This spring, 56 women gathered for the sixth annual Women’s Day event sponsored by the Simi Valley church, in partnership with Southern California Conference (SCC) Prayer Ministry and the Pacific Union Conference.

Janet Lui, SCC prayer ministry coordinator, was the main devotional speaker. Her topic? Prayer is the key! “For me, having women’s ministry events is very critical because women often come from a different perspective,” Lui said. “Many times, we sit in churches and listen to a cerebral presentation, and women need opportunities for their hearts to be touched, to reach the things that really resonate in their being, to know that God is there, individually and personally, for them.” She weaved in personal stories and Scripture as she spoke about the power of prayer.

Jan White, pastor for nurture and discipleship at Simi Valley church, worked with a team of volunteers to make the one-day event happen. “It’s wonderful that women can come to an event that’s from 10 a.m. till 3:30 or 4 p.m. and be fed and nurtured in ways that are similar to a weekend retreat,” she said.

Cecilia Nunez, Simi Valley Hispanic group member, was blessed. “This is a very special occasion that we share as women,” she said, “because there are no children, no husbands; we’re by ourselves. This is particularly important because, as women, we need to have some time to ourselves, to bond with other women and to share the love of Jesus.”

“I would miss it if we didn’t have it,” said Kathy Craig, Simi Valley church member. “I love it. We have it each year, and it’s an opportunity to build relationships with other ladies and women of our faith from other churches.”

Peggi Trusty, Valley Crossroads church member, attended because her mother invited her. “I’m learning so much from listening to the experiences of the women around me, whether it’s sharing their prayer experience or the personal experience from the speaker,” she said.

Rocio Santos, Simi Valley Hispanic group member, echoed the other women’s sentiments. “Women’s ministries mean a lot because I have many mentors, ladies who have helped me in the past, and if it wasn’t for women’s ministries, I wouldn’t be here,” she said. “I’ve received so much support—prayers, mentoring, and beautiful ladies who have added an example in my life.”

When events like this happen in the conference, faith grows. God is glorified. The gospel is proclaimed, celebrated, and made real. There’s something wonderful about  like-minded women gathering together and focusing on what unites them—common joys and struggles, the belief that Jesus is the only Hope, and that prayer truly is the key!