Marking International Women's Day, a multitude of women from the Universal Church of the Kingdom of God (UCKG), supported by many men, expressed great joy as they celebrated the Biblical Feast of Purim at the Cenacle of the Holy Spirit in Soweto on Sunday, 9 March 2014. This feast is kept by Jewish people annually and commemorates their deliverance in the ancient Persian Empire where a plan had been agreed to destroy the Jewish nation. The courage of one woman, Esther who had become the Queen of Persia, changed the course of history at a time when racial discrimination and intolerance were commonplace.
Opening the event, Marcia Pires, the founder of Women in Action, a group of pastors' wives, explained to the capacity crowd of 10,000 that the relevance of reliving this event and keeping the feast, was to encourage women to realise that Esther's story is not just a historical account, but can serve as an example to them to make her story a reality in their own lives. Just as Esther made a selfless choice to serve her people and deliver them from certain death, so women can choose to bless their families, their communities and even the nation. She said: "Just as God saw Esther's heart and her intentions, He will choose you to do His will, if your intentions are correct and your heart is committed to sacrificial service."
Guest speaker and authoress, Cristiane Cardoso who is visiting South Africa from Brazil for the launch of the book Bullet proof marriage: your shield against divorce, outlined Esther's story: that of an ordinary young teenage girl who was used by God to liberate the Jewish nation from oppression and extermination at a time when women had no authority, no power and no voice. Through her intercession, the empire's most powerful man, the King, changed the law and destroyed the enemies of Israel rather than the Jewish people. Esther's courage and willingness to sacrifice herself if necessary, changed the course of history and the story of Israel.
Cristiane Cardoso said: "Esther did not choose selfishly to save herself at the expense of her people. She could have turned a blind eye and not risked her life by approaching the King and interceding for Israel, but she accepted her responsibility for the good of an entire nation. Each one of us can choose to stand out in our families, our communities and even serve our nation, if we have the right intentions and a servant heart. Like Esther, as we are blessed, we can be a blessing to others."
Hosted by members of Godllywood, a group of women within the UCKG, who were all dressed in ancient Biblical attire, the event was recorded and the video will be screened throughout the country and to African countries next week.
Proceeds from the sale of handmade headbands will be donated to the completion of the Temple of Solomon which is being built in Sao Paulo, Brazil. The temple is scheduled to open mid 2014.
For further information, please contact Nametso Mofokeng at the UCKG public relations department on .
The Universal Church of the Kingdom of God (UCKG) is a contemporary, evangelical, Bible-based church, actively involved in numerous national outreach projects caring for people's spiritual, emotional and physical needs.
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