THE WOMEN’S CONFERENCE
JANUARY 20-22, 2012
Relive, Revive, and Restore.
The March 11th triple disaster introduced dramatic changes in our lives. It disrupted our habits, our emotions, our health, our relationships, finances and kept us uncertain of our future. However, it also opened doors to take Christ out of the church into the community. Some participated in aid and relief operations, offered their homes for safety, prayed, counseled families who lost their love ones, and much more.
In the book of 1 Kings 19, Elijah participated in one of the greatest moves of God ever… He literally summoned God’s fire from heavens. Afterwards, he was so mentally and spiritually depleted that when Jezebel threatened to kill him, he ran for his life and ended up alone in the desert. He was so disillusioned that he asked God to kill him right then and there, but that is the opposite of what God did. God did not scold him or tell him to suck it up, nor he did not tell him to have more faith. He did not make him feel guilty for being depressed; instead , God told him to rest and sleep and then He sent angels to bring him food to eat. It wasn’t until he was physically, spiritually and mentally strengthened that God sent him back into ministry.
Even Jesus himself taught the disciples about the importance of solitude and rest in the Christian walk. Jesus himself retreated from the crowds alone to commune with His father in prayer. If Jesus needed it, how much then do we need it? God’s heart for us is to be renewed, and to remind us of how good He is, and who we are as His children.
Having said that, may we invite you to take time out of your overscheduled life for a special weekend (January 20-22) of worship, meditative prayer and adoration, big group session, workshops, time in nature and the onsen, all designed to rest your weary body and rejuvenate your tired soul. Amagi Sanso provides the beautiful place, God will provide the rest.
This year’s theme is “Relive, Revive, and Restore”, and we have invited as our guest speaker, Ms. Koko Kondo, a symbol of peace and the image of a strong Christian woman who faced uncertain times. Her powerful life story as a Hiroshima Bomb survivor at the age of 8 months proved that God’s grace and mercy will sustain us through to the finish. She didn’t make it through by turning out the lights and crawling under her bed, but by taking one tiny baby step of faith at a time until she made it through. God has given her a chance to honor Him through this harrowing experience, and is accomplishing great things through her.
Come with open mind, and open heart for God and enjoy the fellowship with one another. We hope to see you there!
Sixty one women attended the 2012 Women’s Conference, at Amagi Sanso 20-22 January, which was based around the theme of “Relive, Revive, and Restore”. More than half the women attending this year were “first timers”. Our speaker this year was Koko Kondo, who was an 8 month old baby when the nuclear bomb was dropped on Hiroshima, within 2km of her home. Over three sessions she shared with us the story of her amazing life. The workshops were both enjoyable and useful, thanks to the generosity of the leaders, sharing their understanding and knowledge with us. There was time before dinner for relaxation at the onsen. Others used this free time more actively, walking in the rain to the waterfall. Teresa Sherril led the worship at the Sunday Communion service which included a prayer performed by the interpretative dance workshop lead by Melanie Sinex. A thought provoking sermon was given by Gail Mundt from Tokyo Union Church. Conversations around mealtimes and during freetimes fostered new friendships and deepened old friendships. Upon leaving, one new attendee was heard proclaiming: “next year, I’m bringing a few of my friends.”
Sadly Ruby Sakuma passed away (after a long bout with cancer) on 2nd March. She did not make her illness public, and most of us were very surprised to hear of her passing. She was a shining light at this year’s conference: