Saturday, July 29, 2006

Women In Mission

Women have a long history of responding to God's call to carry out His purposes on earth. From Sarah, wife of Abraham, Miriam, the sister of Moses (Exodus 15:20; Micah 6:4), Deborah, a judge chosen by God to rule (Judge 45), Hannah, mother of Samuel, Mary, mother of Jesus, to Amy Carmichael of the Keswick Movement, Catherine Booth of the Salvation Army, Mother Teresa in her ministry to the poor of India, Eilsabeth Eilliot, the great missionary writer, to Corrie ten Boom, the leader in the Dutch underground, hiding Jews during World War 2 etc., God has chosen and empowered women to do His Kingdom work through the ages.

In preparing for the facilitation of the World Team CLiMAT training, I went back to read one of my favourite books "Guardians of the Great Commission" by Ruth Tucker. She said that women have played an outstanding role in the modern missionary movement. Dana Robert shows that women's mission theory was holistic, with emphasis on both evangelism and meeting human needs. With their holistic approach to missions, women were committed to healing. They have been permitted great latitude in Christian ministry with their work ranging from support efforts behind the scenes, pioneer work, evangelim, church planting to Bible translation, teaching in seminaries, preaching, organisation and training on the home front, women's work for women, orphanges and children's work, health and humanitarian services, linguistics, literacy, missionary writing, fundraising to urban ministry etc. Since women were less involved in denominational activities and more focused on human need, it was easier for them to be ecumenically minded and risk cooperation for common purposes.

Helen Barrett Montgomery's saying decades ago is really challenging to me personally. She said, "We have done very little original work. We have made very few demands upon the brains of the women....and as a result, we have been given over to smallness of vision in our missionary life."

I pray that God will give women in this emerging postmodern age the courage, wisdom and strength to go forward in missional outreach, never forgetting the remarkable heritage that is ours.


audrey` said...

The soft touch from the ladies :)

Kitty Cheng said...

Audrey, you have that lovely soft touch too :) Yeah!!