Malaysia Mission Report: Ladies’ Day
Our women’s mission work in Malaysia had three goals:
- To teach women the basics of how to teach the next generation in Bible class
- To build confidence in the women who are serving in the bible classrooms and inspire those who are not yet serving
- To foster fellowship among Christian women in the region
I believe our work was a success in accomplishing all of these goals. At our Ladies’ Day, we had 24 women in attendance from 4 different congregations (Cheras, KL, Ipoh, & Klang). 11 women from the Ipoh Church of Christ were so excited about the event that they hired a van to bring them the two hours to Cheras so they could spend the day learning and fellowshipping with their fellow Christian women.
Pam Graves began the day by speaking to the women about their role in building up the church by teaching the next generation. She focused both on classroom teaching and teaching through the examples that we set with how we live our lives as Christian women. After Pam spoke, I gave a lesson on how to build and teach Bible curriculum, touching on the practical aspects of lesson planning and classroom management. Afterward we had a Q&A session that fostered a lot of helpful discussion about the different challenges that these women face when teaching a Bible class. After these two morning sessions, we enjoyed lunch together. It was so wonderful to get to know all of the ladies. They may have been small in number, but they definitely made up for it in their excitement and enthusiasm!
After lunch, we spent the rest of the afternoon creating different classroom aides and modeling different activities for the ladies to do with their Bible students. (As you can see from the pictures, we were very productive, and had a lot of fun!)
Many of the ladies in attendance do not often have the opportunity to fellowship like this. Ladies’ Days are not common occurrences in Malaysia, as they are in America. One of the men of the Cheras congregation shared with me how happy he was that his daughter and the other ladies had this opportunity because they do not often have events devoted only to them. It was wonderful to watch the women interact, making connections and promising that they would find each other on Facebook when they got home. We encouraged them to keep in touch with each other, and to help and encourage each other as they continue to teach. I truly believe they will keep up with those connections and will benefit greatly from the time they spent together
Pam and I also spent some one-on-one time with the ladies of the Cheras congregation during the week. We modeled a Bible class lesson for them the first Sunday we were there, and had them teach while we were in the room on the second Sunday. We spent time outside of church showing them how to put to use the teaching material they already have, and helped them set up a process for creating new material. This time spent with the Cheras ladies (especially Ruth and Cynthia) was not only helpful and practical, but encouraging for all of us. Our conversations often veered from teaching Bible class to topics like child-rearing and setting a good example for the non-Christian women around them. It is hard, and sometimes even dangerous, for women in that culture to be too vocal about their Christianity. The most effective way for these women to “seek and save the lost” around them is to lead through example.
Overall, I feel incredibly blessed to have spent this time with my Christian sisters in Malaysia. I know we were able to provide them with a lot of practical help and encouragement, but we were also able to form bonds with them that we will maintain for many years to come. As is often the case with teaching, these women who, for a short two weeks were our students, taught us as much as we taught them. Seeing their excitement renewed in me a fervor for the beautiful ministries that Christian women are called to be a part of.
Hannah Graves - 2014