Women Building The Kingdom
Celebrating International Women’s Day
8 March 2017
At Open Doors we tell stories of the persecuted church. These stories remind us of the cost of following Christ all over the world – the burden, the pressure, and the trials which we can only overcome through God’s strength. 1 Corinthians 12 encourages us to identify with the Body of Christ and to support them prayerfully and practically.
However there is also an amazing, sometimes hidden, undercurrent of God at work. Stories of Him moving in unexpected ways. One of these beautiful strands of God’s handiwork is women in persecution, building the kingdom of God.
In the midst of darkness, women are shining the light of Christ.
All around the world, God is using them mightily to spread the gospel and bring healing to the broken. They are self-made entrepreneurs, teachers, and spiritual leaders raising up the next generation to follow Christ.
"But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth." - Acts 1:8
Amman, Evangelist In China
Amman was a sought-after fortune teller in north-western China. However her life was turned upside down when she became sick. Nothing would heal her, until she met Jesus in a dream and read about him in a Bible she’d been given. She knew Jesus was the Saviour and immediately shared the gospel with her husband, who quickly put his faith in Christ too.
The rest of her family and community weren’t so responsive. But in the midst of persecution she was determined to share the gospel. When people came to her for fortune telling, she invited them to meet Jesus instead. By God’s grace many people became Christians and together they have even started a weekly bible study.
Sonika, Prayer Warrior In India
Sonika battled health problems, depression and evil spirits all her life. She came to know Jesus through her sister, and although she still faced many challenges, including persecution from her family and husband, she decided to serve God.
Sonika quit her job and started a women’s prayer group focusing on discipleship. Her prayer group grew but she struggled to support her two young children. But through her witness, Sonika’s husband became a Christian too. While he supported the family, Sonika was able to attend a training seminar supported by Open Doors. She was able to grow in her faith, confidence and forgive her family.
Mia, Evangelist In Central Asia
Mia* is a young Christian from Central Asia who worked in a hair salon. She went to an Open Doors business course and was equipped to open her own hair salon. Now she uses this business to share her faith with her customers.
Mia has seen a young woman come to Christ and has employed another believer who was being persecuted for her faith. It is an amazing ministry of God using Mia’s gifts to serve him! Read more of Mia's story.
Hajara, Evangelist In West Central Africa
Hajara* came from a Muslim background and faced pressure from her family. She provided for her children by growing her own vegetables. But when she could, she would share the gospel with prison inmates, HIV suffers, and local villagers.
Hajara currently lives in a remote region, and all of her travel is expensive and dangerous. Open Doors have recently given her a motorbike to travel further and faster.
“They need the gospel.” She said, “They need to hear it. We need to take good care of them and not leave them to die and suffer without the gospel.”
Almira, Missionary In The Philippines
Forty-six-year-old Almira wasn't always strong in her Christian faith. She was from a Muslim family and married a Muslim man. But becoming a Christian changed everything. Her husband grew cold towards her and her mother-in-law forced Almira to leave. With her two daughters she started cleaning toilets for a living.
Despite the persecution she faced, Almira went back to her hometown and shared Christ to her family and local people. She runs discipleship training for new Christians who have also come from a Muslim background.
Aren’t these just incredible stories? Let’s be part of something bigger than ourselves and use our gifts and circumstance to serve Him. How might Jesus be calling you to do that today?
Open Doors is actively involved in supporting women in around the world through micro-loans, trauma care, literacy training, self-help groups, as well as discipleship and leadership training.
*Names changed for security purposes
This post was written by Marissa Smyth, Open Doors Women Coordinator.
Invite Marissa to come and share stories of the persecuted church with your church or women's ministry event, email firstname.lastname@example.org