Come out of prison...
Was the instruction that preceded the emancipation of several women by an almighty saviour on Saturday 5th March, at day 2 of the Celebrating Womanhood Conference, Woman of Worship. Ours is now an army ready to arise; the army of the Women of Worship.
In the lead up to this liberating moment we truly experienced the power of the Holy Spirit as He ministered through many people in a variety of ways.
It all began with a poem entitled, Woman of Worship, by Priscilla Danquah. This beautifully and thoughtfully created piece helped the women present to realise just how important worship is and therefore how necessary this conference is at this time.
The children’s dance group entertained and inspired us with a sequel to the acrobatic-ballet moves of the older In His Steps team the night before. Four little women, none older than the age of 10, choreographed Jesus We Love You by Bethel Music; they expressed their worship collectively and creatively. It was beautiful.
In a similar, yet unique style, we had the experience of being ministered to through sign language as Jade Ariho did an interpretive dance. The dance portrayed the doubt, fear and guilt of a woman who could not believe she was worthy enough to even praise God. But thank God, by the end, she was throwing off her chains and proclaiming, ‘I am free!’
Overcoming her fears and doubt, Pastor Sola Irukwu, a pastor, and the wife of the Senior Pastor of Jesus House London, climbed Mount Kilimanjaro earlier this year in support of Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists’ global health work and to improve the care of women in low-income countries. We got to participate in her amazing journey through her testimony, videos and pictures. She shared with us 5 keys that can help us conquer any mountains in our path: proper preparation, a clear strategy, the word of God, the Holy Spirit and helpers who have a common goal. Powerful lessons learned for her and for us all.
Another highlight for us all was hearing of the wonderful work God had prepared for one of our sisters, Doreen, to do in a faraway land. Moscow is the city where God had placed her and in a time of loneliness she cried out to God to give her a place in His Kingdom to serve and lo! He sent trafficked women her way and then supernaturally made a way for her to help them gain freedom.
The theme of freedom from captivity resounded throughout the day, particularly in the messages shared by our own Pastor Fatima Sibanda and the guest minister, Rev. Celia Apeagyei-Collins. Although separate expositions on freedom, there was a common thread and before our very eyes, as we prayed, the Holy Spirit confirmed His promise to set people free. Acts 12 highlights Peter’s miraculous escape from prison; ‘arise, quickly!’ was the instruction given to him by the angel, it was also the instruction given to us, which resulted in many of us being freed from the various ‘chains’ that bound us.
As the day drew to a close, we watched a monologue acted out by Chaneen Salako, who played the woman that broke her alabaster box of perfume and poured it on Jesus. We were blessed by a couple of beautiful songs from Penny Lyon and her husband Kevin – who had a beautiful testimony of how God showed Himself as a God who loves and has a plan to bring beauty our of ashes in spite of 10 miscarriages. And we were inspired by the testimony of Mrs Solebo, who got a revelation of Jesus while she was a Muslim and on pilgrimage in Mecca!
A session of dance in praise and thanks to our Father, our Lover, our Friend, our Maker, our Lord; and a message and prayers to round up the night by Pastor Zack Tondoro rounded things off.
The shackles had fallen off, hands were high and so were spirits as the night ended. Thank God for a great, awe-inspiring time amongst women of worship. We will no doubt be exclaiming ‘WOW!’ until next year...
Listen to the sermon by Pastor Fatima here.