Southern Africa - Women Arise Conference Report
The theme of this long awaited conference was entitled "Women Arise". This passage which comes from Matthew 12:42 was given prophetically in 2001 while Rev Miller was ministering to the Zambian women. At that time this word meant absolutely nothing, however seven years later, its fulfillment has left hundreds of us, if not thousands, in awe. The vision for Women Arise was to ‘empower women, who will in turn empower others.
As women gathered from 15 nations (11 Southern African countries, Rwanda, Ghana, and two North American - Canada and USA), every moment of this conference brought each person to a place of reverence as they observed the sovereign plans of God being unveiled before their eyes - ‘moment by moment'.
Women in leadership came from their countries expecting God to do mighty things among His women and they professed to be overwhelmed at His mercies. Though many upheavals existed, the women were determined to engage more in worship and became unified in spiritual warfare prayers over a nation that stood to be in unexpected turmoil - the President of Zambia died one day prior to the Conference opening. This of course had many political overtones and protocols - which God gave the WA Conference victory over on every side. Women Arise was given special permission to continue while all other public services had to cease immediately. In fact, the Honorable Member of Parliament for Women & Children came to the WA conference on the opening night, to give her special blessings as we continued on in an uncertain time.
The women came from many countries with incredible stories of their journeys en route to the conference and some were even attacked viciously while at the conference. Yet God's blessings prevailed!
The roughly 45 women coming from Malawi had a long, hard journey causing them to arrive at 2:00 am the morning of the conference. They went to their accommodations and decided to sleep on top of their beds, fully clothed, without even unpacking their bags due to their exhaustion. At 3:00 am (an hour later) a huge "BANG!" was heard and a fire started. Being fully clothed, the women were able to get out, with all their suitcases (which had not been unpacked), and even some of the mattresses. The Malawian women watched their resting place burn to the ground in a mysterious fire, yet escaped the building quickly - God had pre-warned them! None were hurt and all became angry at the tactics of the enemy. Women from other countries became instantaneously bonded with their sisters as they stood together in unison believing God for even greater breakthroughs.
Forty-three Congolese women set out on their journey, while only 18 made it through the borders, yet they came expectant and rejoicing - glad to represent those who didn't make it.
Five women made it from the far country of Namibia - and they fell to the ground in tears in acknowledgement of God's blessings upon their long and hard journey to arrive. The women embraced them with tears.
Twenty-seven women made it through the Zimbabwe borders as they came determined to fill their hearts, minds and spirits with the Word and power of God to return to Zimbabwe and bless their own women.
Such were the stories! Including the nationals from villages in Zambia, there was a total count of over 1200 women in attendance to this God appointed conference!
Women Arise cannot be fully explained in a nutshell as it has transformed women from many African regions and has left the North Americans in a state of ‘awe'! God is doing some marvelous works in the nations, and He will even use us to accomplish His great plans - ‘Women Arise was a defining moment in history'!
It does seem the Southern Africa Women Arise Conference has caused something to be "stirred up" in the heavenlies. Praise God that every spiritual (and even some natural) blessings come as a result of Christ working on our behalf in "the heavenlies!"
North American Team Testimonials
"What a wonderful experience to be part of the first Women Arise conference in Lusaka, Zambia. To stand on the platform holding the USA flag shoulder to shoulder with women from all over southern Africa was an honor. God's love has united us as working partners in His Kingdom.
I count it all joy the difficulties we encountered to serve the women of Africa. We all sacrificed much for this conference to take place. It was well worth it. I believe we (the North American team) poured into the lives of many women; I hope they know they poured into ours as well.
This was my first Missions Trip and God willing, it will not be my last. Thank you to everyone who made it possible."
~Yvette Rowlett - Elk Grove, CA
"The highlights of my trip: the first was just being able to see and hear how the Women Arise Conference was appreciated by the ladies who came. Hearing some of their background stories was incredibly humbling. I pray and trust that God will use those meetings to go forth into the entire SADC region and that these women will be mighty catalysts for His Kingdom."
~ Carolyn Greig, Calgary, AB
"The conference Women Arise was so anointed - we were sitting in the presence of the Living God and His angelic hosts. Although we faced obstacles, God provided wisdom through His body, every project formed against His people was put to the ground. The preachers/teachers were great instruments of God, chosen by Him to meet the various needs of his princesses."
~Rev. DiAnne Dupont, Beresford, NB
Southern African Stories
Women from Namibia - Story from the Superintendent's Wife - Liz Nehemiah
The ladies from Namibia were excited to attend the Women Arise Conference although they faced many difficulties in traveling. As it was hard to receive their sponsorship money for travel ( PAOC no longer has a missionary in that country), these determined women enlisted other women of their community to give loans of whatever little they had until they were able to pool enough money together to get them to the conference. Believers in Namibia are very poor, but zealous to learn and to be a part of the PAOC/Z Community. When the Namibia women arrived on the first night of the conference, after traveling for two days by various modes of transportation, they were overjoyed and tearful as they set their feet on the steps of the Conference Centre and began to weep. The Zambian women stood around them and wept also in thanksgiving of their arrival. At the conference, these women not only received their sponsorship money to repay their sisters in Namibia, but also a wealth of knowledge to pass along to the women of their community. An even greater missions miracle is that the Zambian women were so moved by these ladies and their stories that the SADC Women have decided that the 2009 Women Arise Conference will be held in Namibia, and Zambia will be teaming with them in order to bless the struggling women in Namibia.
Women from Malawi - Story from Martha Jana
The goal of the conference was for women to influence other women - the Malawian women did just that. Before the conference even began, they decided in their hearts to share their sponsorship money with two Rwandan refugees who were leaders in their camps. This act of generosity caused much trouble at the Zambian border as the Rwandan women had no papers identifying themselves; they were held up for quite some. However, the Malawian women were determined not to leave their sisters behind and stood steadfast with them. However, the long journey, (that should have taken 14 hours but took them 22), was a blessing in disguise considering what transpired later that evening.
Women from DR Congo
The Congolese women had never left their cities, let alone their country, before (as was the case with many of the women at the conference). Forty women who were committed to coming were dropped down to 17 due to the fact most of them did not have any identifying documentation. This caused the women from Congo, and even the other conference women, to realize the importance of obtaining identification. They realized that identification represents power - the power of being recognized as a person and doors that can open even to them to travel outside their country.
Ghana - Story from Evangelist Agnes Appiah
Blessing each other!
One of the speakers who was invited from Ghana was quite overwhelmed as she has never traveled on an aircraft before; in fact, she disembarked and exited the airport in Malawi (a flight stop) thinking she had arrived. Her story of God's provision and protection in the past eight years caused the women at conference to fall in love with their sister from another African world. After she shared about the miraculous provision of an orphanage and school for street kids (which she started on her own, without any money), the women began giving her Pentecostal handshakes - even though they themselves had very little money. Mrs. Appiah was so shocked and blessed, she mentioned to the leaders to tell them to stop as they needed the money as much as she did.... 'the cycle of giving to each other was endless at this conference'.
Video Interview with Emily Bemuke - Zimbabwe
"I came all the way from Zimbabwe. The last week when I was in Zambia, there was a prophecy given that God was putting something in my life, that God was raising me to be one of the leaders of women organizations. So when I heard of this International conference, I was so excited, that this was my time. God - I am rising and I am going to be equipped and empowered from the topics at the conference. I have a passion for orphans and widows and I am going to be taught on how to care for them. I was also interested in the topic on HIV and AIDS because the statistics are so high.
This conference has taught us to cross borders. I am now not limited. Now I know that whatever I do, it is not just for my nation but all nations. I wish we could have more conferences and workshops so we can be equipped to help the people to be intercessors for our land. I am so happy that the conference is made in such a time as this when things are not in order in Zimbabwe. We thank God that one day he will turn things around in our country because of the ladies who have come to the Women Arise conference. God will take those people to use them as vessels to bring solutions to our country. God has got a purpose and he has chosen us to come to the conference. We are ready to be used by God to go back to our country. Nationwide we are ready, we are empowered."
Video Interview with Agnes Daka, Women's Director - Zambia
"I thank God for the conference that it has come to pass and I appreciate having brought in the women from the different countries. And I thank God for the speakers who are able to deliver the message that God has for us in this region as he wants the Queen of the South to arise with wisdom. Not just wisdom, but even to be able to arise and erase the sources that we would be able to minister to the whole console of man as we begin to make an impact in this generation. I give God the glory that such a time as this one, when we are being equipped and prepared for the next generation, Zambia loses its president and during this time that we have our sisters around us and we see brotherliness that even when we are mourning, they are here to comfort us and they have been here to also to provide strength to us. We just want to say thank you for the women that are here. And, for the women that have come from North America, we thank God that by his grace he has allowed them to come to Africa and just interacting with you and receiving from you, the things God has laid upon our hearts will make us different and I think we are not at the same level; we have moved to another level and we appreciate that you have come. God Bless you."
More Conference Pictures