “Share the Vision and Advance the Mission!”
With anointed music, prayer sessions, presentations on ministering to young adults, teens, and young girls, and activities sprinkled in between, the grand finale of the day was a charge from Michael Owusu, D.Min., Southeastern president, for all to R.E.A.C.H. Southeastern Conference with Revival and transformation-Equipping for discipleship-Alignment within the body-Community outreach and evangelism-Healthy leadership and management; and a commitment and consecration service for all participants who responded to the call by declaring, “I will go!”
Southeastern | October 2022
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