WOMEN OF WISDOM
Wisdom begins and ends at home. With that phrase Reverend Sylvia Evans summarised her primary message, which she richly developed over three days of amazing teaching at the Women of Wisdom Conference, held from 12 to 14 September 2019 at Cornerstone Community Church.
Drawing from the loves of biblical women - Deborah, Jael, Abigail - Reverend Evans painted a vivid picture of wisdom that was embedded in the different callings of these women. Deborah, despite her public ministry, began as a counsellor at home; Jael, being a common woman, had the practical wisdom of knowing what to do with the enemy who came to her door; Abigail, with her quickness of wit and “response-ability” showed control in crisis. Wisdom requires a Pure Spirit.But how did these women emerge as such pivotal examples of wisdom? Was it something they said, did or lived through?
Over the first two evening sessions, Reverend Evans laid the groundwork by speaking about the need for the Spirit of God to work cleanness in our hearts. It was a central theme of the conference - that wisdom requires a pure spirit, because the wisdom that comes from above is spiritual. “If study is continually flowing out of you, this wisdom does not descend like snow from the heavens,” she said, in reference to James 3. “(But) when we, women, sit at the feet of Jesus, our spirit is cleansed.”
Over the first two evening sessions, Rev. Evans laid the groundwork by speaking about the need for the Spirit of God to work cleanness in our hearts. It was a central theme of the conference - that wisdom requires a pure spirit, because the wisdom that comes from above is spiritual. “If study is continually flowing out of you, this wisdom does not descend like snow from the heavens,” she said, in reference to James 3. “(But) when we, women, sit at the feet of Jesus, our spirit is cleansed.”
And it did seem as if sitting at the feet of Jesus was the sole agenda for the day, many times during the Conference’s praise and worship sessions. As with last year’s inaugural WOW! Conference, the presence of God was sweet, yet strong, during times of worship. Reprising her role from last year, Pastor Libby Huirua led worship in the evening sessions and also preached about the importance of having our eyes fixed on Jesus during on of the night sessions. “When God has birthed something in the Spirit, you can’t slow yourself to carry it in your soul… Keep it elevated in the spirit,” she said.
WOW! Conference participant, Sophia Tan, said, “What really impacted me was when Pastor Libby talked about not letting what I’ve received from Jesus sink into my soul to get diluted."
In addition to the rich teaching and preaching, the WOW! Conference was packed with amazing personal stories from Sister Nidia Meneses and Pastor Sabrina Low.
Sister Nidia shared her testimony in Spanish, speaking of how God rescued her from the clutches of sexual sin and witchcraft. She pointed to a copy of her thick, black appointment book, which was once filled with the contacts of witches and clients whose services she once brokered. Now, she declared, the Holy Spirit speaks to her of pastors in need and her directory is now of Christian ministers and ministry.
Joining the Conference for the first time as a speaker was Rev. Dr. Naomi Dowdy, who preached a powerful message on ‘Breakthrough’ during the first Day session. “The key word in ‘until’, she declared. “Superheroes are normal people going through normal activities until they have to face the enemy, Nothing changed until (biblical) Deborah change”
“We need more than human wisdom (to deal with the future). We need divine wisdom.”
Rev. Dr. Dowdy, whose faith and ministry track records shines as an inspiration to many women - and men - also conducted a workshop called “Snakes and Doves - Learning to lead with wisdom”. “The serpent’s wisdom saves you from unnecessary exposure to danger,” she said. “While the dove’s harmlessness protects you from your sinful methods to escape hardship." WOW! Conference participant Alegena Koh said, “I was very blessed by Rev. Dr. Dowdy’s sharing. There is a fine balancing act which is attainable if God is in charge and if we operate out of love.”
Pastor Sabrina from Cornerstone Miri shared about her journey of faith, from trusting God to download ministry strategy to paying billboard bills in good timing.
Both speakers also helmed workshops, with Sister Nidia talking about seeking God for supernatural downloads to move in the natural, and Pastor Sabrina touching on the importance of respect and honour in intergenerational relations.
A time of prayer and impartation marked the end of the conference. For quite a number of delegates, it was also a time of farewell as they got ready to travel back to their respective countries. Till next year!
Written by Charis Lee