The State Evangelism Conference (SEC) welcomed women with many educational opportunities in evangelism on Jan. 29-30 at Oklahoma City, Southern Hills.
On the first day of SEC, there was a Young Pastors’ Wives Lunch in conjunction with the Oklahoma Young Pastors Partnership Lunch. Women were able to fellowship with one another as Amy Cordova, Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma (BGCO) Women and Missions specialist, shared about the importance of fellowship with believers in common stages of life.
Cordova also shared about upcoming events that BGCO Women’s ministry will host, including the Spring Retreat at Falls Creek Baptist Conference Center April 20-21.
On Tues., Jan. 30, the Women’s Session took place in the worship center of Southern Hills. Eden Trentham led women in a time of worship. Trentham, a member of Broken Arrow, First, will lead worship at the Women’s Retreat in April.
Lina Abujamra was the keynote speaker for the Women’s Session. Abujamra is a pediatric emergency room doctor and evangelist from Lebanon who currently works in Chicago. She spoke last spring at the Women’s Retreat, and Oklahoma Baptist women welcomed her back to the Sooner state with a warm applause as well as some of Abujamra’s favorite, Arbuckle Mountain Fried Pies.
Abujamra mentioned how there is no pie comparable, or no substitute, to the pies that are just down the road from Falls Creek. She said that people can be uncomfortable at times when she talks about her love for the pies, much like when believers talk about Jesus to unbelievers.
“There is something uncomfortable about following Jesus,” Abujamra said. “And yet, there is no substitute. You can try all of the things the world might say will work, but nothing compares. There is nothing that can point to experiencing Christ, other than truly seeking after Him.”
Abujamra then opened the Bible to Acts 20 where she began her time with Oklahoma Baptist women talking about the urgency of fulfilling God’s calling. Abujamra said that the first way to fulfill God’s calling is, “When the Spirit constrains you, say ‘yes’.”
She cautioned that many people will not understand the way of a Christ follower, illustrating her point with a personal story of obedience. Before Abujamra began her ministry years ago, she left a position of high esteem for a position at a community hospital, one that her coworkers and even family did not understand at the time. Ultimately, this act of obedience to the Lord’s calling in her life opened doors for Abujamra’s ministry to launch and blossom.
“God didn’t call me to a job; God called me to Himself. That is a tough pill to swallow because we have such a high estimation of ourselves,” Abujamra said.
She said another way to fulfill God’s calling is, “When the going gets tough, don’t stop.” Abujamra referenced Heb. 10:35-36 which says, “So do not throw away your confidence; it holds a great reward. You need to persevere, so that after you have done God’s will, you will receive what He has promised.”
Abujamra said, “You want to know how you can be faithful? Ask yourself if you have been obedient. Has faithfulness become better than life to you? Christ abides in a place of faithfulness.”
Her third and fourth points of encouragement to women were, “When you’re stuck and unsure of your faithfulness, grasp grace,” and, “When confusion and danger press in, wake up.”
Abujamra reiterated the importance of being in the Word as a way to complete these two stages of fulfilling God’s will. She told women that only an unflinching belief in the goodness of God will give them the ability to act graciously and confront confusion and danger.
At the end of the Women’s Session, Cordova encouraged women to share a time in their lives when they abandoned their previous life and surrendered to God and His calling. Women around the room stood and shared courageous stories about the Lord, breaking the bondage from drugs, failed marriages, feelings of inadequacy and more things that often plague women. The stories of redemption in Christ offered encouragement and empowerment as the Women’s Session came to a close.