Women’s ministries to launch WOW
New territorial initiative to focus on one-on-one evangelism.
by DEBORA BELL, LT. COLONEL –
WOW! It’s exciting! The Western territory’s women’s ministries is launching a new initiative with the program year beginning October 2006, designed to encourage our officers and soldiers to consider how they can win others for Christ. Since it is a women’s ministries initiative, WOW first stands for Win One Woman. Because we want it to go beyond the female gender, it also stands for Win Our World. This initiative gives us pause to look at the heritage we have as women in The Salvation Army.
For example, look at the oldest daughter of Catherine and William Booth, Kate, who began the work of The Salvation Army in France. The culture of France at the time was not only anti-religious it was aggressively against Christ. In 1881 The Salvation Army sent its first soldiers into France, Captain Kate Booth, 21 years old, and her two female lieutenants. None of them spoke French.
They carried the first Army flag. “Carry it to the slums and alleys. Preach under its shadow wherever there are lost and perishing souls. Charge the hosts of hell and see whether they will not turn and flee,” were the words of challenge Catherine Booth gave to the young women.
Within a week they were ridiculed, sworn at and pelted with stones and mud. Later Kate was put in jail in Switzerland. Kate and her lieutenants rented the only rooms they could afford in Paris, on the seventh floor of a tenement building in the slums of the Rue Parameter, occupied by prostitutes and rats. They lived on boiled potatoes and beans.
“When I went to France, I said to Jesus, ‘I will suffer anything if you give me the keys.’ If I am asked what is the secret of our power in France, I will answer ‘First it is love; second, love; third, love.’ And if you ask how to get it, I will answer ‘first, by sacrifice; second, by sacrifice; third, by sacrifice.’ Hours and hours we spend on our knees: you don’t know the value of prayer until you are driven to bay” (Kate Booth).
WOW! As I read these words of Kate Booth, I wonder, “What would I give for the salvation of the lost?”
There is a lot of freedom for the corps and divisions to develop the WOW Initiative and adapt it to their own community and local situation. At THQ we encourage lots of creative approaches to this initiative as long as they spring from soil prepared by prayer and a willingness to obey God. Some ideas that have already sprung up are Women of the Word, Words of Wisdom, Widows overcoming Worry, Weeping over Wickedness and, one of my favorites, Watch out World!
The parameters of the WOW Initiative are simple. We are focusing on the fundamental purposes of Women’s Ministries. That means no new reports for the corps! Corps will simply be asked to use the reports that have been introduced to them in the last three years. The divisions will have one new report, which will ask them to record the vital information regarding the corps, ministries and individuals who have earned a spotlight moment at the WOW Celebration Luncheon.
The territorial WOW Celebration Luncheon planned for June 9, 2007 will give opportunity for women of the West to gather in one place and give God glory for what has been accomplished for the Kingdom and for The Salvation Army during the months of October 2006 to March 2007. We plan to have one thousand women attend this event. One aspect of the luncheon will allow us to observe the 100-year anniversary of the Home League. Another aspect will focus on the exciting things happening in the field. The corps and divisions will have their own celebrations in the fall of 2007 after the initiative has been completed. (Actually we hope the initiative is never completed in that WOW groups will grow, on and on). Prayer pots are circulating in the territory so that this initiative and the celebration luncheon will be bathed in prayer.
There is a blog site for Win One Woman, https://winonewoman.blogspot.com. Check it out today!