Free Methodist bishops and their spouses traveled from around the<br />world to attend General Conference 2011. (Photo courtesy of Michael J. Metts)
At General Conference 2011, I saw a strikingly beautiful woman walking down the sidewalk. I greeted her and learned she was from Kenya, where her passion was reaching out to widows and orphans.
“Oh,” I exclaimed, “our church’s Christmas offering was for Kenyan widows.”
“That was you?” she responded, surprising me that we had been the only church to do this.
I was further amazed to discover she was Neddy Dingili, the Kenyan bishop’s wife. What a joy it was to hear firsthand about the offering our church had sent and how much it meant to this servant of God.
Not long after, our church received a sizable donation that included a portion for a world mission work of my choice. Within days, Dingili, my new Facebook friend, messaged me about a critical need. A widow needed surgery. Could we reach out to her?
In God’s perfect timing, the money had already been given.
Our local Women’s Ministries International group now sponsors this same widow. I knew that this sponsorship would be easily doable if each lady would contribute $3 or $4 at every monthly meeting. Instead, offerings are such that Dingili has been able to help other widows as well.
One lady was able to pay school fees for her daughter. Girls in Kenya often do not have this chance, and Christian widows, who refuse to become the property of their dead husbands’ brothers, often struggle just to eat and put a roof over their heads.
Would I have connected with Dingili on Facebook had I not met her at general conference? Possibly. But I believe that encounter was orchestrated by the Holy Spirit to give direction and purpose from a personal relationship begun that afternoon on the sidewalk at Roberts Wesleyan College.
Lois Huff attends the New South Conference’s Murphy (North Carolina) FMC where her husband, Tim Huff, is the pastor.