The History of Women for
We'd begun our women's
ministry in a small way and for several years had held a weekly women's meeting
in someone's home, where we studied the bible, shared and prayed for one
another, and whilst this had been good, we felt we needed to move on into
something new and develop further.
It was in September 1995
during a time of seeking God for the next step that the vision for the ministry
of Women for the Kingdom was birthed in answer to a question heard on a tape:
"What do you want the ministry to be like in 3 years' time and what are you
going to do in the next 12 months to get there?"
This was a challenging
question and our answer was that we wanted to see women develop in confidence
and reach their full potential in all that God has for them.
We began to hold
whole-day events on a Saturday and invited speakers to come and minister to us.
This was quite a venture for us, but we took a step of faith and the first
event was held on Saturday 14 January 1995, when our theme was "Women Who Know
God". 40 women attended, not just from our own church but also friends from
other churches, and the day was a tremendous blessing - in fact the presence of
the Lord was so wonderful, no-one wanted to leave!
We continued to hold
these day events every six months or so throughout 1995 and 1996 and God
continued to bless and encourage us. We felt there was a need in the women who
were coming, to worship and fellowship together, and to minister to one
another. We discerned that there was a hunger amongst us for more of the Lord.
It was around this time
that several women from our church went to a Women's Conference hosted by
another church, and this was to prove a life-changing experience for us. We
attended two other conferences and grew more and more in confidence until we
felt that we could put on our own weekend. We knew there was a hunger among the
women in Norfolk and God was challenging us to meet this need.
So in May 1996 we took
another step of faith and presented our first
Women for the Kingdom Weekend at
Letton Hall in Shipdham. God
gave us the following aims for the weekend:
- to set aside time to sit at Jesus'
- to see women develop in confidence
- for each one to know her place in
- to help and encourage one another to
move out in God-given ministry
- to enjoy fellowship and promote
unity across denominations
- to be built up and equipped to reach
out to a needy world
55 women attended that
first weekend, from many different churches, and it was a very exciting time
for us. It was both a privilege and a blessing to see God working in so many
women's lives. We experienced women being healed, set free and encouraged in
their faith, as well as seeing ministries develop and blossom as confidence
grew and people stepped out in faith.
We then wondered what God
wanted us to do next - did he want us to do three weekends? As we prayed and
sought God, we felt that he wanted us to continue - we'd started but needed to
build on the first weekend.
So for the next two years
we continued to hold weekends at Letton Hall, praying and trusting in God,
being obedient and willing to take risks in him. We continued to invite a
different speaker each year, who would bring a different emphasis of ministry.
At every weekend, God poured out his Holy Spirit and met needs in women's
lives. Each year we witnessed healings, deliverances and women being touched by
God - each year it seemed that these weekends were becoming like an oasis for
women with busy lives to set aside time to focus on their relationship with
Jesus. Our prayer was always that each woman who came would have an encounter
with Jesus, that each one would not leave without receiving something from the
Lord, and that each one would be refreshed, restored, encouraged and built up.
Three years had gone by
and we were asking the Lord - what now? He answered by showing us that he
wanted us to enlarge our vision. He spoke to us from Isaiah 54:2, "Enlarge the
place of your tent, stretch your tent curtains wide, do not hold back; lengthen
your cords, strengthen your stakes."
We felt he wanted us to
continue taking steps of faith for him, to trust him for more women to come to
the weekends. Up to now we'd felt our capacity was up to 55 women, but now he
was challenging us to go up to 70. He also spoke to us about the speaker for
the following year - we'd had the teacher, the pastor and the evangelist - now
it was the turn of the prophet. As we prayed and asked him about who we should
invite, he began to challenge us about doing the ministry ourselves! This was a
huge step of faith for us and yet it felt right. The Lord told us to speak
about women prophets in the bible.
God was continually
challenging us about coming out of our comfort zones and taking risks for him.
Each year there was a different step of faith. That first year of giving the
ministry ourselves was like a giant step to us! Yet God blessed us incredibly
in being obedient to him. We had the largest number of women attending so far
and the weekend was a tremendous blessing. The momentum was growing year by
year. We were seeing women grow in confidence and developing in their
ministries, stepping out in faith and taking risks in God. Others were blessed
just by being able to take time out of their busy lives to be in this oasis in
an atmosphere of worship.
year 2000 was another turning point for the
Women for the Kingdom ministry. Again, we had more women attending, to the
point that we were feeling cramped at Letton Hall. God challenged us yet again
to move out of another comfort zone - Letton Hall - by saying to us, "Behold I
will do a new thing" (Isaiah 43:19). Whilst we were a bit sad to leave the
intimacy of Letton Hall, at the same time we were excited about the new thing
that the Lord had for us.
So for the
year 2001 we held our first weekend at
St Gabriel's Centre,
Ditchingham and believed God for 100 women to attend! This was again
another huge step of faith but God honoured it - 104 women came! We had a
tremendous time of worship, fellowship, prayer and ministry.
It has been exciting to
see the vision unfold and the ministry become established and not restricted to
just holding annual weekends. We believe the ministry has gone beyond this, as
we have also held several celebration services in different locations. We have
held three Women for the Kingdom Conferences in
Bangalore, India, during the Together for God mission team visits each year
since June 2000 and we pray that God
will enable us to continue this ministry to our sisters in India.
We are a group of
ordinary women who want to do great and extraordinary things for God. We have
grown in confidence and taken many steps of faith, but God has honoured each
step we've taken. We are aware of our limitations, but know that as we come to
him in humility and emptiness, he "is able to do immeasurably more than all we
ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us", Eph 3:20.
Our prayer is that we will continue to attempt great things for him as he
enables us. We give him all the glory for everything he has done through the
ministry of Women for the Kingdom.
the vision of Women for the Kingdom.