Profiles in Courage
Ever ponder taking a "One Year Challenge" for God in a foreign land to help the poor and help Christ's church? Elizabeth Ann Deam has kept a blog journal of her journey anecdoting such an adventure in South Africa.
“Christ is our supreme example of love and serving. Never once do we see him giving in to tiredness or complaining. Tracy, as you follow Christ you will be called on to go and go and go with little or no recognition or even a “thank you.” Serving is so satisfying if you do it out of love for God and your family.” My mother wrote this to me my senior year of high school; it was her advice to me as I grew into a woman of God. If I could sum up my mother’s heart it would be this; “a life of sacrifice and service“.
Lata’s husband passed away of AIDS in 2002. Lata turned out to be HIV+ but her three young children were clear. She could not go back home as her family would not accept her so she ended at the AIDS Home of Hope near Chennai in South India. For most women this would have been a devastating blow, however Lata was made of sterner stuff.
Ana Morrell became a disciple 23 years ago in London. She had already been married to David for three years by then. As she changed her life he watched her but never gave his life to God himself. Ana is an amazing woman. She is known for her faith, warmth, hospitality, and general trust in God. She is also one of the most evangelistic people I have met, always bringing people to church and sharing her faith. I have always been struck by her constant smile.
Yong Ching became a Christian in high school soon after the Surubaya church was planted in 1993. She grew fast spiritually, became a leader, went on a mission team to Pontianak in 1996… Her mother became a disciple, as well as her brothers and sisters...
Some places on this earth require a little more courage than others. Papua New Guinea is one such place. It is a dangerous country, especially for women. Crime is rampant. Intense poverty drives people to a life a crime, theft, murder, etc. In fact most citizens do not go out after dark at all.
Asian families are very close knit. Children, no matter how old, are expected to completely respect their parents. When CN was fifteen years old she broke her parents' hearts by defying tradition and getting pregnant. Her father was furious and kicked her out of the house.
Being a follower of Jesus does not mean everything will go our way. Cina is a strong Christian woman who has been through a lot of ups and downs during her nineteen years as a disciple. She believes God is watching over her and is taking care of her, so she lives her life to the full. "Every day as if it were my last", she says.
Martha was born and brought up in Kolkata, one of the poorest and most intense cities of India. She became a disciple as a young single woman. She graduated and became a teacher. Her love for God was evident from the start. She trained as a ministry intern and had dreams of doing great things for God. Then came the time to get married…
As I sat in the salon awaiting my haircut, my hairdresser scurried to retrieve a book she was eager to show me. This woman devotes her day off each week to style and cut hair for anyone who has lost their job. She charges nothing, only asks that they “pay it forward” by showing generosity and kindness to someone else. This simple gesture of kindness has brought her national attention, as well as several journal books filled with thank you messages and ways this act has impacted women all over the world. As her clients read these journals, they are often moved to help as well.
As I received the journal she said to me, “You have to read this!”.