By Raisa Mbalule and Carren Adhiambo
Pictures: Dan Nyaoke
The Nairobi Church of Christ gathered for the annual Women’s Day on the 18th of November 2018, at the Umoja Church Sanctuary.
The colourful event opened with a prayer, lunch and a number of congregational songs. The African theme revealed our African beauties. Guest speakers included Anyima Okundi and Judy Ouko.
The keynote speaker was Elizabeth Odwallo who talked about the theme of the day which was “The Whole of Me”. She opened up by sharing the importance of actively pursuing wellness of every part of ourselves. Some of the things that could help us include reading scriptures, journaling prayers, attitude adjustment, and forgiveness, she emphasized.
The scriptures she used were 2 Pet 2:9, 1 Thessalonians 5:23-24, Philippians 4:4-9, and Philippians 2:5. She also touched on things that hinder “the whole of me” and they included fear, hiding, doubt, excuse making, self-pity, comparisons, and pessimism. She concluded by sharing attributes of a woman who is experiencing the whole of her, and those attributes include courage, confident, winning battles, and growth.
Anyima Okundi talked about the seasons of life and how we can experience times of plenty, and times of want. Her call was for us to store up our “plenty” just as Joseph stored up the extra harvest in preparation for famine as seen in Genesis 41:48-49. Anyima encouraged us to refer to our quiet times and journals during times of plenty so that they could encourage us during our times of want. She shared from 2 Tim 4:2, Phil 4:12, Rom 8:28, and Psalm 139.
Judy Ouko talked about the importance of taking care of our mental wellbeing just as we take care of ourselves spiritually, physically and emotionally. She shared a few tips on how to preserve mental health which was; First, being active by enjoying doing what you do and find ways to keep active, like exercising. Secondly, giving that is of your words, your time and your presence to those who need it.
Thirdly, taking notice by paying more attention to the present, reflecting on past experiences and how you’ve grown from them, and remembering things that have brought you joy. Fourthly, connecting that is learning to talk and listen by building and nurturing friendships and providing a support system that can help you when you’re down. In conclusion, have a heart of learning by constantly embracing new opportunities. She urged sisters not to shy away from challenging situations as they can help make them better and ready to take up new challenges by themselves.
Judging from the bright faces of the women, one could easily tell that the day had been magnificent. Monica Makungu, a single sister from Kibera ministry noted, “The Women’s Day for me was great, starting from the way the hall was arranged and decorated, the way the song leaders dressed up and led us in praise and worship; this day was special.” She continued, “From the three classes l got to learn a lot but the one that really stood out for was the first class, “Navigating through the Seasons of Life”. She further stated, “In life, we have different seasons which come and go, and in every season I need to put on Godliness.” From the class, it was clear that it helped her identify which season of her life she was in and what she needed to do in every season.
With a lot of excitement in her voice, Nancy Awino from Kitengela ministry commented, “Fantastic and timely challenging!” While Ndembo Mtoto pointed out, “I had expected to be fed emotionally and to leave with something new and indeed my expectations were met.”
On the other hand, some sisters felt that the planning was not done adequately being that the time for preparation was short, hence, they did connect with the theme before classes commenced but found the connection later. To add on this, another married sister was of the idea that our Sunday service program should have more time for prayer and worship. According to her, her spirit was lifted from the songs sang on that day.
The closing prayer was done by Margaret Nguku while Vicky Auki wrapped up the event giving a vote of thanks to all the participants and organizers of the event. The women conference was attended by eight hundred and eighty-three women who were inspired by the educative lessons and touching experiences shared during the event.
Big thanks to our organizer and to God be the Glory!