We met at the airport and I could not contain my joy in being part of the group of women traveling to Lilongwe, Malawi for the conference of The Baptist Women's Union of Southern Africa.
Our flight was for 1pm on the 7th of August, to arrive in Lilongwe at 6pm. From Lilongwe we took a hired bus to Kamuzu Academy, situated in an area called Kasungu. Kasungu is two hours drive from Lilongwe airport. We arrived at Kamuzu Academy around 9pm, just as the opening session was about half way. Even in the night we could tell that we had indeed come to a beautiful place!
The theme for the conference, 'Arise Shine', was taken from Isaiah 60:1, 'Arise, shine, for the glory of the Lord has risen upon you'.
Our President, Mrs. Joina Dhlula, opened the Word for us by sharing from Ecclesiastes 11:1-2. She encouraged us to work hard; not just in our homes, or in our professional lives, but more so in the business of the Lord. We are to 'cast our bread across the waters (cast our lives, trades) beyond', and watch how the Lord will transform not just us, but also the lives of those we minister God's word to. When our lives are transformed, the lives of those around us can also be transformed.
We also heard of powerful testimonies to the glory of God. One was from a woman active in ministry in a remote village. She spoke of how when traveling in those hazardous roads, was miraculously delivered from two near- fatal accidents which all accrued within a couple of hours.
The other testimony was given by a woman whose first two babies died at nine months, after developing an incurable tummy swelling problem. She had to stop breastfeeding the children that came later, so they could live.
Counseling sessions also happened concurrently after the Word had been preached and taught through topics such as 'Coping with grief', and 'Dealing with matters of heart by tackling unforgiveness'.
Women were also empowered through a workshop, teaching how to use their hands and creativity to 'eradicate extreme poverty and hunger' within their communities.
To break the strain of listening to sermons and teachings, women would break out in song and dance. To say that the African woman can dance, is a statement that denies justice to what we witnessed and took part in. We danced the Malawian style, the Zambian twist, the Zimbabwean jive, the Botswana shake and the South African jiggle!
All in all, we had an all-rounded, short two day, conference that left us fully satisfied and equipped to go back to our communities and continue doing business and ministry to the glory of God!