Taking responsibility for the world’s impoverished and oppressed was the message to the Colour Women’s Conference as it drew to a close at the end of last week.
The HIV and Aids epidemic sweeping Africa, Australia’s indigenous women and children sufferers, the plight of orphans worldwide and the staggering statistics of human trafficking were among the issues presented at the conference.
“Since the inception of Colour Conference 12 years ago, our desire has always been that it would be an invitation to make the world a better place,” said Bobbie Houston, Colour Conference host, and Hillsong's senior pastor.
A new initiative of the Colour Sisterhood was launched at the conference to help women sufferers of HIV and Aids in Uganda in a continued partnership with Gary and Marilyn Skinner of Watoto Ministries. In Africa an estimated 22.5 million are suffering from the disease. Around 70 per cent of all cases are a direct result of rape.
On the final day of the conference, an incredible 1,041 Ugandan women were sponsored by Colour delegates. They will receive monthly support in an initiative similar to child sponsorship programmes. This sponsorship will include the provision and management of life prolonging antiretroviral drugs, as well as emotional and physical assistance.
“This can become another great example of solution on the earth,” said Houston of the initiative.
Vividly presented was the extensive, often seemingly insurmountable, need of the most vulnerable in the world, and a challenge for Christians to be united both in cause and response.
Other initiatives highlighted were efforts to fight human trafficking - a frightening global phenomenon, and the Shine programme, which is helping define the identity and build the esteem of young women the world over.
The Colour Conference is a story of unity and alliance, of everyday women uniting in friendship and cause to reach their own potential and bring hope to those around them and across the earth.
“As far as the future is concerned there are so many lives yet to be reached, so many still live outside of their value and worth,” said Houston.