Asian Women’s Conference attendees donate to Puerto Rico

When convening at the beginning of October, each 2017 Asian Women’s Conference attendee anticipated that she would be supported in her own ministry and nurtured in her own spiritual growth. By the end of the three-day event, the group emerged as a blessing to others—namely, survivors of hurricane-ravaged Puerto Rico.

When they learned of American Baptist Home Mission Societies’ (ABHMS) multi-year “Rebuilding, Restoring, Renewing Puerto Rico” initiative, the approximately 30 attendees of the conference—held in partnership with ABHMS, Alliance of Asian American Baptist Churches and American Baptist Women in Ministry—decided to take up a collection, via One Great Hour of Sharing (OGHS), to be donated to the island’s restoration.

The group donated a total of $2,610—$1,610 from individual conference-goers and $1,000 from Karen Christian Fellowship Church, Oakland, Calif., pastored by Aye Aye Thaw.

“The Asian women came together for ministry and to realize their constant struggles as clergy women,” says the Rev. Florence Li, ABHMS national coordinator of Asian Ministries and 2017 Asian Women’s Conference planning team member. She notes that the group included counselors, senior citizen workers, freelance writers, chaplains, clergy, seminarians, spiritual formation practitioners and theologians.

When Li presented at the conference about ABHMS’ initiative, the decision to donate to Puerto Rico came easily.

“They understand how massive the destruction of Hurricane Maria was and felt that it’s important to help American Baptist brothers and sisters in Puerto Rico,” Li says. “They empathized with families who lost their homes, electricity and water. Many of the women are pastoral leaders and mothers themselves, so they find it difficult to see families suffer.”

The 2017 Asian Women’s conference was held Oct. 1-3 at Rolling Ridge Retreat and Conference Center, 25 miles north of Boston in North Andover, Mass.

OGHS is administered by the World Relief Committee of the Board of General Ministries of American Baptist Churches USA. The committee facilitates American Baptist emergency relief, disaster rehabilitation, refugee work and development assistance by establishing policy guidelines and overseeing distribution of the annual One Great Hour of Sharing offering received by churches.

To donate to Puerto Rico, visit and click “Give Now.”