Women On a Mission
International Women's Day
International Women’s Day exists because nations and cultures around the world and through the ages have oppressed and marginalized women. We see as much in the pages of our own Bibles. And yet we also see a God who cares a great deal for women and raises them up in ways we might not have expected. We at Children to Love want to take this opportunity to celebrate the way God has entrusted His work to women both in the pages of scripture and to this very day.
There are so many women referenced in the Bible, and their stories teach us about who God is and how He interacts with us. I could write about Egyptian midwives, about Rahab, Deborah, Esther, or Ruth, about Lydia, Rhoda, Priscilla. For the sake of time and space, I want to consider how God relates to women by focusing on Jesus.
In that mysterious kingdom reversal revealed by Jesus in the words “the last shall be first,” we see that greatness is construed differently by divinity than by humanity. You probably recall the famous New Testament story of the widow’s temple offering. Jesus calls His disciples to see this woman and elevates her as an example of generous giving. He has the audacity to say, “this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others” (Mark 12:43).
Jesus had a mission on earth before He went to the cross. He “traveled from one town and village to another, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom of God” (Luke 8:1). As a traveling preacher with “no place to lay his head” (Matthew 8:20), how exactly was He able to persist in ministry without a trade? We learn how as we read on in Luke:
The Twelve were with him, and also some women who had been cured of evil spirits and diseases: Mary (called Magdalene) from whom seven demons had come out; Joanna the wife of Chuza, the manager of Herod’s household; Susanna; and many others. These women were helping to support them out of their own means. (Luke 8:1b-3)
Not only did women follow Jesus along with His chosen twelve men, but several women gave their own resources in order to further the ministry of Jesus. Even in the midst of the retelling of Jesus’s crucifixion, both Matthew and Mark again reference women who had followed Jesus in order to care for His needs in this way.* And these were the ones who dared stay near even as many of Jesus’s chosen twelve kept their distance.
Fast forward to today. Two thousand years later, Jesus still has people following Him closely, joining Him on mission and supporting His ministry. And many of them are women.
Because of my administrative role at Children to Love, I am privileged to know a lot about the type of woman who supports the ministry of Jesus through CTL. Let me tell you about her. She is married, single, widowed. She is the sole breadwinner; she stays home full-time with her children. She is fresh out of college; she is past retirement; she is in her middle years trying to balance family, work and ministry. She is an accountant, a doctor, a teacher. She is full of faith; she is plagued with doubts; she is sick; she is healed.
Who is the woman who gives to Children to Love? She is a follower of Jesus. She knows that the way of Jesus is the way that is best. She supports the ministry work done in His name out of her own means. She is a servant of God.
Written by Linda Han, CTL Administrative Associate
*See Matthew 27:55 and Mark 15:40-41
Scripture quotations are from the New International Version (NIV).