Many thanks to our World Federation Officer, Carolyn Lawrence, for today’s guest blog…
Rachel Allison and myself have recently returned from an interesting and inspiring visit to South Africa on behalf of the World Church Relations team and Methodist Women in Britain. We were generously hosted by two of our Mission Partners, Revs Jane and Steve Day.
Through correspondence with Jane over the past year I had begun to learn about the ‘Magnify – Women in Leadership’ programme she had instigated and the main aim of the trip was to find out more about this and the impact it is having on women in South Africa.
The name for the programme takes inspiration from the song of Mary in Luke Chapter 1 when she says, ‘My soul magnifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour, for he has been mindful of the humble state of his servant…the mighty one has done great things for me…holy is his name.’
The programme aims to equip, encourage and empower women to serve God wherever they are in God’s mission and takes place on six Saturdays throughout the year.
Rachel and I attended a ‘Magnify’ day exploring spirituality on the theme of love. The day included times of silence to reflect, pray and walk in the gardens in lovely South African summer sunshine! A real treat in February!
We read some of the stories of women who have done the course and have been enabled to realise their worth to God and how he has gifted them, and gone on to do some amazing things in a leadership role. Another thing that was inspiring for us was that in a nation where there is still a lot of segregation and division, even sometimes in the churches, that the Magnify programme is pulling together women of all backgrounds, races and nationalities in a common bond of sisterhood that must surely put a smile on God’s face. Rachel and I are looking forward to investigating how we can further support this wonderful ministry now that we are home so that its benefits could be felt in other nations including our own.
It has been a great privilege and honour to be enabled to visit Steve and Jane and find out more about their lives and ministry and to learn about the nation of South Africa and its issues and I am immensely grateful to have been given this opportunity. I pray as I follow up from this visit, that I will be able to enable others to gain an insight into this part of God’s church and to inspire them to pray for South Africa and our other sister churches across the world.
Carolyn Lawrence, March 2018