If you were asked to picture the situation of the women in your country with an object, what would you use? When women from 28 European countries gathered in Budapest last March, a leader from each country used a symbol to represent the needs and opportunities for women.
Charlotte Hoglund,one of Sweden's most popular young singers, brought a checkered tablecloth to represent the opportunities to present Christ to friends over coffee. There is an openness to talk about spiritual things, especially New Age. Charlotte invites unsaved friends for breakfast and to talk about things like lonliness and fear. Sometimes it takes a long time before they are ready to talk about Christianity.
Serbian and Romanian women would have liked to bring a cookbook as their symbol -- a cook book entitled "How to Cook with Nothing," for their poverty stricken people..
Romjke Fountain of the Netherland compared her native Holland to a vase of pink tulips ---beautiful and lovely to look at-- NOW. Romjke mourns the fact that her beloved homeland has lost its Christian culture, with a small percentage of evangelical Christians. She fears that the beautiful facade will soon fade because of its spiritual emptiness and decadence.
She told of a friend who recently lost her mother -- not to the cancer that wracked her body-- but to euthenasia. Her friend had called to say, "They killed my mother. I went to visit her and met the doctor coming out of the house. He asked me, 'How do you want me to do this?' I tried to dissuade my mother, since she was still able to be up and about, but my mother insisted. I knew when the deed would be done, and went to visit her the day before to say good bye, but I did not want to know how it was done."
Elke Werner, Women of the Year in Germany last year, described the women of her country with a broken mirror.German women are rich, educated, free, able to travel. "When you look from afar the mirror is fascinating. It even looks like a piece of art. But when you come closer you see the brokenness."
"Many pastors do not believe n Jesus and the Bible. Homosexuality is being accepted by the State church. It no longer has praying mothers and grandmothers. Although we still have Christian holidays, if you ask younger women, they don't know why we celebrate Easter, or Christmas or Pentecost.
"We are working to build bridges between charismatics and evangelicals. I hope that we as women can overcome these boundaries better than men. Our brokenness must be healed in the inner being."
The picture in Europe was not all gloomy, however, as women told of prayer groups, breakfast meetings for unsaved women and growing opportunities for women to serve. But the symbols were a visible reminder of how to pray for the women in each nation.
They came from every corner of Europe to Budapest the "pearl of the east, with its renewed splendor emerging from the ashes of communism. More than 180 Christian women leaders gathered March 18-22 from 28 nations under the auspices of Hope for Europe, an umbrella organization of evangelical ministries in Europe. Co-sponsored by the AD2000 Women's Track, the Commission of Women's Concerns (WEF) and the Lausanne Women's Network, the conference drew women from most major denominations and para-church organizations. This alone made the conference newsworthy, for European Christians have not been noted for their unity and cooperation, especially between evangelicals and charismatics.
This was the third such conference directed by Elizabeth Mittelstaedt, founder and editor of LYDIA, the largest Christian women's magazine in Europe. Its purpose was to bring women together across denominational and national lines and to mobilize them to use their gifts to fulfill the Great Commission, Though coming from very diverse backgrounds the women share a common purpose to reach those without Christ while continuing their distinctives in their own organizations.
Jill Briscoe, well-known British-born author and speaker, challenged the women to face the stresses and demands of leadership in her evening messages. During the day a representative from each country presented the needs and opportunities in women's ministries.
A most heart warming touch was the "blessing table" -- a room full of gifts brought by women from Western Europe for their Eastern sisters. Each woman was able to select ten gifts. There were lotions, clothing, books and toys
A Romanian woman looked for a gift for a young friend who'd just lost her mother. She didn't have time to deliberate so she grabbed a parcel without knowing the contents. Later she opened a package of ten pair of black hose -- her friend would need to wear black for a whole year of mourning, and could never have afforded to purchase them.
On the final day the women were driven into Budapest to the largest indoor hall in the city where more than 3000 Hungarian women gathered from all over the country. When Jill Briscoe challenged the women to become "fishers" for Jesus, about 50 responded to the call for salvation. One group of young girls stood weeping in the hall until someone asked if they could help. They explained that they had been challenged to offer themselves for missions and wanted to know if there was an organization in Hungary to which they could apply.
Everyone waited expectantly to hear Elizabeth tell how God led her to found the LYDIA magazine. LYDIA is read by more than two million people in German, Romanian and Hungarian.
The leaders of the Hope for Europe conference felt their dream had been fulfilled. They had seen women from diverse backgrounds come together in unity, motivated to use their gifts to serve Him, and make plans for similar follow-up meetings in many countries. And that is indeed hope for Europe.
Cast all your cares upon him, for he cares about you . . . Be sober, be watchful, Your adversary the devil prwls around like a roaring lion, seeking some one to devour." 1 Peter 5:7,9
Jesus cares about women who are victims of abuse. Jesus cares about you if you are among the 50% of women battered at some time in their lives. Why do men feel they have the right to abuse, and women allow it to continue? Pray that Christians will bow in sorrowful repentance over these ungodly actions and that the Church will know how to help.
Jesus cares about children sold into prostitution Pattaya, Thailand is one of the pornography capitals of the world. Hundreds of little boys and girls are lavishly dressed , their bodies painted for the pleasure of BUSINESSMEN from around the world who come by jet to enjoy their services. Pray for Christian workers to offer to work among these children.Pray that the Thai government will stop this sinful traffic.
Jesus cares about the elderly and dying who face the threat of euthenasia. In our lead story you read of a Dutch woman who asked to be put to death. It's legal in Holland; it is being discussed, and even considered as law in many other western countries. Pray that God will stop this evil legislation, and protect the weak and elderly from such a death.
Jesus cares about Violet Mtegha, who has been leading the Joshua Project pilot program in West Africa. She has just learned she has a progressive, untreatable heart condition. Pray for God's healing touch and for wisdom to use her strength wisely.
|Are you preparing your women to Pray Through the Window for unreached people in October 1997? Calendars, videos and other material are available through AD20000 Women's Track representatives|
In the poorer countries of the world he "girl-child" is the least protected and favored. She receives lessfood than her brothers. She is forced to drop out of school earlier than they are, and works long hours in the home and fields at a very young age.Her parents arrange early marriage, often to an older man. Millions of girl-children undergo painful and mutilating circumcision to restrain their sexual involvement. In Delh, India pedophiles can buy a little girl for $1.40. In Hong Kong the price for a girl is $135. In Thailand parents are known to sell their daughters into prostitution to finance their drug habit. In Korea, 114 male babies are born for every 100 female babies. (Standard rate is 105 male babies to 100 female babies). This fact is largely attributed to sex selective abortions.
Rather than a sexual plaything or a cheap source of labor, Jesus looked upon the girl-child as valuable and precious. Remember when He returned from across the sea of Galilee, worn out from dealing with a demon possessed man, taunted and scorned by the people of the region who'd chased Him away? The selfish crowds pressed around Him; the religious VIP's challenged His orthodoxy.
Suddenly Jairus, a ruler in the synagogue fell at His feet to plead for the life of his sick daughter, begging Jesus to come to his house. She was just a little girl, only twelve years old. Certainly not worth troubling the Great Teacher! Would He walk more miles in the dusty heat, amidst a swirl of people vying for His attention, just to heal a little girl?
Without hesitation Jesus changed direction, walked to Jairus' house and into the bedroom of the child to take her by the hand and gently restore her. What special destiny did the Lord have for her? How did His concern for a little girl impact her family and community? Once again Jesus modelled His concern for the "least of these"-- even a little girl
A Christian mother from Bangladesh confessed that she makes sure that her little boy gets better fed and has more opportunities than her daughter. The culture sets the standards we often unconsciously follow. Jesus set a standard long ago that cut across culture and demonstrated the infinite value of a human being, no matter what the age or sex. Let's do the same for that precious girl-child in our home.. Luke 9:26-40, 49-56)
Over 200 women from 20 Middle Eastern and CIS countries gathered in Limmasol, Cyprus from the 13th to the 19th of April for a seminar led by Iqbal Massey. Evelyn Christenson and Kay Arthur both taught, so the women had a rich spiritual feast.
In a historical gathering . key women leaders of the three global women's organizations will meet in Vancouver, Canada on the 15th of May. The focus of their discussion will be, "What can we do together, that we can't do as well separately?" With an eye to the year 2000, the women will discuss how these organizations might work together in the future to continue to raise the vision of mobilizing and training women to reach the unreached.
Women in the United Kingdom are coming together to promote their role in evangelism as they look towards the new Millennium. An ecumenical working group represening 28 organizations has put together a three day seminar, WOMEN IN MISSION from the 1st -3rd of July, 1997. The goal of the conference is to encourage stimulate and resource women involved in a wide variety of evangelistic ministry in all types of cultural and geographical settings, in order to recognize, affirm and develop their gifting and their potential so that by the year 2000: There is a significant increase in the number of women seen to be gifted, involved and effective in all areas of evangelism. We see men and women working together as partners in evangelism in all parts of the Church.
Lady Gill Brentford, one of the steering committee members writes, "We are expecting 350 women and would love to see representaatives of AD2000 attend."
For further information write Kate Lehane, Springboard, 9 The Precincts, Canterbury, Kent CTI 2EE, UK
Women as Risk Takers for God
Breaking the Pattern of Women in Ministry
by Lorry Lutz
Foreword by Evelyn Christenson
One person who read the proofs of this new book on women in ministry remarked, "I didn't know that there were women like this in the church. Why have we haven't we heard about them?
In this book you will hear about women throughout history who have served God, and modern women who are taking up the challenge. Women as Risk Takers for God is a book for everyone: for those who agree that women should be in leadership in the church, and those who don't:;for those who believe that women's main ministry is in a supportive role and those who endorse her public ministry. The countries where these women are ministering are as diverse as India and Germany, Kenya and Guatemala. The author looks at the diverse roles that Christian women play throughout the world sharing the good news of Jesus and the obstacles many face as they attempt to use their gifts.
Whether leaders of worldwide Christian movements, or women who have escaped from cruel and oppressive political regimes and lost everything in the process, these women are seeking to use their gifts to extend God's Kingdom. This is a book for those who long to see the gifts of all God's people used in the extension of the Kingdom
The author, Lorry Lutz, served for many years as a missionary in South Africa and is currently the international coordinator of the AD2000 Women's Track. She is the mother of five children and grandmother of 18. She and those she writes about are thoroughly committed to the authority of Scripture. The book is sponsored by the AD2000 Women's Track, Lausanne and World Evangelical Fellowship Women's Commission.
Women as Risk Takers for God is published by Paternoster Press in the UKand distributed through Baker Book House in the USA. It can be ordered in the United States from the Women's Track for a suggested donation of $14 plus $2.50 postage and handling.Watch for news of editions in other countries and languages in the months ahead.
|Order your copy of this challenging and thought-provoking
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Suggested donation is $14 plus $2.50 for shipping and handling in the USA. This is a pre-publication offer so please allow six weeks for delivery.
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