DALLAS – The Southwest Region Conference Women’s Ministries Director, Anysia Archibald, along with Ruth Watkins, pastors and volunteers used their God-given talents during the month of August to present to women and men, girls and boys of the Southwest Region vital information about recognizing and preventing abuse.
August is the month that the Southwest Region Conference’s women’s ministries department sets aside each year as Abuse Prevention Emphasis Month, attempting to make known to all who suffer abuse, whether physical, mental or spiritual, that there is a God who hears, who cares and who is making a way out for them. The theme for this year was “Finding Courage Beyond the Veil of Darkness.” Presentations were broadcast every Sunday in August and in a special program on Sabbath, Aug. 22, on the Conference YouTube and Facebook channels.
The presentations began with Michelle Mota, pastor, sharing with attendees that God can provide a king where He desires. Esmie G. Branner, Ph.D., shared her experience about when we turn from God and walk in our own way, God is still there in the midst of our mess making a way out.
Kristen Davis-John, Ph.D., and Rose Gosin, MBA, MPM, DBA,PMP, shared the types of abuse and how they affect the abused as well as the abuser. They shared manifestations of a crushed spirit, red flags that warn us that a person is in need of professional help. They also outlined seven steps to victory. These steps were:
- Facing your problem
- Understanding the source of the problem
- Confronting the problem
- Taking responsibility for yourself
- Viewing the abuser from God’s perspective
- Loving unconditionally (Proverbs 10:12)
- Practicing a powerful prayer life (1 Thessalonians 5:17, 18)
Merkita Mosley, South Atlantic Conference treasurer, shared the turmoil of self-inflicted abuse and that we all are sinners.
A special program was broadcast on Sabbath evening with Claudette Andrews, pastor, who shared the life of Tamar, who was raped, but not cast down. She continued to live courageously and overcame the trauma that entered her life.
Evelyn Fordham Goodman, wife of Keith Goodman, pastor, closed out the month with the topic “He Sees Me.” She shared the story of a servant’s dilemma. Hagar, who was trying to please her mistress, was placed in an awkward situation. But she cried out to Jesus, who hears and answers our prayers. He covered her like a shepherd. He watched over her, protected her and sustained her. He will do the same for you.
Music was offered beautifully and professionally by all who sung, supporting the theme and the messages such as “He’s been Faithful,” “He’ll Find a Way,” “God Provides,” “Because of Who You Are,” “My Chains are Gone/Amazing Grace,” and “We Welcome You, Holy Spirit in This Place,” just to name a few.
The speakers all reminded us that we need to keep God before us, in us and in our actions. We do matter and Jesus cares about us all.
The presentations can be viewed on the Southwest Region Conference Facebook page and Southwest Region Media YouTube channel. If you can identify with any of the Biblical characters spoken of during the month of August or the manifestations mentioned by Davis-John and Gosin, please call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1.800.799.7233. Take courage, there is help for you.
By Gwendolyn L. Garrison