Women around the world are struggling. From violence to harassment to a lack of educational and job opportunities, so many women around the world today face incredible challenges.
But thanks to your support, women are learning the Gospel and sharing it faithfully. They are leading ministries, teaching God’s Word to their families and children, and starting churches. No circumstances and no challenges can stop a woman of God.
Never Too Late
In the Middle East, men often treat women as second-class citizens. Many are not afforded educational opportunities and are illiterate. But scores of women are now taking Bible League’s Bible-based Literacy courses to learn how to read and write.
Women like Nadia, a mother who learned to read at age 32.
“I hadn’t been to school before,” she says. “I knew the alphabet and some math because I would observe my siblings when they studied. My husband used to insult me because I was illiterate. ‘You are clueless,’ he’d say.”
She thought it was too late for her to learn, but she was wrong. After completing the course, she’s able to read everything, from her Bible to hymnbooks. Today she’s helping her kids with their studies. She and her children even write down verses from the New Testament as a way to learn God’s Word and practice their reading and writing.
“Sometimes I even cried because I couldn’t read the Bible.”
“Before getting educated, each time I attended a meeting at church, I felt ashamed. Sometimes I even cried because I couldn’t read the Bible,” she says. “I feel like I’m a new person.”
Nothing Stops Her
More than two decades ago, Isabell accepted Christ as her Savior and has been serving Him faithfully ever since. She graduated from Bible League’s Church Planter Training 18 years ago.
Today, she’s leading Project Philip Bible studies with more than 70 children in a remote area of Ecuador.
“The kids here have access to one school only, and the school is about an hour away by canoe,” she says. “Most of them do not have the resources to receive an education or even boats for the journey to school. The children’s social needs in this area are great, but we know they also have a huge spiritual need.”
COVID-19 forced her and her family to change the way they minister to these children. There is one public phone in the community and Isabell calls to speak to the children often. “We cultivate the Word of God in the hearts of those kids, and that effort and dedication will not return empty.”
Hope in the Midst of Trouble
Sutharson lived through Sri Lanka’s 26-year civil war. It was the bloodiest in the country’s history and claimed tens of thousands of lives. Rebels abducted her when she was just 16 years old. “I was subjected to pain and torture that words cannot describe,” she says.
By the grace of God, she survived the war and was freed by the rebel group as soon as the war ended in 2009. She married a man who was injured during the war; because of his injuries, he was unable to work and support her and their two children. In 2017, her husband was framed for having drugs and arrested.
“Troubles, one after another, affected us,” she remembers. “My children had to see their father go through these hardships. I had no answers to their questions. I would hide my face with the saree as I did not want them to see me sobbing.”
But soon, the Lord sent her a ray of hope. A Bible League-trained church planter visited her and shared the Gospel. Sutharson was a Hindu at the time, but she was not against Christianity. As she read the Bible, she felt the Lord calling her heart. She began attending a Project Philip Bible study and accepted Jesus as her Savior.
“I did not have a house of my own but God provided me a small house through the government’s housing project. He has provided everything I need.”
As soon as she was following Jesus, Sutharson’s faithful prayer life began. “I prayed for the release of my husband every day,” she says. And after several weeks of fervent prayer, her husband was released.
“Miracles did not stop,” she says. “I did not have a house of my own but God provided me a small house through the government’s housing project. He has provided everything I need.”
Today, she continues to faithfully follow Jesus. She and her family attend prayer fellowship every week.
The Fire Within
After completing Bible League’s Church Planter Training with her husband, Pastor Sitoe, Pastor Maria Mathe planted a church in her village in Mozambique. What started as a gathering of 45 people around a small bush grew into the Full Gospel Church with a building and a thriving congregation. The Project Philip Bible study materials and Bible League training were vital to the success of their flourishing church.
But in 2019, a ministry assistant began teaching false doctrines, confusing the church members. He was also practicing healing rituals, similar to a witch doctor. “When we confronted him, he started another church,” the couple recalls. “The worst part was that he took all the church members with him.”
Sad and frustrated, the couple prayed silently for two months straight. They decided to rebuild using the skills and materials that had been effective the first time. Through Project Philip Bible studies, the couple slowly gathered new members.
With the ups and downs of her church-planting journey, one would think Pastor Maria Mathe would be discouraged. But she’s not. “It’s the fire within me,” she says. “I can’t hold it back. I started to plant a church when I was still in the church planting class. I went from house to house, from door to door, from person to person, just telling them about Jesus. I can only do it because God ignited the fire within me. I cannot switch it off.”
She continues, “Church Planter Training equipped me with the right things to do and say, things that help me reach out to people. God is helping me do so.”
“I’m envisioning this place to be a thriving church, a church that will last forever, even after my life.”
Pastor Maria Mathe believes in this new group. “I’m envisioning this place to be a thriving church, a church that will last forever, even after my life,” she says. “A church that will praise God!”
God is working through these strong women and thousands of others around the world, despite the unique challenges and obstacles they face every day. Join us in prayer for godly women around the world, that they would continue to find strength in the Lord and He would continue to empower them.