Women ministers had a unique opportunity to gather to support and encourage each other and to share their experiences in ministry at recent pastors’ meetings held by the Solomon Islands Mission (SIM) in Honiara.
While women continue to face unique challenges in ministry, they faithfully serve their churches and communities through leading congregations, preaching, Bible studies and visitation, and they form a small but integral part of the ministerial team in the SIM.
Reflecting on women’s contributions to ministry, SIM president Pastor David Filo shared, “I believe women are a very important part of ministry that we’ve neglected in the past. But I believe that engaging more women into ministry is the way forward.”
For the first time the Mission, with support from private donors, has committed to financially support a woman, Tracey Mulele, to study for the ministry at Fulton Adventist University College. “This is something we must prioritise,” Pastor Filo said.
Similarly, SIM ministerial secretary Pastor Vince David said the Mission is hoping to be more intentional in encouraging more women to take up ministry training.
“I’ve been thinking about this, and while we’ve never really done this, I think we need to be going into high schools to encourage young women to consider ministry,” Pastor David said.
“We also need to help our members to understand that God calls both men and women into ministry.”
In his conversations with the female ministers, South Pacific Division ministerial secretary Dr Darius Jankiewicz has been impressed by their love for sharing Jesus.
Naomi Irobeni is among the small group of women ministers. “I prayed and asked God to use me in His service, even though I have limited education,” she said.
“But I know God is the best Teacher and I know He called me, so I’ve learned to share, I’ve learned how to preach, and help others know God and be saved into His kingdom. I love ministry because I can share God’s love.”
Beverly Maega was working in women’s ministries in 2019 when she felt called to a broader ministry. The Mission encouraged her to study theology at Fulton Adventist University College.
“Today, I love meeting people who want to know Jesus,” she said. “Talking to them and being there when they accept Jesus and their lives are changed, this is what makes me happy.”
Venisa Pitrie said she had wanted to be a preacher since she was a girl. “I got married and did other things but was always very interested in telling others about Jesus,” she said.
“In 2017 I had the opportunity to go to Hoda [Adventist Theological School], and there I learned to become a preacher. I thank God that He called me to ministry, to tell others about Him. That’s my calling.”