Christian Today Australia recently caught up with Margaret Jacobs to explain about the role of the World Evangelical Alliance Women commission and to give an overview of what the ministry went through for this year
C.T AUS: Can you please give a brief overview of the WEA women commission?
M.J: The Women’s Commission is on of several Global Commissions established by the World Evangelical Alliance. It exists to serve the Church by uniting women leaders and organizations – encouraging, equipping, and mobilizing them to help women to be and do all that God created and called them to be and do to fulfill Christ’s mission.
The WEA Women’s Commission is an international group of Evangelical women leaders whose agenda arises from an ongoing needs analysis in the global body of Christ. We are Multicultural, interdenominational with a focused agenda. We provide a global identity, voice, and platform for addressing issues and concerns that women face around the world.
We see: A WORLD IMPACTED BY CHRISTIAN WOMEN
C.T AUS: Are there any highlights which the ministry encountered this year?
M.J: Yes. The Directors of each of the eight regions of the globe were able to meet for a week in October in Bangalore, India. Many incredible reports were tabled of highlights in each region. In Eastern Europe a Leadership Training programme has been developed and it’s first group of women concluded their two year course and they are now teaching this course in their respective locations. In Egypt a huge tent was erected in an outlyling village where a seminar was conducted for young women who have been/are being abused. Over two hundred young women attended each day from several towns and villages. Dr Nabila (our Middle East co-ordinator) say’s “The challenge is huge, but I am confident the Lord Almighty will help and support us as He always has done”. This seminar will now be come an annual event in Egypt and beyond. A highlight in Africa this past year was the coming together of their National leaders. In each of these nations the Women’s Commission conduct programmes for HIV/AIDS victims at their various centres. In Kibera slums Judy Mbugua and her team provide a ministry to hundreds of orphan and vulnerable children, they are fed, clothed and assisted to attend school. Prayer and Care centres have been established for women.
It would take too many words to cover each of the eight regions but in each God is using Christian women to make a difference. Many letters have been written to Govt authorities in ‘trouble spots’ around the globe on behalf of suffering women as we seek to monitor treatment of women and respond with a VOICE on their behalf.
C.T AUS: One source of contention within many churches, especially locally in Sydney, is the role of women; do you believe that women should be able to assume the same role as men such as being ordained as bishops?
M.J: A loud response is YES. I believe that Women are Valued, Called and Gifted to hold leadership in all aspects of Christian endeavour. This past year the Women’s Commission in partnership with the Lausanne Women’s Track conducted a Seminar in Sydney “Better Together” Dr Graham Cole was one of the keynote speakers and his address is worth reading on the website – www.bettertogether.com.au
C.T AUS: What is the ministry plan for the coming new year?
M.J: The global Focus of the Women’s Commission for 2008 is to seek more effective ways and means that programmes initiated to bring relief to HIV/AIDS victims may be implemented. It is acknowledged that millions of dollars are given to illeviate this pandemic yet there is much more to be done. Grass roots women leaders are at the ‘front’ of these programmes and many are frustrated for lack of provision, resources and finance to continue the work they do. Much of the ‘dollar’ does not materialize in their villages.
C.T AUS: Do you have a Christmas message you wish to send to all of Australia?
M.J: Whilst families and friends get together to celebrate Christmas my prayer is that there will be an awakening as to the real reason for the celebration. We are having a birthday party for the KING OF KINGS our precious Lord Jesus. As we give gifts my prayer is that we will remember and be grateful for the greatest gift of all times…..God giving His only Son, for the redemption and reconciliation of the whole world. He commissioned us to continue that ministry of reconciliation…MAY WE DO SO.