Single women and teenage girls were the focus of a special weekend in the Solomon Islands in early October 2018, hosted by Adventist women’s ministries in the region.
On a Friday evening, about 80 young women attended a single-ladies event, which continued on Sabbath (Saturday), when the number of attendees rose to more than a hundred. Workshops in the program were designed to uplift, nurture, and empower young women, and focused on areas like self-esteem and spiritual gifts.
Presenter Erna Johnson, former South Pacific Division (SPD) women’s ministries leader, said the event was the first of its kind for the SPD church region.
“We had only one day and an evening, but during that time we were able to bless, uplift, empower, and encourage our young women from mostly the Honiara region, although we did have a few teachers come to Honiara from the outer islands just for this [event],” Johnson said.
Two of the attendees were from non-Adventist backgrounds, including an Anglican Church leader who expressed her appreciation for what Adventists are doing for women in the islands.
The following day, more than 100 girls aged 13 to 19 attended “Real Me,” a program that covers issues relevant to teenage girls. Johnson presented some sessions, along with current SPD women’s ministries leader Danijela Schubert and Solomon Islands women’s ministries leader Beverly Maega. Counselors were on hand to help the girls through the activities.
“The girls had wonderful counselors at their tables who were right there with the girls in everything that happened,” Johnson said. “At the end of each session, they prayed with the girls, and during the activities for each session, they walked around the tables and helped and encouraged the girls in everything.”
Schubert said two women were observing the program and are now keen to share the teen program in their local communities.
“This is what you want; you want it to go further,” she said.
Johnson said the “Real Me” series has been a blessing to teenage girls throughout the SPD, and she is encouraging women’s ministries departments around the world to use the resource as a way to make a difference in young lives.
“The testimonies we hear at the end of each of the programs tell the story,” she said.
Schubert said she would like to see a similar program developed for teenage boys.