Strong Leaders In The Church
African Woman Theologian on Mentoring and Networking
(LWI) - Ebise Dibisa Ayana is teaching theology at the Mekane Yesus Seminary, a school of theology belonging to the Ethiopian Evangelical Church Mekane Yesus (EECMY). She now shapes and takes part in the women theologian’s network in the African region. In an interview with Lutheran World Information (LWI) she talks about advocating gender justice, mentoring as a methodology of empowering women, and her vision for her home church and the region
How did you hear about the women theologian’s network?
I heard about WICAS (Women in Church and Society) launching networks in every region when I attended the global consultation held in Wittenberg, Germany, in 2012 from the LWF-WICAS coordinator. Finally, I came to know that the African Theologians’ Network will be held in Ethiopia from the women’s department of EECMY.
Where did you find being part of the network supportive?
Networking needs to be practiced in everyday life. So it is related also to my family, my neighbors and the entire community. I am the mother of a girl and a boy. Parents are the primary teachers of their children. It is important to teach my children that we need to follow God’s will. We are doing God’s will in forming a community, in networking and supporting each other, and in promoting gender justice. As a teacher at the theological seminary I promote the issue of communiality (sharing in the community), networking and gender justice also.
What is your methodology of promoting these issues?
I am mentoring my students at the seminary. The students are very impressed with mentorship, they share their story with me and with fellow students. We pray for each other and support each other in daily things. Mentoring means sharing lives. So I feel very happy.
In your opinion, how can mentoring be helpful for women in leadership?
For me, mentorship means lifting up the invisible, bringing the outcast person to fellowship. It is important to encourage the spirit of unity. Mentoring is really a very important way to know each other and to address problems concerning the people..
In your opinion, what should be the role of women in your church?
God’s servants in all aspects.
What do you dream to achieve personally?
To see African women in church and society come up with strong potential and be leaders.