WOMEN OF WITNESS - POWER
The Women of Witness (WOW!) Conference this year welcomed an ever-increasing number of women hungry for the presence of God and fellowship among the saints. Almost 1,000 women attended the conference, both in person and online over the first and third week in September. Many more reached out through their Cell groups to pre-believing friends with the pre-planned messages.
Starting off WOW! on 1 September, Pastor Patricia King, Reverend Dr Naomi Dowdy and Mama Heidi preached to women pastors and leaders, drawing upon the Word of God and their personal experiences. It was a real privilege to see that the speakers’ lives were living, breathing, authentic models of what they taught.
In her opening, Pastor Patricia King told her personal testimonies about prophetic evangelism. Story after story spoke of the miraculous power of God that met ordinary people in their time of need. “God is positioning you to facilitate the harvest,” she encouraged the leaders.
Speaking candidly to leaders, she also spoke of her experiences dealing with the pressures of leadership and its expectations while teaching from John 4.
Reverend Dr Dowdy challenged the women leaders to transit from a pastoral to an apostolic mindset, and to lead their congregations to progress beyond elementary truths. She shared, “You cannot handle the harder truths of the future if you keep hanging on to the foundational levels.”
“Do you want to go backwards?”
On the second day of the conference, Mama Heidi preached the importance of walking in the identity and anointing God gave to us individually, and not to blend in or hide in fear. She talked about shoes (it was a women’s conference after all!). Pointing to her flats, she said “These shoes fit me, they work for me, and when I try to wear someone else’s shoes, I look ridiculous.”
She shared her experience several years ago when she went, fully prepared, for a conference with a laptop full of notes and a message on Powerpoint. But that was contrary to how God had always wanted to move through her. While Mama Heidi was in prayer, backstage, the Lord gently asked, “Do you want to go backwards?”
Mama Heidi wept as she repented of wanting to walk in another person’s identity and not what God uniquely created her to carry. It was that day that God gave her one of the most important sermons in her ministry of “living in the pause”.
“You get the mind of Christ for the situation you are in. Then it is the Lord that puts strength in you, and you stand up and go out,” she said.
Opening with her message “Do whatever He tells you to do”, Pastor Bonnie shared from John 2 about how Jesus essentially changed timing in the light of a present demand (i.e. the practical need for wine at a wedding) to make everything beautiful in that moment. Prophetically, Pastor Bonnie declared to many women in the conference that God was making today the day of His visitation in our lives.
“Friends we live in an hour that is speaking about the coming of the Lord. Jesus is coming quickly, so it’s time to buy oil – to fill our lives with the oil and presence of the Holy Spirit,” she said.
The key to keeping oil in our lamps like the five wise virgins did in Matthew 25, Pastor Bonnie shared, was to keep using the gifts and talents that the Lord had given. The oil in our lamp is likened to our testimony that is set on fire by our faith in action and obedience to the Word of the Lord.
The secret of never running out of oil is found in 2 Kings 4, and to keep pouring out our testimony.
“You take the little that God has given you – the faith, the presence, the encounter that you have, your testimony - the little bit of oil you have already. And you share it with those who are hungry, thirsty,” she encouraged.
“This is the way, walk in it!”
It was a theme that Pastor Daphne would continue with as she shared from Isaiah 30:21. At this conference, the Holy Spirit was preparing women to be prepared as the Bride of Christ, and to go forth as volunteers in the day of His Power (Ps 110:3).
“All the messages you have heard at this conference are pointing to the right road here for you… God has a specific design for you. God has a shoe that fits you,” she said.
Pastor Daphne shared her testimony of hearing the audible voice of God as He directed her to visit her sister overseas, and to lead her to salvation after a few weeks. God orchestrated every circumstance, and it was a kairos moment, built upon the release of a rhema word.
“When the word of God comes to you, keep it in that womb (Ps 110:3),” she encouraged. The work of the evangelist is not without hardship, but there must be a preparedness to go and not to be afraid. What is the power of His witness, which is the theme of the conference? It is the power of the Holy Spirit, the power of God to bring about the will of God which must be fulfilled in this day and hour.
And it is a momentum for the move of God that we want to build at the WOW! Conference, not a monument that would be comforting to look back at.
Revival, God’s Way
Wrapping up the evening of WOW! conference on 23 September, Reverend Suzette Hattingh came with a message of revival, and a piercing proposition. Preaching from 1 Kings 17, she highlighted God’s dealings with the prophet Elijah saying, “Before God touches the people, He must touch His servant… God dealt with Elijah before He could use him.”
Reverend Suzette was formerly a highly qualified nurse. Then the Lord sent her to Papua, and she left a thriving ministry to go into an environment that was very different from where she had trained and worked in. In the process, she shared the dealings that she had to go through. In her own words, she said, “We sing: end me, Lord, here I am. Can He really send you where He wants to send you?”
And again, a challenge to us in Singapore as we continue to pray for God to move in revival, “God has to deal with our religious ideas.
If God is going to send revival here in Singapore, it will not come the way you think it is.”
A Light in the Darkness
The end-time harvest is ever before us. And the hour is now – for women to rise up as powerful witnesses for the Lord. WOW extends beyond a time of fellowship, wonderful as that may be especially in post-Covid times, and each year’s WOW Conference is a time where God reminds His daughters of their calling to be light in the darkness for Him. What does God want to do in you and through you?