The 42nd Session TRAC Methodist Women’s Convention was held in Acappella Suite Hotel, Shah Alam from 22nd-24th September 2017. The theme of the convention is ‘Women of Strength & Dignity’ taken from Proverbs 31:25. Twelve ladies from Trinity Methodist Church, Petaling Jaya were blessed with a relaxing time, good accommodation and both physical and spiritual food. We had a time of fun, good fellowship and learning. Below are the reflections of some of the participants.
This was my first time attending the Women’s Convention. Being a working mother of four with kids from 4yr+ till 15yrs, I battled in my mind if I should sign up and go. I have my share of struggles such as no spare time, so many things to attend to and my son's PT3 exam is in 16 days' time. Yet I yearn to be strengthened and gained some insight from Rev Dr. Hea Sun Kim (Korean) and Rev Hikari Kokai-Chang (Japanese) from United Methodist Church, USA. The workshop "Women at Work" and "Cultivating Life-giving Disciplines" appealed to me.
This convention has blessed me tremendously. My spirit was lifted up when Rev. Dr Hea Sun Kim affirmed that each of us are God's unique, special and POWERFUL SEEDS! In the past, there were times when I felt unworthy. My family and friends deserve someone better. But through sharing from fellow sisters-in-Christ, I am assured that God did not make any mistake. We are God's unique and powerful seeds. The two plenary session speakers were captivating and their messages spoke to our hearts.
I learnt that I must remain in God and dwell in Him; then my roots will be strong and healthy for me to stand firm and bear fruits. In order to know my God, I must spend time with Him. Just like when we spend time with our loved ones, we can gauge their needs. I need to be mentored by older women and subsequently I need to mentor younger women.
My fellow sisters, do sign up for the Methodist Women's Convention in future. You will be blessed. There will be one next year!
"The Lord is faithful to all his promises and loving toward all he has made. The Lord upholds all those who fall and lifts up all who are bowed down. The eyes of all look to you, and you give them their food at proper time. You open your hand and satisfy the desires of every living thing."(Psalm 145:13b-16)
Dr. Loo Peh Ling
Rev Hikari’s sharing on the appearance of Jesus to his disciples in the Upper Room, has been very insightful. Jesus showed his nail-pierced hands. I was encouraged when she reminded us that God does not judge us on the basis of our pains, hurts, frustrations, difficulties or challenges as He Himself had also experienced them. Such an insight will make me sensitive to the struggles of other women when I interact with them and hear the stories of their lives.
From the conference, I am reminded that God is the sower, we are the seeds. However different we are in looks, His desire is for us to bear delicious fruits for His Kingdom's glory. We are on a continuous journey of learning and growing even into our twilight years.
I particularly enjoyed the plenary session by Rev Hikari who used the analogy of Kintsukuroi, the repairing of broken ceramic with gold seams, hence making the object more beautiful for being broken. God put us through trials and difficulties that this experience need not be wasted as we can empathize with others in the struggle. In our brokenness we can trust God to patch, heal and make us whole again
I am enriched by the interactive and vibrant sharing of many sisters during the conference. I look forward to the next MW conference.
In the Parable of the Sower (Matthew 13:3-8), seeds have been sown on different types soil: stony, thorny, wayside etc. The best seeds are those that fell on good soil. Are you one of the seeds that fell on good soil? If you are then you would have the best qualities that God has sown into you - fruit of the Spirit. But we are also seeds that often fall on the other types of ground. We wander away from God. No matter what type of seed you are, you must always be connected to Him. You must always remain in Him. John 15:4
Teoh Pik Choo
It's my first experience attending an MW Convention which brought in speakers from USA.
They proved to be a good mix as we were able to see and hear the Parable of the Sower in a new perspective. We are the seeds which God has planted in each of us and we have a responsibility to grow it, and share it.
Another perspective is that we are not alone. We need to stand together and pray for other women who are unwell, suffering trials and little children in war zones, child abuse and slavery.
We are so blessed to hear the messages and look forward to the next MW Conference.
During the convention, I feel that God has a plan and purpose for us. God gives the wisdom to everyone to share and have fellowship.
At the convention I learned from the speakers about the seed sowed by God and our life experiences relating to the Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter stages of our lives.
The interactive presentations and sharing of personal experiences with God by the Korean and Japanese speakers are so interesting. The workshop on Multi-G Mentoring is also very interesting and I gained a lot of knowledge from it.
I am also very thankful to the committee members and appreciative of their efforts to organise a wonderful and memorable conference.
Everybody has a gift. A gift is something that you enjoy doing. Sometimes we think that we cannot do much as an individual; but if each of us work together we can produce much. Just like music notes. If each note stand by itself we cannot see much effect; but if all notes play their parts a song will be produced. There is much strength in unity.
We always measure ourselves to the standard that others set. A good leader does not have to have all the good qualities: strong, smart, perfect. God does not expect us to be perfect. Abraham, Paul and the disciples were not perfect. So why do we think we are not good enough, strong enough to be a leader? This is something we have to ponder.
Everyone was asked to think through what is the fruit of life one wants to bear as a child of God. We wrote what we want to achieve and pasted it on the ‘tree of life’. Hopefully we will work at it and bear fruit.
Our imaginations were stretched when we had to depict Bible stories using recycled items. This enhanced our working together in a group.
The fun and laughter that we had and the lessons that we received as well as the smooth running of the programme is only one criteria to determine the success of the convention. I would say that it is when we, the participants put to practice what we have learnt or what we perceived God has called us to do that really determines the success of the convention. So let us do our part and answer the call. Be women of strength and dignity.