The South African Baptist Woman’s Department aims to equip women to impact their world for Jesus Christ. We do this by focusing on the development of relevant skills to meet people at the point of their need, develop strategies to reach out to all people and share the Gospel with them, establish an enabling structure and process that is culturally relevant and ensuring the best use of all the resources that God provides. The Woman’s Department oversees the following ministries: Bible Way, Woman’s Seminar, Manse Fund, Widows Fund, Missions, Centenary, Project Dorcas (http://www.projectdorcas.org.za), College Bursary Funds, Pastor’s Wives, Leadership, Hidden Treasure (http://www.hiddentreasure.co.za) and the Baptist Union Training Centre.

Listen to what our encouragers and ministry recipients are saying:

“I noticed that an amount of R1500 rand had been credited to my bank account as a long-service award from the BU. I am deeply grateful to the Lord for the gift of 40 years in Christian ministry and to the BU for this gracious and generous recognition” (Leigh Robinson, Pastor, Rosebank Union).

“Greetings in the name of Jesus Christ our very precious Lord and saviour. I have received a letter and a gift from B.W.D of B.U specially for being in the ministry for 40 years full time, we were really encouraged by your words and the certificate given to us by Rev. R Inglis ministry board co-ordinator praying for me and Princess including our family” (Albert Ntamehlo, Pastor, De Aar Baptist Church).

woman’s department documentation

Baptist Womens Department of South Africa

It is hard to believe that it is March already.  the last two months have flown by and I feel like the year has left me behind.  As a Women's Department we are planning many exciting events for the year ahead please join us by participating in these events.

The first event we are hosting is the National seminar which will focus on being Missional.  We have a speaker who will share out of her personal experience of serving on the field.  Come and hear Liz Hempel as she equips us for our missional journey. The dates are the 15-18 May 2014 at the Baptist Conference Centre in Roodekrans.

The Second National event we are planning is a National Pastor's Wives retreat at Carmel with Jennifer Karina from Kenya as our speaker.  The dates for this event will be the 17-19 October. Contact the office for more details.

As a department we are planning on taking a group to Bangladesh and to India if you are interested in joining us for this trip please contact the office.

These events are planned to equip you to reach into your communities and to encourage you and create an environment for fellowship.

Author: Patricia Ihlenfeldt
Posted: March 6, 2014, 7:26 am
As I reflect on the past year at the start of this New Year I can't help but give thanks to the Lord for the many opportunities we have as Christian women to share the Gospel in our country every day. One of the highlights of last year was an amazing trip with a group of fellow Baptist Women to India. Together we shared many highs and lows and came back to South Africa grateful for the many blessings we have that we take for granted so often.  I would like to share some of the things I am grateful for:-

1.  For people who gave sacrificially so that we could  go on the journey.

2. For new friends

3.  For comfortable transport

4.  For the lack of consistent traffic congestion 

5. For animals that live in the country and not in our shopping areas

6. For Shopping malls or as one of the ladies exclaimed"Up with South Africa  Spar, Pick n Pay, Checkers "

7. For monkeys that live in the veld and not my neighbourhood.

8.  For beautiful and gracious people we met

9.  For renewing of friendships

10. For having the opportunity to appreciate such workmanship.

Coming Home to my family is more important than any list

Reuben and Isla

Nathan and Isla 

Being  grateful is the best way to start the year.

 1Ti 1:12  I'm so grateful to Christ Jesus for making me adequate to do this work. He went out on a limb, you know, in trusting me with this ministry.

Author: Patricia Ihlenfeldt
Posted: January 29, 2014, 8:28 am
The last few days I have been preparing the resource program based on the Assembly theme of God' Mission our Passion.  What a simple statement what an awesome concept.  What is Missions is it just going to another culture or is it done in your community ? Is it an individual responsibility or a church responsibility? When is a good time to become involved? Is it just for those who can afford it? Is it the responsibility of every Christian?   After thinking about this Word Missions I have come to realize that it is more than just the traditional idea of going to another Culture it is actually as you live your daily life you are on Mission with God.

A few years ago Ii participated in a program called On Mission with God and this became a buzz word.  How do we go on Mission with God?

Firstly, we need to have a relationship  with God.  Putting ourselves in the right position to go on Mission  through evangelism, outreach and working cross-culturally.  Why do we do that? the simple answer is that we all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God and we need to put matters right.

Secondly, as Christ followers we have been in instructed by Jesus to participate in being His witnesses" You shall be my witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria and even to the remotest part of the earth."  

Thirdly, it starts with prayer for the Spirit to led you daily and by being sensitive to his leading and using the opportunities that He gives you.  Think of what you have been doing today and who you have come into contact with, have you told them the wonderful news that Jesus saves and will they spend eternity with you? Our purpose is to Glorify God so our passion should be God centered and not focused on our passion for our needs and comforts. Be intentional in your daily walk to share your story about what Jesus has done for you.  It starts at home, in the traffic, at the office in the store or any place where you are going today. Missions is evangelism, Missions is assisting anyone in need in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ and Missions is going to places where many have not heard about Jesus.  
Author: Patricia Ihlenfeldt
Posted: November 6, 2013, 10:06 am
After having been busy with the administrative details of the Annual BU assembly and dealing with all the issues related to such a large event one forgets that the important aspect of women's ministry is helping people come to Christ and journeying with them.

The last two weeks have been wonderful reminders that ministry is about the people and not the papers and the program.  Let me share a few highlights of people being the object of ministry.

While at the assembly the past President of the Women's Department  Janet Galant suffered a heart attack and passed away leaving her family and all of us shattered by the news.  This last weekend I had the privilege of sharing in her  funeral service and it truly was a celebration of a life lived to bring Glory to her Saviour.    
Janet Sharing with the ladies during her Presidential year.
Thanks to her example many have come to know the Lord and are actively involved in service to the Lord. The Lord gives each of us gifts and talents and we need to share them in our unique way to God's glory.

The second reminder which I received was meeting a gentleman by the name of  Sthembiso Ngubane who came to know the Lord through the Bible Way Correspondence Course offered by the Women's Department in many of the prisons throughout South Africa.   While sharing his story with the assembly delegates he was informed that Baptist Theological College will assist him with training for the ministry by offering him financial assistance with the assistance of two churches. His goal is to work with prisoners so that they to can hear the gospel.  It was special to have Pastor Ron Dick share in the presentation as he mentored Sthembiso while in prison.

WOW God is awesome
God is at work we need to be looking for where he is working and join him. We each can make a difference.

Author: Patricia Ihlenfeldt
Posted: October 7, 2013, 3:44 pm
As many of you know I have had the privilege of  being with my daughter at birth of her daughter.  Not having had my mother available to assist me at the birth of Emma both Reuben and I felt that this needed to be there.  What an awesome experience.  We have  been so blessed to meet Isla and to see my daughter and son-in-law in action as parents.
Just after she was born my sisters came to celebrate my 50th birthday with me and shared in the experience with us.  They assisted in practical ways and helped show Emma and Willie how to care for Isla as my sister Carol is a Neo-natal nurse. Everyone has left and I stayed behind to continue to assist and it has been a very special time to be here.

Why am am I sharing this and what does this have to do with women's ministry?  This event has been a graphic reminder for me as to the importance of women's ministry.  There are many women in our churches and communities who need someone to work alongside them as they do not have a support
 structure to help in practical and spiritual matters.

As you plan and look to the future seek to find ways to assist women in practical ways  particularly at key moments and crisis in their lives.  Be Jesus vessel and instruments to those women you come into contact with in your everyday life.  Be intentional  to seek opportunities to  assist and consider others continually even if it means that it takes time and costs you personally.

In our country where so many young girls do not have a mother or she is not active involved at all.  As women in the local church we need to be willing to set the Godly example and assist women God brings across our path everyday.  the Titus 2 principle is what we need to be applying.
Author: Patricia Ihlenfeldt
Posted: August 20, 2013, 9:08 am
Over the last weekend I had an interesting experience on a bus trip back from Durban to King Williams Town.  As I was on this journey I thought there must be a spiritual lesson for me and so I would like to share this lesson with you and maybe it will help you to reflect on your ministry and life and see if you can apply my lesson learnt.

After checking in and boarding the bus I start to feel ill and uncomfortable and by the time the bus was passing Amazimtoti I was looking for a plastic bag I could use because I was not going to be able to make the bathroom at the back of the bus.  While all this was going on the atmosphere in the bus was festive as everyone was listening to the soccer match between Kasier and Pirates.

Everyone was ignoring each other and trying to be sensitive to everyone's space and I was quietly beginning to develop a relationship with the plastic bag and being very grateful that it was on hand. Throughout the trip home I was frequently  ill and everyone on the bus kept on looking the other way ( I was grateful) and nobody stopped to ask if they could help.  Every time the bus stopped I was able to get rid of the evidence and find a new bag for the next part of the journey.

What is the lesson for me as I share this rather unpleasant trip. Well, I started thinking about how many people in our lives and churches are experiencing difficulties or are in trouble and we pretend that everything is fine. We look the other way or simply do not see the signs that someone is in need of help and assistance.
As you travel this week (even in your car) look at people and ask question that will allow you to have access to what's really happening in their lives and to be intentional about assisting them on their journey and do not just focus on your journey.
Author: Patricia Ihlenfeldt
Posted: July 31, 2013, 3:05 pm
I have just spent the morning preparing for taking a group on a missions trip, planning for Kimberly Sowell's trip to visit here in South Africa (which we are all excited about) and ensuring that she has a varied experience in our country to share about Christ and listening to a presentation on how to do Missional mentoring by Stephanie Shott.  (which was very helpful check it out on Jennifer Rothschild site) So my morning has been focused on missions in some form or the other.

How do we live out our faith so that others can enter into a relationship with the Lord Jesus in a world which is no longer feels the need of such a relationship. In Christian circles being missional is a key word but what does it mean when it comes to women's ministry.

After looking up what many different people have said with regards to being missional I felt comfortable with the following definition  by Alan Hirsch in Christianity Today :- "A missional community sees the mission as both its originating impulse and its organizing principle. A missional community is patterned after what God has done in Jesus Christ. In the incarnation God sent his Son. Similarly, to be missional means to be sent into the world; we do not expect people to come to us. "

What this simply means for us as women is to reach out to people who are not coming to us and creating opportunities in which we can present women with the truth of who Jesus is and what he does for us and why we need this relationship.  It's important for us to get an eternal perspective instead of and earthly focus.
Author: Patricia Ihlenfeldt
Posted: July 17, 2013, 12:08 pm
It is hard to believe that it is the second half of the year.  We start the year with great ideas and enthusiasm but by the time we reach this time of the year we often become discouraged and tired and are not as dedicated with regards to our ministry.
While the office has been a little quieter I have been working through the required reading material for the Level 2 Project Dorcas training which will be presented in October.  One of the books is called Upside Down Leadership: by Taylor Fields and I was personally challenged by the following quotation he uses:" Remember, results and goals and objectives are the words of master language.  But you were not called to be masters.  Obedience and faithfulness and responsiveness are servant language.  That is your calling.  It is for your Master to think about productivity.  Your job is to be faithful and obedient." So do not give up be faithful and obedient to what God has called you to and let Him work through you as your start the second part of this ministry year
Author: Patricia Ihlenfeldt
Posted: July 4, 2013, 7:17 am
Welcome to the blog for the Womens Department of the Baptist Union of South Africa. We hope you will enjoy connecting with us through this Forum.
Author: Patricia Ihlenfeldt
Posted: June 6, 2013, 9:27 am