Schwäbisch Gmünd, Germany [Elì Diez; CD EUDNews]. It was one of many memorable symbolic activities. On the evening of the second day of the conference, around 700 Adventist women helped each other cross the imaginary "Jordan River". The message should have been, "Together, it's easier to reach the goal in our life's journey". After the "feet washing", which really felt good at the end of a late-summer day, they enjoyed a buffet dinner outdoors in the sports field.
Sabbath, the second conference day, began with a worship service at 9.15 and lasted three and a half hours without any breaks. There was no time for boredom. There were inspiring special music and life experiences;they also introduced the newly published Women's Bible in English, Spanish and French; about 25 participants were presented with certificates for working with women and there was a very special and practical sermon by Carla Gober Park, director of the Center for Spirituality and Wholeness at Loma Linda University in California. She had a very dynamic sermon about Mary, who anointed the feet of Jesus, Simon the Pharisee and the Good Samaritan. 'There are people who can see, but do not perceive anything, and there are those who are physically blind, and yet "see". Only by coming closer to Jesus Christ, are we able to see properly.'
The collection during the service, totaled 4,000 euros. Some of it goes to women in Haiti to help them earn a living as dressmakers; the other part goes to the "Women Helping Women" counseling center in Schwäbisch Gmünd,to help women and girls, who are poor and marginalized.
On Saturday afternoon, before going "across the Jordan," Raquel Arrais, associate director of Women's Department of the world church in the US, spoke about how the Holy Spirit can change women's lives and how they can effect people, if only they search for God. Many of the 900 people present made a new decision to follow God.
The day turned into a colorful international evening where the participating delegates artistically and creatively represented their home country in their typical colours - including music and folk dancing. "Everyone is justifiably proud of their home-country, yet we all feel as one family - in Europe and around the world", said Administrative Assistant Hannele Ottschofski (Hechingen) in her reflection at the end of the day. With the passage over the Jordan, we have not yet reached the destination and the home that Jesus prepared for His children (Gospel of John 14:1-3), but today brought the audience closerto each other, to God and one step closer to the goal.