Asian Young Women’s Leadership Development Seminar
Three dozen young ladies from Singapore and nine other Asian countries gathered to ponder over this question: “What is my purpose?” They were participants of the annual Asian Young Women’s Leadership Development (AYWLD) seminar, which aims to grow young women into global leaders with strong passion and vision by exposing them to diverse cultures, communities and leadership initiatives. In 2020, TRAC WSCS had the privilege of hosting the seminar from 13 to 17 Feb at Pentecost Methodist Church (MC) and Changi Village Hotel.
The seminar’s theme verse was: “Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails” (Prov 19:21). This verse proved prophetic as the seminar was held during the COVID-19 epidemic. As the host, we struggled between trusting God and being socially responsible—to cancel or not to cancel? We are thankful for the unwavering support of our Bishop, TRAC President and pastor-in-charge of Pentecost MC. Our pre-booked accommodation was designated as quarantine facilities, but alternative lodgings were quickly offered. When Mrs Dorothy Chan (Far East Organisation) agreed to partially sponsor the additional costs, the committee saw that as confirmation from God to proceed.
Thirty-five participants, together with four trainers from the Wesley Foundation, Japan, and Scranton Women’s Leadership Centre, Korea, attended the seminar. Together with guests, we gathered for the opening service on 13 Feb. Taking all precautions to ensure the health and safety of the participants, we gave thanks that nothing hindered His children from coming to hear Him.
Throughout the five days, the young ladies considered what God’s purpose was for their lives. God spoke through His servants: the Rev Dr Heasun Kim; the Rev Hikari Kokai Chang; Ps Irene Thung; Ps Wendy Tay–Sim; Mayor Denise Phua; and Mrs Junie Foo. The ladies learnt about local social issues relating to ageing, sex and migrant workers. Visits to organisations such as Tamar Village left a lasting impression.
Feedback from participants revealed that they were greatly encouraged and challenged throughout the programme. These young future leaders learnt about women missionaries and how each generation’s efforts build on earlier work. Camaraderie was built through fun activities, breaking down differences in nationality and cultures. There was safety in being able to share openly and to question without fear of being rejected. Participants were also inspired by the organisers’ efforts and determination to ensure the seminar proceeded smoothly.
We thank God for leading and being with us. May the young women continue to fan the flame He ignited in their lives!
“My heart is filled to the brim after five days!” —Cindy, TRAC
“We shared, we cried, we worshipped, we learnt. His love was above all the struggles, happiness and difficult moments.”—Jasmine, ETAC
“In the midst of the world facing COVID-19, we thank God for providing the seminar.”—participant from Vietnam
Choo Lai Eng is the President of TRAC WSCS Exco. Angela Goh is the D&N coordinator for TRAC WSCS.
Photo courtesy of TRAC WSCS and Daniel Lie