Welcome to the first official blog post of TMC Women’s Ministry. I’ve always been hesitant to start a blog because I wasn’t sure I had anything interesting to say. Plus I’m a bad speller! But after the Women’s Ministry Luncheon on February 12, I knew it was time to fire up a blog. If you happened to attend the luncheon, then you understand why I have a message to get out. And if you missed it, let me try to give you a recap. Brace yourselves.
We were introduced to an organization called Women at Rick (WAR) and heard from the President, Becky McDonald. To put it mildly, Becky opened our eyes to the brutality of women all over the world. The statistics that she shared were mind blowing and the evil that WAR has seen firsthand is hard to imagine. Becky shared stories about women like Neelu – a young Muslim woman who was told she had no rights, no value and no voice. To remind her that she had no voice, family members poured acid down her throat to burn away her vocal cords. We heard that between 800,000 to 1 million women and children are trafficked across international borders each year and 300,000 women and children are at risk here in America. According to WAR, there are more children sold as sex slaves in one month in New York City then women who die of breast cancer each year. Her point was loud and clear: women and children are at risk all over the world starting right here in our own land.
But there is good news! WAR is doing something about this and invited us to join in. Becky explained that they have a three-prong approach to their ministry:
Curative – WAR goes and finds women in places where she is held captive and rescues her; they follow this up by empowering her to make her own living and live independently of her abusers. One of the ways they empower women to start providing for themselves is to teach them to make jewelry. As displayed at the luncheon, the jewelry (along with pendants, stationary, and more) is exquisite and unique. All proceeds made from selling the jewelry goes directly back to the women. They begin making a living for themselves. They begin to find hope.
Preventative – WAR targets women who are targeted by traffickers and tries to save them before ever being taken captive. Similar to the women rescued, these women are also taught a trade or given a microloan to start her own business – depending on the situation and country. As a part of WARs training to churches, they outline warning signs of local trafficking and what to do (and not to do) when you suspect harm.
Supportive – this prong is all about advocacy. WAR works with and trains churches all over the world to get involved and be the hands and feet of Jesus to these women. Becky had an interesting take on this idea – she believes that women are, by God’s design, nurturing individuals and that we naturally want to help others. However, by the influence of Satan and his attempt to keep us from doing this, we end up using our energy to hurt each other! We can spend more time tearing apart the body of Christ then working together for God’s glory! As tough as that was to hear, I have to admit that I know it can be true at times.
What I loved most about the luncheon was Becky’s call to us women to live our lives, as she said, with “steel in our backbones!” If we personally knew the value and worth God places on each one of us, then we would give and give and give to make sure others knew that same truth. Christian women and the Church as a whole would figure out how to mobilize the Church to make a greater impact on the world around us. Becky believes that Satan has a true distain for women (she bases this on Genesis 3) and because of that, women in particular are his target. If we want to have a heart like God’s, then we’ll model what His Word says:
Psalm 82:4: Rescue the weak and the needy; deliver them from the hand of the wicked.
Micah 6:8: He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.
I left the lunch more aware of the pain and suffering of women all over the world…and right here in Chicago. I believe there were women sitting at this very luncheon who have experienced some of the unthinkable evil Becky shared with us. But I also felt encouraged by how big our God is! How amazing is it that He would want to use someone like me and you to be a part of rescuing and loving women who are currently chained to a bed as a sex slave. And of course I thought of my daughter – how I want to instill in her the value and worth that I know God has for her. I want her to know that the life we have been given is for one purpose: to bring glory to our God. More than ever, I want to model that to her – which is why our church will not sit still on this issue. Be in touch with us if you want to be a part of what God will do in us and through us to help women who cannot help themselves.
For more information on WAR, check out their website: http://www.warinternational.org/
PS: the Women’s Ministry Luncheons are good y’all! We are intentional about who we bring in and what the topic is about. If you haven’t been to one, this is the time! The next luncheon is March 19…details coming soon!Love,
Associate Director of Women's Ministry
The Moody Church