Women’s Ministries change lives
Programs create renewed interest, enthusiasm throughout West.
by Sue Schumann Warner –
Throughout the West women are experiencing a renewed and revived interest in the Women’s Ministries program—and the effect of the WOW initiative (Win One Woman/Win Our World) is clearly being seen.
“I am excited about what I see and hear about the Women’s Ministries,” said Lt. Colonel Sue Harfoot, territorial secretary for Women’s Ministries. “I’ve heard dramatic, life changing stories of women introduced to the programs. Everything that’s done is for the purpose of winning souls—so women grow spiritually, are soundly based in the word, and in turn reach out to other women in their corps and community.”
WOW was initiated under the leadership of Commissioner Pat Swyers, territorial president of Women’s Ministries, in October 2006. Now entering its third year, the emphasis for 2008-2009 is “Win Our World,” and women are being encouraged to reach out into the community and their neighborhoods, and to include “the whosoever.” Said Harfoot, “Women’s ministry through The Salvation Army is a great evangelical tool. We are excited about the possibilities for this program year.”
By all accounts, they are building on a strong foundation.
Take the Gilroy Corps, for example: As a result of WOW, attendance has grown from 22 to 50 ladies. “The women really love this program and continue inviting new ladies to the meetings,” said Corps Officer Captain Melissa Viquez. “I feel very happy because the group is growing, but most of all because God is giving me the opportunity to see his awesome, changing power working in the live of all these women.”
Captain Ronalee Fenrich, Vancouver, Wash., corps officer, tells of the impact the Home League had on one woman:
“Elvira attended The Salvation Army in prewar Germany, with her adoptive parents. She married an American soldier and came to America, eventually settling in Vancouver. Twenty-five years ago, her niece invited her to Home League, where the corps officer lovingly convinced her to rededicate her life to Christ; she then began attending the corps. After being widowed, she found support and strength in her Home League ‘family.’ Today, she attends Home League and the corps with her daughter Jackie and granddaughter Karen. She spends countless hours each month knitting lap robes and caps for newborns in local hospitals.”
Women’s Ministries actively engages in territorial education and outreach throughout the year. In February 2009, for example, “Wow! Picture This!” will be the theme for a seminar day at the College for Officer Training at Crestmont. Cadets will receive practical instruction and tools for ministering to women through corps and community centers, and each of the 10 divisional women’s ministries secretaries will lead workshops that help cadets to get the “big picture” of what’s possible with Women’s Ministries programming.
In addition, the “Seasons of Life” program resource—written and prepared by Women’s Ministry leaders from all four U.S. Territories and national headquarters—has been sent to every corps in the Western Territory. “The four fold programs in this exciting resource material look at the changing seasons of life and include educational programs, service projects, fellowship programming and worship experiences,” explained Harfoot. “Seasons of Life” is also available in Spanish.
Plans are underway for a territorial Women’s Ministries Institute in the spring of 2010.