REAL Training: Almaty, Kazakhstan

EPC Women In Ministry

WIM Kazakhstan Trip 2012 photo 1On April 24, a team of 9 women left Memphis, Tennessee, to travel to Almaty, Kazakhstan, to staff a ministry conference for women in the Association of Reformed Churches, Almaty.  The team returned on May 2nd.

During the first three days, the women enjoyed discovering Almaty and getting to know the women who had worked to prepare for the conference.  A trip up the mountains, learning more about the history and culture and experiencing the food and traffic of Almaty allowed the team to appreciate and connect with the women they had come to teach, love and serve.  Hospitality was plentiful as the American women were hosted by the church families in their homes for dinner for two nights.  Language barriers were put aside with the help of many patient translators. WIM Kazakhstan Trip 2012 photo 3

A day was spent participating in the special Easter celebration of the Special Needs Young Life Club for students with disabilities that was held at the Almagul Church.  It was truly amazing to see the energy and love poured out for those who rarely experience such tangible expressions of God’s love for them.

When the conference started on Sunday evening, the similarities were evident among the women in their enthusiasm and energy for worship, teaching and enjoyment of being together with other women of faith.  WIM Kazakhstan Trip 2012 photo 2Gift bags, special crafts and dancing allowed women to connect with each other quickly.  Conference speakers Jean Smith (Signal Mountain EPC), Jacky Gatliff (Director, EPC Women In Ministry), Wendy Dabbous (Woodland EPC) and Rhonda Reedy (Greenwood Community Church) provided biblical teaching, ministry training and encouragement to women who are intent on being disciples and leaders in various ways in their churches.  The hospitality and support team consisted of Catherine Burns, Yvonne Hardin, Pam Taylor, Dot Hammons, and Susan Liddon.WIM Kazakhstan Trip 2012 photo 4

The takeaways for the American team were many: the beauty of the mountains, being recipients of gracious hospitality, and most of all, the shared passion for the Gospel and following Jesus’ call to follow Him.  EPC Women In Ministry is looking forward to a continued connection with our sisters on the other side of the world.