From ANN, December 22, 2015: The women’s ministries department of the Malawi Union Conference partnered with Malawi’s Ministry of Gender, Children, Disability and Social Welfare, on December 13, to organize a prayer breakfast in an effort to promote sisterhood among women of all faiths and occupations.

The interfaith prayer breakfast included women from the Malawi police force, immigration department, female government principal secretaries, female members of parliament and the ruling party. The theme of the event was “Women: To Nurture and Empower.”

In her address, Gertrude Maseko, the first lady of the Republic of Malawi, emphasized the need for women to love each other. She said that “the woman’s worst enemy is a fellow woman; most women spend their productive time backbiting or hatching plans as to how to bring down a fellow woman.”

She then advised women to spend time with God first but also focus their efforts on coming up with activities that can improve their well being.

In line with her “Beautify Malawi Trust initiative,” the first lady said she was happy to associate with the Dorcas women in Malawi who work in areas of sanitation and hygiene in hospitals, markets and other public places. She reminded the gathering that cleanliness is next to godliness and she summarized by saying ‘smart women pray.”

The Minister of Gender, Children, Disability and Social welfare, Hon. Patricia Annie Kaliati M.P. thanked the Seventh-day Adventist denomination for collaborating with sisters from other denominations and social groups. She asked other groups to emulate what the Adventist women had done in organizing national prayers in light of the many challenges facing the country.

In her sermon, shepherdess Esther Kuyama preached on the need for women to trust and rely on God for all their challenges. She challenged the women that there is no single problem that God will fail to resolve. She also said there is always a reason why we have to go through different seasons, but it is important to keep the faith and stick to Christ even amidst trials and tribulations.

In her remarks, Malawi Union’s women’s ministries director, Emily Banda Egolet, urged the first lady to take the example of Esther in the Bible. Egolet said women have little or no voice and are under-represented in most decision making positions and are continuously victimized in various ways. She told the first lady that women will continue to pray for her as she represents them in the State House.

In his statement, the president of the Malawi Union Conference thanked the Malawi government for creating a conducive environment for the Seventh-day Adventist denomination to exist and conduct business in Malawi. He committed that Adventists in Malawi will continue to contribute to the social economic development of the country especially in the areas of health, education, youth development, women and children welfare issues. He said the Adventist denomination will especially continue to contribute to ending all forms of violence and discriminatory acts against women and children.

During the event, the women’s ministries department presented the Seventh-day Adventist hymnal to the first lady who indicated it was a prayer answered for her because the hymnal contains her most favorite hymn.

Adventist News Network (ANN) is the official news service of the denomination’s world headquarters in Washington, DC.