Women in the Window International is delighted to introduce our featured volunteer, Jackie Hilliard. Jackie serves as our “Hands” (micro-enterprise) Servant Leader and is a founding Board Member. While an undergraduate student at Palm Beach Atlantic University, Jackie became a committed follower of Jesus. Jackie went on to earn a Masters Degree in Business Administration, with a focus on International Business, also from PBA. Short-term trips to Haiti and the Dominican Republic ignited her passion for international missions. Jackie’s desire is to use her God-given knowledge, time, skills, and resources to serve those living in poverty-stricken situations in a healthy, responsible way.
We hope you will enjoy learning more about Jackie in the brief interview below. If God is leading you to serve or travel with WiW, please learn more about our volunteer opportunities and contact us!
Jackie, what compelled you to serve with Women in the Window?
I’d been interested in international development since college, and had prayed for some time about where and how to best serve. I’d never been particularly concerned with women’s rights until I read the book Half the Sky by Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn. That book opened my eyes to how women are treated, or rather mistreated, throughout the world. A few weeks after reading that book I met Kim Kerr, and she began telling me about the ministry of Women in the Window. I was compelled because I believe that God had prepared me for this ministry, and also because I respected their model of ministry: partnership with indigenous women ministry leaders who train women to train other women.
What has been the most enjoyable aspect of your volunteer experience so far?
The most enjoyable and rewarding aspect of volunteering with WiW has been building relationships with women throughout the world. My faith has been greatly encouraged through the relationships I’ve developed with the volunteers here in the U.S. and also our partners and volunteers throughout the 10/40 Window.
What’s one of the most interesting things you’ve learned about WiW’s ministry?
WiW’s ministry is made up of mostly volunteers. With only 1 full-time and 1 part-time staff, WiW is dependent upon the dedication and hard work of its volunteers. So if you’re looking for a place to serve the Lord and make an impact in people’s lives, then join us!
Where have you traveled with the ministry and how did those trips influence you?
I’ve traveled to England, Ghana, The Gambia, and Togo. The trip to England impressed upon me the importance of the indigenous church and ministry. Indigenous leaders are capable and willing to do the work for the growth of God’s Kingdom. We as Westerners can grow in our role of support and encouragement, rather than take the leadership and work out of the indigenous leaders’ hands.
The trip to Ghana, The Gambia, and Togo was my first opportunity to experience a micro-enterprise training with the women. That experience showed me how important it is to train indigenous women leaders so that they can train the women in their own culture. It’s much more effective as they speak the local languages and can include cultural nuances that outsiders would not know. Plus it’s empowering for women to have a female peer as a teacher, role model, and mentor.
What is a passage of Scripture that has special significance for you?
Psalm 40:1-5, because this is how God has moved in my life.