September, the month that heralds spring in South Africa and with it, the wonderful renewal of nature after winter. September is also the month when the annual Women’s Conference, hosted by Brunstad Christian Church South Africa, takes place at the Stephanopark Conference Centre in Vanderbijlpark. The 2019 conference was a time of regeneration for the 123 participants, 8 of whom came from countries as far afield as Malawi, Tanzania, Congo DRC and Norway and the remaining 115 were South Africans coming from Vanderbijlpark, Pretoria and Cape Town.
The spiritual message of the conference was based on the life of Deborah, a wise and god fearing woman, who was a judge from the Old Testament book of Judges.
Judges 5: 7
“Village life in Israel ceased, ceased until I, Deborah, arose, arose a mother in Israel.”
Tielman Slabbert, the main speaker at the conference explained that “a mother in Israel” is someone who will stand up and be obedient to what God is prompting her to do. Because of her relationship with God she is able to discern God’s will and through this can be a tremendous help to her own children and others. He exhorted everyone, whether young or old, married or unmarried, with children or without, to be a Deborah, whether at home or whatever circumstances she is in.
In between the three meetings the program included time for fellowship, relaxing and other interesting activities. On the Saturday morning, early risers could participate in a yoga class or a walk in the nearby Eco park. In the afternoon a DIY session was available to those who wanted to learn how to do macramé, the art of knotting string in patterns to make decorative items. This proved to be a very popular activity.
A festive dinner was held in the evening which included edifying and powerful messages from various speakers, interspersed with uplifting items of song and prerecorded video clips of some of the participants who explained what being a ‘Deborah, a mother in Israel’ meant for them in their daily lives.
The last day of the conference began with a very special High Tea. Beautifully decorated tables were set out in the courtyard of the conference centre, which was bathed in the warmth of the spring sun. Buffet tables were laden with delicious sweet and savoury eats and it was a joyful time of fellowship for everyone present.
The High Tea was followed by the last meeting of the conference at which many women gave their testimonies and said how thankful they were to have been able to attend such an inspiring conference.