February brings Valentine’s Day and reminds us of the best gift of all—love. In fact, the Bible teaches us that there are three things that will endure to the end—faith, hope, and love—and the greatest of these is love (1 Corinthians 13:13).
But for many women across the globe, especially Christian women, love does not abound or endure. Instead, persecution and oppression are their normal state of affairs and increasingly on the rise. Women have notably become even more vulnerable to persecution of all kinds. The 2018 World Watch List just released by Open Doors, states, “One-in-12 Christians in the world today experience high to extreme persecution for their faith…many of the most vulnerable are women.”
All of these cold, hard facts are deeply troubling, but we ask how we can possibly help. A story of just one of these women helps us understand their terrifying battle and the way the love of Christcan help.
Maria was denied food and education as a small child, driving home a clear message: you are a liability, a problem, not an asset like your brother. Then, Maria was married off as a young woman, barely a woman, yet of “age” according to her culture. Her husband had other wives, too, and she, along with them, was routinely beaten as a matter of course. One day the pastor and his wife found her sitting on their doorstep. She said nothing, but she cried—a lot. She stayed on the doorstep for days, refusing to move, or return home. As they learned of her husband’s daily abuses, they arranged for a new home, a new life, a safe place where Maria found the love of Christ as He became her strength, her crown of glory, even her beauty.
“In that day the LORD of hosts will be a crown of glory, and a diadem of beauty to the remnant of His people, and a spirit of justice to him who sits in judgment, and strength to those who turn back the battle at the gate.” Isaiah 28:5-6
This month as we celebrate Valentine’s Day, will you take some time to pray for the women we serve in Africa, Asia, parts of America and the Middle East? We are called to “turn back the battle at the gate” as the people of God. And undoubtedly the most effective way to do that is through passionate prayer.
Praise and prayer requests:
- Pray for our sisters in Christ we serve around the globe who experience persecution and suffering daily. Pray for the Lord to be their strength – to sustain and encourage them. Pray specifically for our upcoming trips and trainings in Africa where women are treated as less valuable than animals in many tribes and situations.
- Praise the Lord for an abundant number of requests for trainings this year – specifically in the Middle East/North Africa region. Pray for wisdom as we head to the region to address the greatest humanitarian crisis since World War II.
- Pray for the Lord’s provision in our Spring Luncheon through finances, volunteers, and great connections. And plan to join us on Tuesday, March 13th at the Beach Club, for Dignity and Design, International Fashion show and silent auction. If you’d like to attend or contribute, here’s how: womeninthewindow-intl.org/luncheon.