On March 8, 2017 we celebrate the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. Working in 56 countries we often hear incredible stories of women who are bringing holistic transformation to their communities. Through their service and acts of love, they are bringing hope and advancing the Kingdom of God where it has never been before. Below you will find some of the stories of these women. Please join us in lifting them up in celebration and prayer!
Leading Women’s Training Programs
“I am from a remote village, and although we have electricity we rarely have power. Most of the time we use lamps at night. Our community is poor, and we earn by stone quarrying. God opened the door for me to attend one-month training in holistic development in February 2014. There I was motivated to start women’s micro-credit groups and share the Gospel with them. I have facilitated three groups and we plan to facilitate more groups. The group members have become united and are motivated towards self-help by saving money.”
By praying for the healing of the sick members of the groups Anna has led seven of the women to the Lord, and three are interested in accepting Christ. As a part of the orientation, Anna was made aware of the perils of human trafficking. This awareness enabled her to stop a young girl from being trafficked under the pretext of being employed as a domestic help.
Selina Ellis – Director of the Linda Miclash Girls Home
“I oversee all aspects of the Girls Home in Liberia: purchasing food, preparing meals, overseeing homework, taking care of farm animals, collecting water and taking care of all general administrative tasks and financial oversight. I love these girls so much and I really enjoy watching them learn and grow. Every day I want to share with them the love and compassion that Jesus Christ has for them.”
Empowerment Through Literacy – Andrea
“When I couldn’t read I felt stupid, like an animal. There were other girls who could read and they could go places because they could read the signs. I was afraid to go anywhere. I had a very low opinion of myself. For this reason, when I was a young woman I would go to the fiestas and become drunk. I didn’t know how to have confidence around men and so they would humiliate me. I didn’t know how to defend myself around them. And so I became pregnant at an early age and gave birth to a daughter. I was not married, and still am not married.
After my father became a Christian, I began to attend church. When I was in church I didn’t know how to read the Bible or sing the hymns. People would give me a hymnbook and I wouldn’t know what to do with it. So, I became very motivated to learn to read. I began to learn to read when I was twenty-five. I wanted to know how to read very badly. It was a step of faith for me to begin, but I actually found it quite easy. It made me very joyful to be able to read, and I still feel that way.
When I was learning to read I began to understand the gospel. This was because part of the materials included Bible lessons. At that time I became a believer. I continued to learn through the various levels. The third level is a Bible training course for church leaders. I finished this as well.
As I progressed through the literacy course it caused me to realize that I had something to contribute. My ability to read integrated me with the church people and the broader community, first as an equal and later as a leader. Learning to read was a miracle. Because I saw God help me with this it gave me the faith to trust him in many other areas. In addition, because I could read it made me feel equal to other people. It made my family life calmer. This was because I didn’t always react out of my insecurity, but I could listen to what another person was saying without fear.
It is very important for other women to learn to read. When they read they become equal to men. They can take better care of their children and their animals. Women who can read can help their children when they go to school. They can read the Bible and other books to their family (the reading program includes post primer materials on nutrition and animal care).
Through the Bible, I learned how to take care of my family and how to get along with people. I tell other women, “If I can learn to read, you can learn to read”. This is because I never went to school for even one day. I now have more confidence than many Quechua men. I feel that whatever God wants me to do I will be able to do it.”
Bringing Rest to the Weary
“I was introduced to the Bible, particularly through Jesus’ statement in Matthew 11, “All who are weary, come to me and I will give you rest.” A year later, my mother was diagnosed with cancer, and I remembered a Bible an organization had given me and opened it. I was drawn to a church, where I surrendered everything to the Lord and everything began to change. All of my old habits faded away, and I was made new. Today I serve in the Mahima After Care homes for as a counselor with girls who have been rescued from the sex trade. I love participating in their incredible journies of restoration, sharing the love of Christ with them.”
Microfinance Transforming a Family
“At the end of our TETMI Women’s Conference in 2015, one common issue we intentionally tackled was teaching some women some crafts or trade which they could learn and use in helping themselves generate income. In December of 2015, one was a poor widow that was having a hard time taking care of her children and urgently needed help. After, she was empowered with funds to begin to implement what she had learned. During the Women’s Conference in 2016, a woman approached me to greet me but I could not recognize her. My wife explained to me that she was the widow, who had previously been having a hard time. She was now looking very healthy, neatly dressed and smiling. She told me and I quote ‘It is me! I am not longer very unkept, the Lord has used you to remember and uplift me. Now I can send my children to school and pay their school fees without any begging. My business is doing well and I have tripled both my seed money and profit while maintaining a good and healthy lifestyle for my children and also supporting my local church financially. Thank you and may God bless you and your generations, even those of your children.’ The transformation that I witnessed in this woman was remarkable.” – Shared by David Umune, national worker in Nigeria