Dear pastors, missionaries, chaplains and friends,
Steve Jones here… This coming weekend we celebrate and honour the mothers and mother figures that God has placed in our lives.
While we may think of Mother’s Day as being a North American celebration, I was surprised to learn that there are 109 countries worldwide that have a day set aside to celebrate mothers. As I pondered that stat I was reminded of those serving with the Fellowship cross-culturally who have a unique ministry to mothers and women in other countries in particular. Let me share just a few:
Madagascar (Sarobidy Maternity Centre)
Fellowship International missionary, Dr. Rachel Bright and the team at the Sarobidy Maternity Centre provide medical care and nutrition education to expectant mothers and, in January 2017, a feeding program was launched to ensure mothers remain healthy long after delivering their babies.
Pakistan (Shikarpur Christian Hospital)
A medical team comprised of missionaries and nationals provide care to women and children. The hospital is well-respected within the region for the quality care they provide. As one concerned father at the hospital said recently as he witnessed the delicate care provided to his malnourished baby, “…these Christians are good people. They have shown us so much love.”
In a country gripped by civil war, many Congolese women and girls find themselves caught in the crosshairs of tribal fighting and experience brutal attacks involving rape. Fellowship International missionaries Apollo and Lois Midigo are gifted counselors with a unique perspective of the African tribal history having been born and raised in nearby Kenya. In addition to counseling women, they are training other Christian leaders so that they can come alongside similar victims and provide much-needed counseling. A skills-training program has also been launched to assist these women in earning an income with which to support themselves and their families.
Cambodia (Precious Women)
Life for women in rural Cambodia where the extremely impoverished live, is challenging as they seek to provide for their families. Many relocate to larger centers in search of employment only to find themselves caught up in the sex-trade industry. In Phnom Penh, the capital of Cambodia, Fellowship International missionary, Allison Montgomery works alongside the Precious Women ministry in reaching out to women who work in beer gardens and karaoke lounges, by providing counselling, vocational training and education, health checks, and temporary housing in order to help these women leave the sex-trade industry.
These are just some of the ministries that touch the lives of women of all ages. They make a significant contribution into the lives of women, often changing the trajectory of their lives for eternity as the Gospel is shared and practical help is provided.
This Mother’s Day as you remember the women in your life who have made a profound impact on your life, I encourage you to prayerfully remember our workers who are investing themselves into the lives of women around the world.
Have a blessed week,