After the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, Women’s Ministries across the British Isles had to adapt quickly and find new and creative ways to continue helping women build relationships and share their stories amidst unprecedented challenges.
A video report, recently released by Sharon Platt-McDonald, director of Health, Adventist Community Services, and Women’s Ministries at the British Union Conference (BUC) of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, summarizes women’s efforts across the country to support people during the pandemic.
Among other initiatives, the BUC’s Women’s Ministry, in collaboration with its Health Ministries Department, ran a convalescence initiative called Project Restoration to aid individuals impacted by COVID-19 and their families.
“As people recover from the virus, I noticed that a significant number are encountering ongoing challenges,” Platt-McDonald said. “God led me to launch a convalescence project which seeks to meet the holistic needs of individuals recovering from the coronavirus. We provided daily freshly cooked meals, weekly shopping, relevant publications on well-being, counseling support, and financial assistance.”
Working in partnership with One Vision, an outreach ministry group led by Enoch Kanagaraj, Project Restoration provided more than 230 meals per day to the community.
“Thank you so much for caring for us! We appreciate the tasty hot meals you provide us each day. It has kept us going!” one woman, whose family benefited from this initiative, said. In addition to the meals, community contact cards were delivered with safety guidelines on the front and a message of hope inside. These cards included contact details for those needing emotional support or simply someone to talk to.
In another initiative, the Bereavement Care Befriender, volunteers delivered more than 500 copies of C.O.M.F.O.R.T, a book on grief and loss, to individuals experiencing bereavement during the pandemic. Also, well-being bags stocked with resources and goodies were distributed to individuals impacted by COVID-19, and leaders also organized online meetings to help build emotional strength and resilience.
The South England Conference of the Adventist Church hosted a week-long evangelistic campaign captioned, “The Gates of Hell Shall Not Prevail,” and organized a range of online workshops on emotional intelligence and resilience. The North England Conference organized a variety of prayer conferences and online events. Working collaboratively, the three missions — Scotland, Ireland, and Wales — organized virtual Women’s Ministries retreats and conferences.
“It’s amazing what women can do when they work together to share God’s love with a hurting community!” Karen Holford, director of Family, Women’s, and Children’s Ministries at the Trans-European Division (TED), said. “I am so proud of the achievements of the women in the BUC and across our entire division.
“We are very grateful to Sharon Platt-McDonald for her creativity in writing materials and developing high-quality programs that have inspired women of all ages in the BUC, across the TED, and even around the globe,” Holford said.