Oil In Their Lamps - Compassion In Their Hearts.
"I felt so sad as I imagined the women and the children at the shelter. I hope that in some small way, our gift packages might bring a smile to their face".
Ninety women of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints attended the recent Heidelberg Stake Relief Society Conference at the Mount Disappointment State Forest. While there they prepared gift packs for the Women's Domestic Violence Crisis Service (WDVCS) of Victoria.
The WDVCS operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week, providing support, information and advocacy for women experiencing family violence, including referral to safe accommodation for them and their children.
“I felt so sad as I imagined the women and the children at the shelter,” said Nadine Courmadias, a conference attendee. “I hope that in some small way, our gift packages might bring a smile to their face”.
“For them it is an extremely difficult time”, said Ann McClure, Heidelberg Stake Relief Society President. “The representative from the WDVCS was very grateful for the packages, saying many children are arriving there regularly”.
In addition to making the WDVCS packages, the Heidelberg Stake women donated items to be given to missionaries for Christmas--toiletries, ties, socks and towels.
The Conference Theme, “Oil in our Lamps,” highlighted the need for each sister to be ready physically and spiritually for the challenges in life, and for the Lord's coming.
Workshops on emotional resilience, health and nutrition, and scripture study were attended by all. An outdoor scripture treasure hunt highlighted the “Scripture Treasures” class.
“My favourite was probably the Emotional Health class”, said Nadine. “I came to realize that how we speak to others and how we 'speak' to ourselves make a real difference in how we feel. As a group we worked through examples of how easily misunderstandings happen.”
Other activities included a bonfire devotional, delicious meals, a dance presentation and a bushwalk. Attendees slept in cabins, and many stayed up late visiting by the fireplace.
“I feel closer to the sisters in my ward and my stake,” said Carla Risborg. “Some whom I had spoken to briefly at church for years I got to really know as people”.