Sharon Segaar-King, a Christian Reformed World Missions missionary in Haiti, was grateful that nearly 70 women were willing to gather earlier this year for an annual, three-day conference of fellowship and spiritual nourishment.
Meeting in Thomasique, Haiti, the women learned more about their gifts and roles in the church — how they could be part of preaching, evangelism, giving to the poor, visiting, raising their children to follow Christ, and more.
Segaar-King says that the willingness of so many Haitian women to meet was an example of the strong faith many Haitians have accepted and maintained following the devastating earthquake of Jan.12, 2010.
"They realized that they are one body in Christ and are making an effort to fellowship with their fellow sisters in Christ," says Sharon, who served with her husband, Zachary, in Haiti.
A while ago, Sharon met with Madame Solange, director of women’s ministries for the Christian Reformed Church in Haiti (CRCH), to dream about women’s ministry in the CRCH.
Sharon and Solange were convinced women needed to be drawn together for spiritual nourishment and fellowship. With the help of several colleagues and CRCH women, they organized the first of what has turned out to be several, annual national women’s conferences.
"The women need to have an opportunity for some spiritual training – they are hungry for God’s Word," says Sharon. "Women in Haiti carry so many burdens."
The prayer support of many Haitians has helped make the conferences a success.
"Many people prayed . . . made praying for me and others of such importance . . . I was indeed blessed and humbled by being in the presence of my fellow CRC sisters," says a woman who attended the conference.
Feeling similarly blessed, women from churches in western Haiti enjoyed the fellowship so much at last year’s conference that they decided to meet throughout the year. Since then, they’ve met several times to talk about subjects they’re all interested in.
"I rejoice that the women are being spiritually refreshed and strengthened through the national women’s conference," says Sharon.