Women watching and waiting
Posted on: 8th April 2023
Around the world millions of women live with significant limitations on their freedom. These stories from CMS missionaries working long-term in such contexts give an insight into the challenges faced by the women they minister among.
“Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful.” (Hebrews 10:23)
Crouched on the sitting room floor, C taps away at her phone, stretching her language skills to the limit to carry on a Bible study by text with a young new Christian whose family have beaten her and locked her in her room after discovering that she had turned to Christ.
Another woman, who had been tormented by dreams of snakes, finds relief and rest after J shares with her the good news of Jesus the serpent crusher. Nonetheless, she is afraid to hear more; the majority faith of her country is all she has ever known.
A young wife who is not allowed to leave the house or use her phone (her husband will check her device at night) finds the courage to share what she is learning from the word with her brother.
A believer who was converted some years ago shares her faith with her husband for the first time. She is mocked, threatened with divorce and even violence.
Trusting Jesus’ promises
These are stories from CMS missionaries working in regions where many women have little power and autonomy. The cost of following Jesus can be high, and yet many continue to persevere through suffering and testify to the surpassing worth of knowing him.
The gospel accounts of Jesus’ life are full of his encounters with women who experienced a life-changing new freedom and dignity when they answered his call to follow. Several of them were there when he died, and some went to see his body being buried.
We can only imagine the loss they felt on that dark day. Obediently, they waited until the intervening Sabbath day had passed before returning to tend to the body (Luke 23:56). The fragrance of the perfumes and spices they had prepared the day before must have hung in the air as the hours passed. But when they arrived at the tomb, he wasn’t there. He had risen, just as he promised he would.
Pray for the women in the stories above to trust Jesus’ promises, even in difficult circumstances. Pray for missionaries who are working with care and patience to reach and encourage women like them around the world.