AUTUMN (ANZ) / SPRING (USA) 2013
Volume 60 Number 1 www.christianwomanmag.com
Colour SISTERHOOD& AN ARMY OF WOMEN MAKING A GLOBAL LOCAL DIFFERENCE
A Mother’s Anguish
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CW contents: 7 Editor’s Letter 8 Easter: A Mother’s Anguish Berni Dymet discusses the distorted tradition that Easter has become and the woman behind it all... 12 Leaving a Legacy What does Leaving a legacy actually mean? Amanda Antcliff uncovers the treasures left behind... 16 Pat the Seat Next To You How often are we quick to judge? Karla Gillan challenges us to reconsider as our Church doors open this Easter to welcome new visitors... 18 Developing a Strong Godly Family How do we raise up Godly children within the structure of a healthy family? Mary Grant discusses...
20 Comparison: The Thief Of Joy The perfect woman. We all strive to be her... but who is she? Samantha Hardcastle...
22 Human and Divine Roxana Hackett discusses the life of Jesus Christ and his life as a sacrifice for our weakness...
24 Prosperity doctrine versus true doctrine Corallie Buchanan tackles a sensitive subject that will challenge your thinking… 26 Held Captive Lori Dixon shares the explicit story of a child trapped in human trafficking... 32 COVER STORY: The Colour Sisterhood Nicole Danswan uncovers a powerful force of women changing the world...
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A Different Perspective.
A Mother’s Anguish Berni Dymet discusses the distorted tradition that Easter has become and the woman behind it all... Easter as a Controversy Easter is a ritual that plays itself out in hearts and homes, churches and shopping centres of nations around the world. As a commemoration, it kicked off really quite early in the piece. There was quite some controversy in the second century over the celebration of
the Pascha, but fairly soon thereafter it became something of a tradition. Of course then – in the third and fourth centuries – we needed to have some serious arguments about when it should be celebrated, how it should be celebrated and what it should be called. Seriously!
8 Christian Woman Autumn (ANZ) // Spring (USA) 2013
Seems that church controversies and stupidities aren’t a recent phenomenon. We can even manage to argue about the most important, the singularly most central element of our faith. The death and resurrection of Jesus the Christ, the very Son of the Living God.
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A Different Perspective.
“Only a woman who has stared into the grave of one of her children can
Easter as a Ritual But things settled down eventually. People started calling it ‘Easter’. We all started celebrating it at the same time… and pretty soon, it became a ritual. I mean, for me – Easter is incredibly special. And yet still, there are aspects of how we celebrate it that can leave you feeling… like… here we go again. I guess it’s the same with anything we do over and over again. But I’ve been to Easter celebrations in churches that seem devoid of emotion and passion. They seem devoid of the gut wrenching, heart aching reality of Easter. And to top it all off, we seem to have put our Easter into the blender with some pagan fertility festivals and produced… wait for it… a rabbit that delivers chocolate eggs. Well, that makes a lot of sense then! For some reason Easter is now an excuse for men, women and children to gorge on enough chocolate to send any self–respecting blood sugar meter into a spin. Easter as a Loss But of all the aspects, of all the different perspectives and angles from which we can experience Easter, there is one that has always touched me more deeply than all the others. And it’s not the perspective of Jesus – it’s not what Jesus saw and felt looking down from that brutal cross. That’s gut wrenching enough! It’s not what was going on in the mighty Father Heart of God, as He saw His Son despised, beaten and brutally nailed to that cross. That’s a perspective that I struggle even to contemplate. It’s not the perspective of the Disciples who were, quite frankly, in desperate fear of their own lives. They could very easily have been tried and convicted as accessories to Jesus’ subversions and found themselves
hanging on a cross the next day or the day after. The one perspective that touches me most deeply, is the perspective of the mother of the Son of God. Mary. When, as a teenager, she had given birth to Jesus in that smelly, drafty old stable in Bethlehem, when she had heard him cry his first cry and held him to her breast – could she ever, ever have contemplated the horror that would befall Him just a few short decades later? Mary was a mother with a dream in her heart. A huge dream for her Son. After all, from the very outset, God had promised great things for Him, through the angel Gabriel: He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give to him the throne of his ancestor David. He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end. (Luke 1:32,33) She sang a song of praise, which flowed out of the joy and delight in her heart at what was happening to her: My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour, for he has looked with favour on the lowliness of his servant. Surely, from now on all generations will call me blessed; for the Mighty One has done great things for me, and holy is his name. (Luke 1:46–49) And when the shepherds came to worship Jesus in that stable in Bethlehem and they told Mary all that they had seen and what the angels had said, we’re told that: Mary treasured all these words and pondered them in her heart. (Luke 2:19) She watched her son grow and develop into a young man who stood head and shoulders above his peers. He even confounded the rabbis in the temple when he was just twelve years old. There he was sitting amongst the
10 Christian Woman Autumn (ANZ) // Spring (USA) 2013
teachers and all who heard him were amazed at His understanding and answers. (Luke 2:46,47) What was Mary’s response to all this? His mother treasured all these things in her heart (Luke 2:51) As any mother would. She had a lot to treasure, a lot to admire, a lot to be thankful for. From when He headed out of the little carpenter’s shop in Nazareth and turned that water into wine, healed the blind, lame and leprous, preached amazing sermons to huge crowds, raised the dead, walked on water, stilled storms and tempests… oh yes behind the scenes, Mary treasured all these things in her heart. So imagine how she felt as she stood, all those years on, at the foot of the Cross. Meanwhile, standing near the cross of Jesus were his mother, and his mothers sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing beside her, he said to his mother, “Woman, here is your son.” Then he said to the disciple, “Here is your mother.” And from that hour the disciple took her into his own home. After this, when Jesus knew that all was now finished, he said (in order to fulfil the scripture), I am thirsty. A jar full of sour wine was standing there. So they put a sponge full of the wine on a branch of hyssop and held it to his mouth. When Jesus had received the wine, he said, It is finished. Then he bowed his head and gave up his spirit. (John 19:25–30) Only a woman who has stared into the grave of one of her children can perhaps begin to comprehend the overwhelming anguish that mother Mary felt in her heart on that day.
perhaps begin to comprehend the overwhelming anguish that mother Mary felt in her heart on that day.”
She was so proud of her Son. She had seen all the good that He had done. She believed in Him. She knew it was all true … and now … it ended like this? It can’t be happening. It hadn’t all been a dream. It was real! The pain of this mother is enough to break anyone’s heart. An Easter Insight So what are we to draw from all this, as we walk a mile or two in Mary’s shoes? What lesson, what insight? What is God saying to you and to me through Mary? It seems to me that all too often when we are called into God’s service, the joy of that calling, the anticipation of what may be … can lead us to an expectation of success that God never
intended. Come on – at face value, had Gabrielle said to you what he said to Mary, what would you have expected for your Son? A kingdom without end surely comes with a five star castle and all the trimmings right? And yet God never promised us “success” – at least not the sort of success that the world would tell us we should have. In fact, quite to the contrary, He promises us much tribulation (John 16:33) as we follow Him. He calls us to take up our cross daily to follow Him (Luke 9:23). He tells us that in order to find our lives, we need to lose them for His sake (Luke 9:24). Worldly success is never what He
promised us as we serve Him. But well may we say of Mary that she was blessed. For she was called to serve the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords in such a special way. And as you and I suffer along that narrow path, carrying our cross on that lonely road, may the Spirit of God whisper these words into our hearts. You are truly blessed. CW Berni Dymet is the CEO and Bible teacher of the Australian based, global media ministry Christianityworks. Each week over 40 million people in 160 countries listen to the radio programs that he produces. You can chat with him on his blog at adifferentperspective.org of follow him on Twitter @bernidymet.
Join the conversation online: www.christianwomanmag.com 11
What does ‘Leaving a Legacy’ actually mean? Amanda Antcliff uncovers the treasures left behind...
number of years ago I was staying in Adelaide speaking at a church women’s retreat. One morning as I took a walk along one of the beach fronts I noticed that the council had erected many park benches along the promenade - the type that are sponsored by members of the community who want to remember and honour their loved ones who’ve passed away. As I walked I stopped and read each epitaph. I vividly remember my reaction as I got to one of these memorial seats. On the small plaque was inscribed the name of a woman and her birth and death date, and then these simple yet profound words; ‘an extraordinary woman’. These words captivated me. I spent most of the day imagining who this woman was and hypothesising why her friends and family chose to sum up her life, with these three significant words. I wondered what she did to be classed as extraordinary. What were her attributes? How did she love? How did she encourage? How did she mother? How was she a wife...a friend...a member of the community? What was the legacy she lived...so she could leave this legacy in her death? In the past couple of months I’ve been to a couple of funerals. They were beautiful ceremonies to celebrate the lives of two amazing people from my church*. I didn’t know either of them very well however it was a privilege to be at their funeral and to learn about them and the life they lived. It never ceases to amaze me how a person’s life can be summed up in one short service. I left both of these funerals feeling inspired about the legacy these two people had established whilst alive... and how their legacy would now continue on in the lives of others. Even though none of us choose to go to funerals, they can be incredible moments to pause and to ponder upon our own life and the legacy we want to leave. One thing I know is that if I want to leave a legacy I must first live that legacy. To be able to live that legacy it’s necessary to recognise what influence we want to have on others. What mark we want to leave on people, the planet, and the kingdom of God. Legacy is ‘something that is handed down to someone else, often to the next generation.’ Jim Rohn so poignantly reminds us that it is our choice what legacy we live and what we leave behind: “Legacies have raw power for good and 12 Christian Woman Autumn (ANZ) // Spring (USA) 2013
*A tribute to the life and legacy of Peter Exton and Madeline Baumgarner
Motivation matters. OUR L EGACY IS NOT S OMET HING WE HAVE TO WA IT T IL L WE DIE TO PASS ONTO OT H E R S . OUR L EGACY IS A B OUT B EING A ND DOING. . . R IGH T H E R E A ND R IGH T NOW. for bad. There are people who have changed the world for good, people who have opened up new worlds for millions of others, people who have spurred others onto new heights. And there are people who have caused massive destruction for countless millions, people who left a wake of pain behind them wherever they went. There are parents who have blessed their children with greatness and other parents who have ruined their children’s fragile minds and hearts. What we do affects others. Our lives have the power to create good or evil. It is important that we choose to do good.” Our legacy is not something we have to wait till we die to pass onto others. Our legacy is about being and doing... right here and right now. What we create today will be our legacy tomorrow. I am a member of C3 church and our Sydney city campus meets in a beautiful old stone church. On its walls there are a number of marble tablets that have been erected to pay tribute to some former congregational members. There is one in particular that deeply moves me. It says this: Donald McLeod McKinnon Born in Taree 19th April 1857 Died in Kensington 25th April 1922 For 28 years a member of this church, 23 years an elder, 19 years session clerks and 15 years a Sunday school support. He was loved by all who knew him for his consistent Christian life, general personality and generous sympathy with the poor and afflicted. The Children loved him. “He being dead yet speaketh” Wow. Though being dead, his life still speaks. That’s what legacy is all about. Mr McKinnon lived for others and his integrity, compassion and service was felt by the poor, the afflicted, children, friends and family. He was loved by all, probably because he himself loved all. As a life coach, one of the activities I do with my clients is to help them define their values and their purpose. This is an important process because our legacy is entwined in what we believe, what our convictions are and what difference we want to make in other people’s lives. To help with this, here are 5 simple questions to help you clarify your God given purpose and legacy: 1. What parts of your life bring great joy, satisfaction and sense of fulfilment? 2. What would you consider your greatest achievements are and why? Join the conversation online: www.christianwomanmag.com 13
Motivation matters. ‘ T H E L E G ACY WE L EAVE IS NOT JUST OUR P OSSE SS I ONS , B UT IN TH E QUAL I TY O F OUR L IVE S .’ 3. What qualities or values do you admire in other people that you would like people to see in you? 4. What would you defend or fight for... or be prepared to be courageous or sacrifice for? 5. Personalise this statement for your own life. ‘The Spirit of the Lord is upon me because he has anointed me to....’ (Luke 4:18) The same day I attended one of these funerals, I also ran my leadership connect group and decided it would be nice to honour one another. I believe it’s remiss to wait till death and funerals to pay tribute to the legacy that people live. So in that meeting I asked my ladies to write down some thoughts about each person in the group. This included
attributes that summed up their character and the impact they have on others. It was a wonderful exercise as each person was encouraged about the legacy they were already living. Here are two final thoughts about living a legacy: 1. Legacy is what you impart and what others can imitate A legacy can be caught and followed. Qualities can be imparted to others like love, compassion, courage, adventure, wisdom, skills, faith and a consecrated life. I love how the apostle Paul recognised that Timothy was deeply influenced by his mother and his grandmother’s love for the word of God (2 Tim 3:14-15) and their faith; ‘I have been reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and I am persuaded also lives in you also’ (2 Tim 1:5).
2. Legacy is created by living life to the fullest Evangelist Billy Graham says this; ‘The legacy we leave is not just our possessions, but in the quality of our lives.’ It’s our responsibility to live a great life and to seize opportunities, to reach our potential, to fulfil God’s call and to make a difference. Let me leave you with this stirring thought: ‘When you die they’ll indicate on your tomb the year of your birth and the year of your death separated by a dash (1960 — 2020). The dash is your life. What you did. How you lived. Who’s life you touched. The legacy you left behind. The more purposefully engaged you are in helping others, the deeper and finer and more memorable is your dash.’ CW Amanda is a personal, professional and ministry coach. She is also a pastor, trainer and speaker and the author of the book ‘Women Rising’. To find out more: www.amandaantcliff.com and www. mypersonalcoach.biz
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14 Christian Woman Autumn (ANZ) // Spring (USA) 2013
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Once I was mistaken for a homeless woman. I wish I had the words to explain how offended Iâ€™d felt when I was judged by my appearance.
16 Christian Woman Autumn (ANZ) // Spring (USA) 2013
HOW OFTEN ARE WE QUICK TO JUDGE? KARLA GILLAN CHALLENGES US TO RECONSIDER AS OUR CHURCH DOORS OPEN THIS EASTER TO WELCOME NEW VISITORS... THIS PREVIOUS LENTEN SEASON, I attended the lunchtime lectures at my church. On one particular day, I was running late and dashed in to the sanctuary. I sat in the pew close to the back settling into my seat. The service had started, and the crowd had grown quiet. Ever so softly, I heard the side doors open and the footsteps of someone entering the sanctuary trying to not let their late arrival be noticed. Without taking my eyes off the speaker, I slid over and patted the seat next to me to welcome the latecomer. The person instead sat in the row behind mine, but this simple occurrence provoked a whirlwind of thoughts. Thoughts such as: Would I really have welcomed anyone next to my seat? If I had looked at the person and seen that they were different than me, would I have scooted over? Am I the type of person that is able to be genuinely welcoming to all? In my heart, I knew that I was not. Many days I find myself judging others and instead of offering hospitality, I often turn away from them completely. But how I wish instead to have the characteristics of Jesus and the ability to be welcoming to all. How quick we are to judge others by their outward appearance. Years ago, my preacher showed a video that I haven’t forgotten. The film opened with a setting of two men sitting on a park bench on a sunny day eating their brown-bag lunches. One of the gentlemen was a businessman with neatly trimmed hair wearing a conservative business suit. And the other was a longhaired young man whose body was decorated in tattoos and piercings, with a leather bag slung over his torso. The camera pans to the two men sitting side by side, and then shows the young man reaching into his bag. He pulls out his Bible and begins to share the gospel with his acquaintance. Our congregation was
filled with nervous laughter as the screen flashed the byline: “Don’t judge a book by its cover.” But I think we already had. Once I was mistaken for a homeless woman. I wish I had the words to explain how offended I’d felt when I was judged by my appearance. I was earning extra college money as a valet parker, and on this particular evening it had been raining. I didn’t own a raincoat, so I had borrowed one from one of the guys, but it was comically too large for me and draped over me as if I were a coat rack instead of a person. Add the rain and then add in a beautiful grand opening of an art exhibit with the affluent socialites of the city, and you can see where this is heading. Over the course of working for five hours, nature called. I stepped inside to use the restroom, but as I pushed the bathroom door open, I heard, “Stop, you can’t go in there!” A well-dressed patron was trying to prohibit me from entering the facilities based on my soggy attire. Then she realized her mistake and even muttered, “I thought you were a homeless person.” Those simple words weighed me down even more than the raincoat. The ordeal was humiliating to say the least. It hurts to be mislabeled. It hurts to be shunned. How many of us have been guilty of such similar situations? How do we interrupt our initial reaction of judgment and replace it with love and acceptance? How do I get to that place where everyone in my presence is loved and accepted for whom they are? How do I reach a place of non-judgment for all I encounter? Is it as simple as reminding ourselves of the numerous encounters Jesus had with the “unclean?” And instead of him turning away, he treated them with love and kindness. Is it as simple as repeating the phrase, “What would Jesus do?” Or is it in seeing the grace God has given us each day? Each day when we stumble
along the path of attempting to do what is right and yet at times fail miserably and make mistakes, through it all the Psalms 136 reminds us “His love endures forever.” Is it in recognizing God’s grace that we realize how compassionate God has been to us and in retribution pass it along to our neighbors? Or maybe if I envision each individual I encounter as a child… maybe if I see them as the innocent child we each once were, then I can overlook my first impressions? I have lost count the number of times my own child has said, “Watch me” while he was growing up. Inside each of us I feel there is that child saying, “Look at me, look at what I can do.” We are all seeking acknowledgement and encouragement. We all want to be loved and to belong. We all desire attention. You can see it so clearly when observing children. I don’t think we ever lose that part of ourselves that wants to be seen, valued and treasured. All I know for certain is that I want to be a woman of character who warmly and genuinely reaches out and welcomes the world with open arms. The one to kindly welcome all with feverent hospitality. And to know that I can sit in church, the movie theater, or my child’s baseball game, and kindly scoot over and make room for whomever may show up. CW
Karla Gillan is a writer and social media manager. She is a fifth generation Texan and grew up in the wide open spaces of a cattle ranch in north central Texas. Now she enjoys the city life of Austin with her husband, Chris and son, Charlie. She can be reached at kdgillan@yahoo. com or http://www.facebook.com/ KarlaGillanWriter.
Join the conversation online: www.christianwomanmag.com 17
Developing a strong
GODLY FAMILY How do we raise up Godly children within the structure of a healthy family? MARY GRANT discusses...
18 Christian Woman Autumn (ANZ) // Spring (USA) 2013
ast week we had a family time with our grandchildren and their parents. We all took turns walking to the front door and back in strange pairs of shoes, which we picked from out of a bag. Four year old Sebbie wore Dad’s gumboots, 8 year old Noah some dancing shoes and everyone else another random variety. During the next half hour or so we laughed and enjoyed each other while hearing what our grandchildren thought about themselves, God and the world. Because we are heading towards Easter, we talked about how Jesus walked on earth as a human being and knows what it is like to walk in our shoes. This time together around our Faith Box, reminded me of how important the atmosphere is when we are teaching. Children tend to remember the feeling in your home more than the detail. When we share in a way that is relaxed and fun, and allows children to discuss, question and learn in a safe way, the messages go in. Consequently on Sunday night, we found ourselves listening to the story of Lazarus in the Bible as the children put down their ‘sad’, ‘mad’ or ‘glad’ cards while their Dad read. We heard the grandchildren share their feelings and we laughed and talked together in a way we could not have otherwise connected! The World Congress on families, due to take place in Sydney on 15th – 18th May is aiming to bring focus back on why the family is so important as the glue in society and how intrinsic it is to the wellbeing of children. There is much data these days on negative outcomes for children who are lost in the maze of complicated family arrangements, which is why we can’t afford to stop fighting for our families and no more fiercely than in our own homes. Yet even Christian parents are sometimes just not sure ‘how’ they might go about establishing a Godly home and raising children who love God with all their hearts. Overwhelmed by media, and the pressure of modern life it is easy to just hope that our children absorb through osmosis the truths they need to live by. But God doesn’t give us that option. In Psalm 78 the psalmist tells the people to faithfully pass on to future generations the memory of God’s mighty deeds... He exhorts them to impress this twofold message upon their children and grandchildren to help those future generations “set their hope in
God and not forget the works of God but keep his commandments.” In Ephesians 6, Paul likewise encourages fathers to show children “the way.” As he says, “Fathers, don’t exasperate your children by coming down hard on them. Take them by the hand and lead them in the way of the Master.” The Message We parents have the privilege of passing on faith to our children. In fact sharing God’s truth and practising Christian living together with our children can be not only a blessing but huge fun. I love the acrostic AROMA used by Otis and Leadbetter in their book Family Fragrance. They say Affection, Respect, Order, Merriment, and Affirmation should create the background to everything we do and teach. When children are born they join a family and it is a wonderful rainbow of security around them when that family already stands for something. Our children need to know their own story and their parents’ story, but they also need to know the ultimate story, of the loving personal God who created them and has purpose for each of them. Dr Curt Thompson, author of the book Anatomy of the Soul explains how our lives are abundant, joyful, and peaceful only to the degree that we are engaged, known and understood by one another. Family traditions tell us who we are and what we stand for and when those traditions happen around our Christian faith they create strong bonds of security and connection. So how do we build a godly home? It is true that our children learn by example but they also learn by learning. A weekly family time is a wonderful way to pass on faith and to jumpstart the conversations which lead to your children share their hearts and lives. But even small things during the day create teachable moments. Acknowledging God’s provision by saying grace before each meal, a family prayer as everyone leaves in the morning, or sharing over dinner where you encountered God that day, all matter. And if in our own family of origin we didn’t experience a great atmosphere, we can enjoy a different feeling as we pass on to our own children a heritage of family times around the Bible. You see we are blessed by giving – as we concentrate on the giving we will receive. CW
World Congress of Families 7 Sydney will be held on 15th-18th May 2013 at Australian Technology Park, Sydney. It will bring together many of the world’s leading pro-family advocates from a wide range of disciplines and will include workshops and seminars of interest to parents - the backbone of a healthy society. For more information please visit the website at www.wcfsydney2013.org.au Join the conversation online: www.christianwomanmag.com 19
COMPARISON: THE THIEF OF JOY The perfect woman. We all strive to be her... but who is she? SAMANTHA HARDCASTLE
s women in today’s society, we are obviously bombarded with what beauty is supposed to look like and what a successful woman is supposed to be. And yet as Christian women, what are all of these messages doing to us physically, mentally and spiritually? Do we find ourselves comparing our lives to one another? Do we find ourselves, therefore, wanting more? Do we find ourselves trying to prove or even disprove something about ourselves? Truthfully, I use to be so worried that we were becoming shallow vessels of what a true and noble woman of God is supposed to be. We’re constantly trying to fix the outside verses watering our souls within. And so, I allowed myself to think there was only one way a Christian woman should be like. Just imagine a kind woman who’s modest, giving, submissive, pure and slow to anger—the perfect little woman. That was much of my Christian description of what a woman should be like. That is, until Christ walked in and whispered to my heart—that which ultimately—broke my heart for His: “Beloved, a woman must stand in strength, graceful, like the willows. She breathes in poise, while the winds harshly billow. She seeks gentleness in all she does. Her strong arms grasp her desires, slowly caressing and she loves. Her days may be aching, roughened and mellow, but she smiles through it all, even while dressing. Her beauty shines within, even though people will judge by appearance—she knows who she stands for. She’s lost and won and gave in and fought. Her heart’s been pulled and kissed, now taut. But her soul has met I. And as quickly as love took flight on
wings to win, she gladly steps in hope as I walk in.” And I remember my appearance shattering under His eyes, what people thought melted away and my heart only grew stronger. What resounded in my soul was this, “Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised” (Prov 31:30). The truth of the matter is, it doesn’t matter how wide or lanky our bodies may be; how long our noses or how far apart our eyes; it doesn’t matter the price of the clothes we put on ourselves or what brand of make-up we paint on our faces; or how many new projects we’re starting or have finished. What matters is the God in all of it and the glory of God in every single one of our stories. As women, uniquely and wonderfully made, we will all have a beautiful story to tell, and one that when we’re gone, people will tell about us in glorification of our God. So, as the darlings of Christianity, who know who we stand for, we should alleviate stereotyping and comparison. No more shouting Christian women have to be saintly and pretty and successful. Let’s stop cultivating our lips to say Jesus when our bodies aren’t exemplifying Him. Let’s end comparison and strip down all the facades and forged humbleness. Let’s be women where people utter, “I don’t know how she does it…” and you know full and well how you do it and the words you resound in your soul, “I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well,” (Psalm 139:14). Let’s not allow the airbrushed models
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Let’s be women where people utter, “I don’t know how she does it…” and you know full and well how you do it and the words you resound in your soul, “I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well,” (Psalm 139:14).
Samantha desires for those who think they’re too unworthy to realize that God has a life— personally and lovingly—ordained for them. She paints by dawn and writes by dusk; her work has been published in The Good Women Project and literary art journals. She’s also a contributing writer for Faithlife Women. Defining herself as a lady keeping it classy while crazy for Christ, she fervently writes Matthew 19:26 on the tablet of her heart. http://theladyjournal.wordpress.com/
on magazines to dictate the way we represent ourselves. Let’s not allow those body images that are cropped and photo-shopped to lower our worth. We know that’s exactly what the enemy wants to do to us—ruin and cripple our worth when all our worth belongs to God. Let’s not allow comparison to other great women get in the way of what God has in store for each of us. How do we do this? By watering our souls with the love of God, with His Word and with people who will lift us up when we’re feeling downhearted. By accepting the fact that God has a different story for each of us and that not everyone was meant to do the exact same thing with the exact same hair style and shade of lips. By knowing that there will always be trials, but knowing that you’ll always pull through. By being bold and courageous. By dreaming and working hard. By trusting that your life is truly in the hands of God and that you’re impacting the precious lives around you through the love of Christ in you. By hoping in God, that He’s still not done with you and the purpose He’s set before you. Stare the Devil down his face and glare at every inch of him for the sacredness he’s stolen from you and snatch it back. He doesn’t deserve your joy, your peace or what makes you uniquely beautiful. God does. Let’s remember the words in Jeremiah when God speaks through his prophet, “Israel, I am your Lord—come back to me!” (Jer. 3:12 CEV). This is how God sees each of us; He wants us to race towards Him when we have let the rhythms of the world dictate our lives. Our worth and beauty and success come from the very fountains of God, which water our souls to become more in love with Christ, to share the love of Christ, so that others may too, fall in love with Him day by day, season by season. In the end, loving is what it’s all about, just as God first loved and continues to love us every day. CW
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ROXANA HACKETT discusses the life of Jesus Christ and his life as a sacrifice for our weakness...
hy didn’t God send his son to earth in a obvious, sensational, spectacular way? Why didn’t he just descend Jesus from heaven upon us and clearly shout for all to hear and see, “I am God, this is my son so believe in him. He is the sacrifice for your sins, so love him, honor him, cherish him, accept him, listen to all he has to say, and he will die on the cross one day so that whomever believes in him shall never die”. This way I think it would have been ‘easier’ for people to believe in Jesus and his mission on this earth. It would have been a divine moment for all humanity to witness. I think God chose to send his son in the way he actually did because he loves us. He became human for our sake. My old pastor from California said this in one of his sermons: “If Jesus was to be a redemptive man, he had to become fully man. He had to become what we are so that we may become what he was and is. Jesus’ humanity was the way through which he was able to demonstrate his divinity.” I personally believe that Jesus’ humanity is at the heart of Christianity, and he died on the cross willingly for all humanity, so that we may long for divinity, for God. Jesus came to earth to live among us, to feel our pain, to cry with us, to get angry, to show humility, love, affection, compassion, neverending grace, and yes he performed many miracles in order to give us proof of his divine nature. He wanted us to identify ourselves in his humanity, but at the same time believe and surrender to his divine purpose for us: spending
eternity with him. Hebrews 4:15 says “This High Priest of ours understands our weakness, for he faced all the same temptations we do, yet he did not sin”. In John 2:15, Jesus displays anger against the merchants who turned the holy temple in a market place. “No one needed to tell Jesus about the human nature” John 2:24. In John 4:6, He is exhausted, hot and thirsty, but He has patience and love for the Samaritan woman. He says to her “Please, give me a drink”. Also, Jesus cries when Lazarus died, for He loved him very much. “Then Jesus wept”. John 11:35. Again, He could have raised him up from the dead, and boasted about His divine intervention, but chose to, first , identify , connect and commune with us, by displaying human sadness and grief. Only after that, He resurrected Lazarus for all people to see how much more He is and how much more we can become if only we believe in Him. According to the Bible Jesus spoke seven times on the cross. In my humble opinion, each of those times displays a blend of His divinity and humanity. The first thing He uttered was “My God, my God why have you forsaken me?” Matthew 27:46. I think firstly He said this to fulfill the prophecy of Psalm 22:1 written 600 years prior to His crucifixion, proving that He is the ultimate God. But also, upon finally becoming agonizing sin on our behalf, He cried out to God in heaven, as a son would reach for his father. The second thing He said was in Luke 23:34, “Father, forgive them for
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they know not what they are doing”. Jesus could have been angry at the soldiers throwing dice for his clothes, but instead He responded to what they needed, and not to what they were doing. He forgave them. Again, He was displaying His divine nature as He was painfully hanging as a man on the cross. Third, He spoke to the thief that was crucified beside him: “Truly, I say to you today you will be with me in paradise”. Luke 23:43. I find it divine purpose that Jesus offers salvation on the cross to an undeserving swindler, because we are all undeserving. It moves me to tears to visualise His weak, physical body, bleeding, tormented and disfigured, yet his surpassing love and grace emanating through His divine words. The fourth thing He speaks is, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit”. Luke 23:46. Jesus desired His father’s will. He desired to willingly die for all humanity a horrible death so that we, despite our filthy sins, can share the glory of being with God forever. The fifth thing He says was, “Woman, behold your son” and “Behold your mother” John 19:26-27. Jesus understood the horrid emotional pain his earthly mother was in, so He made sure she was looked after by arranging for His disciple to take care of her after He was gone. I am a mother, and I cannot imagine greater horror than watching my child suffer and die. “I thirst”, is the sixth thing Jesus utters on the cross. John 19:28. I am not a historian, and I don’t know if there’s hidden meaning behind this saying but I
It moves me to tears to visualise His weak, physical body, bleeding, tormented and disfigured, yet his surpassing love and grace emanating through His divine words.
personally see the last glimpse of Jesus’ humanity. He is thirsty, He is dying, and His life on this earth is coming to an end. The last words Jesus proclaims on the cross are, “It is finished” John 19:30. The Greek translation for this is ‘tetelestai’. In those days, when a debt was paid in full by someone, “it is finished” was said as a verbal seal. It meant, you have paid in full, or fully served, or fully accomplished. That is why Jesus says these words. He was perfect and divine, but he became human, and less perfect, and became sin on our behalf, as the ultimate sacrifice for our salvation, that when we die a physical death, we may join Him in Heaven and have everlasting life. My previous pastor also said that Jesus didn’t come to show us what divinity at its best looks like, but what humanity at its best looks like. If Jesus did everything as a God, that would not have been very helpful or encouraging to us. People don’t identify with perfection. We are here to have people recognize the God within us, to show each other grace, humility and forgiveness. If possible, let’s all follow John’s advice in chapter 3:30 and all become less and less so that God must become greater and greater. CW
By Roxana Phillip-Hackett Roxana is a wife of one, mother of two, who loves to share her faith with sincerity and honesty from her home in Hendersonville Tennessee. Join the conversation online: www.christianwomanmag.com 23
CORALLIE BUCHANAN tackles a sensitive subject that will challenge your thinkingâ€Ś
Prosperity doctrine versus true doctrine What does true victory actually look like?
VICTORY AND JOY IN GOD. IT IS something most Christians strive for. But it is also a goal that many never seem to be able to attain. Why is that? Why when the Christian life is supposed to be one of victory, do we find ourselves so often falling short of that goal? Is it unreasonable to expect a victorious life? Is it un24 Christian Woman Autumn (ANZ) // Spring (USA) 2013
Christian to believe we are destined for greatness? Let me say something that may be a little controversial. Let me suggest that our picture of what we believe Christian victory to look like, may not be altogether accurate. According to prosperity preachers, total victory comes when there are no struggles, no pain, and no hard times. When we are in a place where our physical afflictions and our
emotional struggles are gone, then and only then can we consider ourselves as living in true victory. Prosperity doctrine is one of the most dangerous doctrines out there. By prosperity doctrine, I mean healthy, wealthy, and happy are the marks of a true Christian. Somebody who is following God should have no pain (either in body or soul), no sadness, no heartache. You should be prospering financially and have good relationships with everybody. Does that sound like the life Jesus led? In fact, Jesus was the total opposite. He was not born in a palace. He was not born into riches. He was born in a shed. He was born to poor parents. His father was a carpenter. He lived in Galilee, a city in Nazareth which was very low down on the social scale (John 1:46). His ministry comprised three years of sleeping on the road (Matt 8:20). He didn’t have an income, and so didn’t
emotional, and physical prosperity? In fact, Jesus presence on earth caused him no end of trouble. He even made a promise to us. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world. (John 16:33b) Let me suggest to you that true victory does not lie in having all of your problems worked out. Heaven knows that we all have problems, and will probably have some of those problems until we go to be with Jesus. So then are we to live the rest of our lives considering ourselves as not living in victory? Let us also consider the man Job. He has got to be one of the most amazing people in the Bible (apart from Jesus of course). When Job’s life fell apart, his attitude towards God’s goodness and faithfulness remained intact. Job is an example to us of what it truly means to be a person of God living in true victory. God did not take away Job’s affliction. Job’s inner life thrived despite the
I am prone to mood swings, depression, anxiety, and anger. I occasionally suffer from symptoms of post traumatic stress disorder. My husband and I have very little to live on, and can barely pay our bills. I go without many physical things that I need. My birth family is broken and relationships are very strained at best. I have very little connection with any of them. My life is a mess. But as messy and difficult as it is, I still found it hard to make that list you see above. I consider myself as living a victorious life, for within that affliction, I have found a place where I am able to praise God anyway. I have discovered both a gift for singing and a gift for art that I never knew existed. I have even joined a successful Christian band that ministers to churches in need. I have a wonderful loving husband and beautiful daughter. From within my pit of despair, I have found a platform of praise. There is no
The devil is not so much concerned about your afflictions as he is your attitude towards them. If he can get you in a position where you have a bad attitude about your problems, then he has already won the battle. have any money to pay his taxes (Matt 17:24-27). His friends were fishermen and tax collectors, people considered to be of low social class. So Jesus was a poor man who lived on very little, and during his ministry most likely went without food for extended periods of time. The leaders of his own people persecuted him and tried to trap him (John 8:1-11). His own hometown rejected him (Luke 4:14-30). Later on, one of Jesus own disciples betrayed him (Luke 22:1-6, 47-48). He certainly had some relationship issues. He was whipped within an inch of his life. He was nailed to a cross. He died. Not exactly the picture of the physically prosperous Christian life, is it? Does this look like the kind of victorious life described in the teachings of some of our more popular leaders? I would imagine not. Does this sound like a life of material,
condition of his outer life. True victory in Christ does not occur when your afflictions are dead and buried. The devil is not so much concerned about your afflictions as he is your attitude towards them. If he can get you in a position where you have a bad attitude about your problems, then he has already won the battle. Nothing further needs to be done. If you want to have true joy and victory in Christ, stop trying to make your problems go away. The absence of struggle is not true victory. To really make the devil mad, do the opposite of what he wants. Be determined to have a good attitude despite your afflictions. Sure, when I look at my own life, it is rather a mess. I had such a traumatic season last year that I almost considered going on anti-depressants. I lost a very vital relationship in my life in a very unexpected and horrible way. As a result,
better place to be than at the bottom of a pit praising God. This is true victory. Yes, Job’s life was still pretty messed up. But he was victorious because he praised God and had the right attitude. I’m not saying I always have the right attitude…but I’m trying. True victory does not lie within the absence of problems, but the ability to praise God and have a right attitude despite those problems. You can consider yourself as living in victory right now if you will choose the right attitude. I will not guarantee that your problems are going to go away. But you will be victorious over the enemy when he realises that no matter what he throws at you, you still praise God. Like a little boy in church once said, when his mother kept telling him to sit down, “I may be sitting on the outside, but I’m standing on the inside.” CW
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ntains mature conten
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PRAY For children trapped in brothels For the rescuers and those who work to restore the lives of the children For men’s hearts to be changed, for repentance, and for the demand to stop GET INVOLVED Use social media (Facebook, Twitter and personal blogs) to raise awareness to the plight of sex trafficked victims and to educate others Child sex trafficking is happening in your own town/city as well – not just in Cambodia – join or start an anti-trafficking organization in your area (check out the FAQ page at www.starfishministries.org.au) Meet with and/or write to your local and
federal government representatives to let them know that you care about combating human trafficking, and ask what they are doing to address human trafficking in your area/country/world! GIVE There are many, excellent organizations that are doing good work in preventing, rescuing and restoring the lives of child sex slaves, but they need your help. Please consider giving to charities such as: Wellspring International (www.wellspringinternational.org) Ratanak International (www.ratanak.org) Starfish Ministries Australia (www.starfishministries.org.au)
26 Christian Woman Autumn (ANZ) // Spring (USA) 2013
Lori Dixon is an award winning Canadian writer and speaker who has over 200 articles published, many of which are archived in the National Library of Canada. She describes herself as a ‘Mary’ struggling to meet Martha Stewart standards in a Marge Simpson world. Follow her ramblings which vary from humorous to hard hitting at www. lovingkindnessministries. blogspot.ca (For bookings please contact coordinator@nwspeakers. com)
World watch. Burying my face into my knees, I wondered what my parents were doing back in the village. Did they know what they had done to me? DID THEY GET ENOUGH MONEY FROM MAMASAN TO BUY DADDY’S MEDICINE? WOULD THEY COME AND RESCUE ME... DID ANYONE CARE?
Yum yum! Boom boom!” the chatter of excited young voices leached through the thin door. I stopped picking the dirt from between my toes and pulled my legs up, wrapping my arms tightly around them. Rocking back and forth, I prayed that Mamasan would pass by my door. The wooden slatted cot creaked. Leaning back into the corner, a small yelp left my lips when the welts on my back made contact with the cold, brick wall. As much as the wounds hurt, nothing compared to last night. One of the men who came to visit the brothel had been so mean and angry, he left me feeling like my insides were going to fall out. The night had been busy and most of the men before him wanted boom boom too. My body throbbed and my head ached. Showing the blood stained sleeping mat to Mamasan, I refused to see any more clients that night. Calling a few of the other girls into my room to watch, she tied my hands in front of me, flipped me over the bed, pulled up my dress, exposing my back. Taking an old electrical cord from her apron, she began to whip me. One. Two. Three. Four. With each blow, I begged her to stop. The beating finally over, I struggled to straighten myself. Cold, rough hands pushed me back down. From the corner of my eye I saw her grab the plastic cup next to my bed. Draping my dress across my back, she doused me with water. For a brief moment, the coolness of the water soothed me, but not for long. She plugged the exposed electrical cord into the wall next to the bed. If words could have escaped my lips, I would have begged her to continue whipping me instead, but with each jolt my teeth clenched tight allowing only a scream to release. A few hours later, one of the older girls risked her life to sneak into my room and untie my hands. She brought
a bucket for me to relieve myself, rags to place between my legs, and a fresh glass of water to drink. With a silent nod of thanks, I crawled onto my threadbare bed, not sure if I would live to see the morning. Not sure if I cared. “Yum yum! Boom boom!” the menagerie was right outside my bedroom door now. The fierce competitiveness of the voices could only mean that a high paying foreigner had come. They were all so young and still believed Mamasan’s lies. Not I. Six rainy seasons had come and gone since I’d arrived in Svay Pak. Life was only existence. Pulling my legs in even tighter, I held fast to the hope that he would want a younger girl, not someone as old as me. I was almost thirteen and my scrawny body was beginning to develop, making me less and less desirable. Burying my face into my knees, I wondered what my parents were doing back in the village. Did they know what they had done to me? Did they get enough money from Mamasan to buy Daddy’s medicine? Would they come and rescue me... ever? Did anyone care? I squinted through the darkness of my room, focusing on the door. My heart beat faster and faster with each passing second. The doorknob began to spin. very night, over fifteen-thousand underage children in Cambodia live out this nightmare. The story and method of torture is common as told by rescued girls who had tried to fight or run away. Forced to service 10-20 men a night, many will have had sex with over a thousand men before they even reach puberty. If they live long enough to reach puberty; HIV and AIDS ravages these kids and is a far too common death sentence.
Want to help and make the most impact in situations like this? What if one hundred percent (100%) of your donation went directly to those in need? Wellspring International is an arm of Ravi Zacharais International Ministries. Wellspring covers their own expenses, investigates all requests for funds thoroughly, often going to the location. They do the research so you can be confident that your money goes where you want it to. One Hundred Percent (100%) of your money goes to help women and children in crisis. Wellspring works alongside Ratanak International and provides a grant to New Song Centre; a place to provide long-term aftercare for underaged girls rescued from trafficking in Cambodia. Founded in 1996 by Brian McConaghy, a forensic scientist with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, the Ratanak Foundation serves the people of Cambodia by partnering with like-minded organizations to provide healthcare, shelter, literacy, and agricultural development. Another wonderful association is Starfish Ministries Australia Incorporated. They are a nondenominational Christian organisation which seeks to support and advocate for survivors of sexual exploitation in Australia and, through partnerships, internationally. They are structured with five different departments focussed on Advocacy, Community Awareness, Networking, Fieldwork, and Research. Together, working alongside these and other Christian organizations, we can make a huge difference in the lives of the victimized children. But first, we have to acknowledge they exist, step out of our comfort zones and get involved in whatever way we can. CW
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JESSICA DALY shares the inspiring story of Ruth, a Biblical caregiver who gave up her life to serve and the blessings she received from doing so...
ne of my favorite women of the Bible is Ruth. While studying her story, God revealed something new and very important to me. Ruth was a caregiver! Think about it. We read in the book of Ruth that her husband died, her brother-in-law died and her father-in-law had also died ten years prior. Talk about a family facing tragedy! This left Ruth, her sister-inlaw, Orpah, and her mother-in-law, Naomi all alone. We see in the first chapter of Ruth that Naomi told her daughter-in-laws they should leave her and return to their own families. Naomi wanted to give them a fresh start and hopefully new husbands. It also tells us that both daughter-in-laws loved Naomi but Orpah chose to return to her family while Ruth chose to stay. Ruth 1:14 says,” And they lifted up their voice, and
wept again: and Orpah kissed her mother in law; but Ruth clave unto her.” Orpah loved Naomi but she was not called to care for her. Ruth refused to leave Naomi. She had been called by the Lord to be her caregiver. We see this same scenario play out within our own families. There may be several children within a family but when a parent needs a caregiver only one may step up and take responsibility. It doesn’t mean that the others don’t love the parent, but it does mean that they did not choose to be a caregiver. Ruth explained to Naomi that she would not leave her and that wherever she went she would follow. After Naomi understood that Ruth was not going to change her mind she accepted her help. They traveled together to the town of Bethlehem. I found yet another
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connection to caregivers of today. Ruth gave up her comfort zone and all she knew to watch over Naomi. This made me think of caregivers who actually move from where they live to care for someone. Others move the one that needs care into their own home. This is a huge sacrifice but is made by caregivers each day. Then there are caregivers who have to quit their jobs or stop doing things they enjoy so they can take care of someone. These are great sacrifices that take place each day in the world of caregiving. Ruth knew that Naomi could not make it on her own. Today’s caregivers see the same thing when they look into the eyes of the ones they love. They make sure their loved one receives the best possible care. This is done by attending doctor visits and asking questions or by making sure they are cared for in the hospital or while in a care facility. At this point in the story it would seem, to those who are not called to care, that Ruth had made a poor choice for her life. It looks as if she had given up her chance of future happiness or ever being married again. It appeared to the world that she had given up her dreams and desires to care for Naomi. Most caregivers feel this way from time to time. I know I have. I remember feeling that I would never be able to do anything I enjoyed again. I worried about ever being happy again or feeling secure. I sometimes feared that I may never have a peaceful night’s sleep again. In chapter 2 we continue to see that because Ruth is the primary caregiver for Naomi. She is responsible for providing for their needs. She goes out into the fields after the reapers to glean. She is humble enough to take what is left in the fields for the two of
“It has been fully reported to me, all that you have done for your mother-in-law since the death of your husband, and how you have left your father and mother and the land of your birth, and have come to a people whom you did not know before.” them to eat. Caregivers of today do the very same thing. They find themselves being responsible for providing food, household chores, running errands, taking care of medications, and much more. They humble themselves just like Ruth did as she walked the empty fields and gathered what was left by the reapers. Now comes the blessings from the Lord we reap as caregivers! The best part of this story comes when Boaz, who is a wealthy handsome bachelor, notices Ruth gleaning in his field. Ruth is focused on taking care of Naomi. God allows her to receive blessing through the meeting of Boaz. Boaz approaches Ruth and says to her in Ruth 2:11, “It has been fully reported to me, all that you
have done for your mother-in-law since the death of your husband, and how you have left your father and mother and the land of your birth, and have come to a people whom you did not know before.” He is obviously impressed with the sacrifices Ruth made in order to become Naomi’s primary caregiver. He gives Ruth access to his fields and also his protection. This is exactly what Jesus gives us as caregivers. He sees all you do for another and He is pleased. He gives caregivers His provision and His protection just like Boaz did for Ruth! As the book of Ruth ends, we read how she became the wife of Boaz! By marrying Boaz she not only finds love and happiness but also provision for her and her mother-in-law, Naomi. As
a caregiver this gives me great hope. I see that not only does God care about my dreams and my happiness, but He will provide for me and the ones I care for! God appreciates His caregivers. He takes care of us. God will not only provide for us but bless us abundantly! We also know that Ruth later had a son with Boaz who led in the genealogy of King David. Then King David’s genealogy led to the mother of Jesus, Mary! Ruth had no idea when she accepted the call of the Lord she was a part of bringing our Savior into the world. She never could have dreamt such amazing and awesome things would happen by her being obedient to the Lord. Never underestimate the power you hold in the Lord when you chose to be a caregiver! CW
Jessica Daly is a published author and founder of My Daly Outreach Ministries | www.mydalyoutreach.com
“Equipping and inspiring you to bring the light of Christ into your community” Desley Millwood Director - Communications Churches of Christ in Queensland
www.cofcqld.com.au 2012-11-19_ Christian Women Magazine_180mmx10mm_art_mks_v1.indd 1
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Be the change.
“It’s sometimes easy to give an offering, to feel like you have contributed and move on, whereas this demands something greater.”
30 Christian Woman Autumn (ANZ) // Spring (USA) 2013
Opposite page: Renae Bartley as the cover girl of Colour Conference 2013; This page, clockwise from top: Sisters to come alongside; A Watoto woman embracing her child; Bobbie Houston preaching the Sisterhood message at the Colour Conference
ack in March 2008, we published an article by Nicole Partridge and Deborah Johnson on The Colour Sisterhood. I read the article with interest and then it put it down. Too much need and much too hard for one person to attempt to help. With millions across the world facing traumatic situations – hunger, poverty, pain, illness and homelessness, it is so very easy to do... nothing. Sitting in the packed out Entertainment Centre in Sydney’s Darling Harbour last weekend, with over 14,000 women, it was difficult not to weep when you heard stories of young women in Watoto who are dropping out of school when they start menstrating, simply because they don’t have underpants or sanitary products to take care of themselves. Such a simple, ordinary need that requires a simple, ordinary solution. We also heard
distressing stories of human trafficking and a map was shown on the screens as to where this is going on... it’s rampant in nearly every country across the globe, including Australia. There are horrifying tales of young girls chained to beds and forced to service up to 40 men per night. These young women fall pregnant and their children are sold to pedophile rings, which continues the abuse into the next generation. These stories are frightening and real; but there is hope. The Colour Sisterhood are responding to the call and making a difference locally and globally; women who have banded together to ‘Be the Change’ and putting their hands to the plow to bring a solution. About The Colour Sisterhood The Colour Sisterhood are a company of down to earth, everyday women who desire to make a difference and
make the world a better place. It is a foundation seeking to place value upon humanity—a story of unity & alliance. Their mandate is fleshed out locally and globally with strategic partnerships that address the international complexities of human trafficking, poverty, the plight of abandoned and orphaned children, HIV positive women and the child soldiers of Northern Uganda. Added to this are many local responses to challenges that present in most local communities around the world. The Strength of the Sisterhood “Inspiring, empowering and mobilising is what the Sisterhood is all about,” maintains Bobbie Houston, senior minister at Hillsong Church. “It’s sometimes easy to give an offering, to feel like you have contributed and move on, whereas this demands something
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Be the change.
“If one woman can change her
THE 500 PROJECT:
KEEP A GIRL IN SCHOOL THE FACTS: One of the key reasons why girls drop out of school is because of menstrual cycles and a lack of proper protection, such as underwear and sanitary products. Once a girl leaves school she is expected to do daily tasks that place her in dangerous places in order to complete her house hold duties. When a girl in Uganda is not educated, her children have less of a chance surviving birth and the first 5 years of life. THE SOLUTION: $500 provides sanitary products and education for 8 girls for a year in Uganda. WHAT CAN YOU DO? Go to www.coloursisterhood.com and get informed! Then you can either donate online or become a partner and start your own fundraising strategies.
32 Christian Woman Autumn (ANZ) // Spring (USA) 2013
greater. It requires us to grow up and strategise and stretch and connect with others. That’s the miracle of the Sisterhood.” The strength of this concept was never more evident than at the Sisterhood launch at Colour 2005 when Bobbie distributed a show of interest card after highlighting Watoto’s work. “The response I was looking for wasn’t just a gift, but rather a commitment to mobilising friends. I was shocked when we received more than 1,000 cards, with half of them indicating a promise to gather others.” Heather Brown, from Christchurch in New Zealand was one of the many who filled in a response card that day determined to fund a Watoto house. Over the following 12 months, she raised NZ$45,000, a commitment she believes was part of her destiny and purpose. Understanding the importance of partnership, she now leads a network of 2,000 women in New Zealand committed not only to motivating and encouraging women, but also to raising money for Watoto and other initiatives. “There are a lot of women like me who feel they can do nothing alone,” admits Heather, “But together, we can do so much more.” The projects The Colour Sisterhood currently have over 11 projects that are impacting nations across the globe. From prayer to underwear to freeing young women who have been trafficked. The task seems almost too great, but as Bobbie so eloquently states, “If one woman can change her world, then only heaven truly knows what one company of women can do.” Bethany’s story Bethany is a 12 year old homeschooled young girl. At the Colour Conference in 2012 she purchased a tin for the 500 project. After considering which project to invest in, she chose to help Vision Rescue in Mumbai, India. She says, “Immediately I had an idea to run a race. I honestly don’t know where that idea came from, so it must have come from God!” Her plan was to run a race and get 50 people to sponsor her $10 each. Her running partner was supposed to be her Dad, but an unfortunate accident meant her Mum was
world, then only heaven truly knows what one company of women can do.” next in line. Things didn’t quite go as planned. Bethany says, “My mum hadn’t ever run, so it was funny running with her, but now she is a runner after doing this!” Choosing to do the 9km Sydney Bridge run, Bethany and her Mum began traning. They trained for 10 weeks, running three to four times a week, eating well and slowly increasing their running length. Bethany recalls, “There were times when I didn’t want to do it and my mum didn’t want to either. But I think the run and the training have brought us closer together. I don’t know how I would have done it without her or the words that God gave us such as ‘I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.’” Altogether Bethany raised $1000-
enough to feed and educate four children in Mumbai. Her goal is to run in the City to Surf this year and raise more money for the street children in Mumbai. “I know that I will need God’s help to do it, but with Him all things are possible!” she says. Florence Wee Chin’s story When The 500 Project was launched at The Colour Conference 2012, Florence was instantly onboard. “My mind was thinking ‘what can I do?’ So one week later I gathered a couple of girlfriends and we brainstormed and decided that we would hold a ‘Picnic for Freedom’ event (for A21’s First Steps to Freedom)”. ‘Picnic for Freedom’ was held on Anzac Day at Bicentennial Park in Homebush with approximately 60 people
in attendance. Florence recalls, “We ‘advertised’ mainly through Facebook, email and word-of-mouth. We charged a small entry fee for the event mainly to cover expenses and to avoid people rocking-up just for a free feed. We also collected donations on the day after a quick presentation on A21 & First Steps to Freedom, and how the donations in particular will help the rescued victims of human trafficking begin building a new life. We provided food & drinks and also had lots of fun and games! “We had a lot of positive feedback on how well it was organised, everyone enjoyed themselves and had a great time. That in itself was already so encouraging, and by His grace we have raised a whopping $1,723! The power of many coming together is truly amazing!”
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Be the change.
“I believe God is gathering his daughters for such a time as this, with the intent to raise us up and then sow us in places we never dreamed possible.” Joining together with friends to help, Florence was able to host an event that had the community talking. Her initiative raised funds and proved that one woman is powerful, but a gathering of like-minded women can achieve so much more. “We give our God all the glory in what we have achieved, which is over and beyond the $500. He has provided exceedingly and abundantly!” Florence says. But Florence did not stop there. When her birthday came around in September she made an announcement to her family and friends requesting money instead of birthday presents. She says, “I thought I
really don’t want to receive any gifts that I don’t need, so instead I decided that I should again raise funds for The 500 Project. This time, I chose SHE Rescue an aftercare shelter which is a safe house for girls in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.” Florence also pledged to match the donation of the highest giver. Donations ran for two weeks, and a massive $1,040 was raised. Both projects have proved to Florence that with God, all things are possible and together we can ‘be the change’.
From a compassionate heart United by friendship and the cause, thousands of women across the globe, like Bethany and Florence, have already banded together to raise in excess of A$2 million enabling Tabor Adelaide is pleased to bring you the new state the completion of of the art Tabor Online Learning Portal. 36 houses and the Currently the Schools offering units or courses launch of a baby’s externally are: home in Uganda’s capital Kampala. Ministry, Theology and Culture Apart from the TESOL commitment Humanities to Watoto, the Counselling* Sisterhood has also seen more than Youth Work* 4,000 children Vocational Education Training. sponsored through *Some courses may require certain subjects to be Compassion and taken on campus as intensives. has funded many life-changing initiatives in CALL NOW to find out how you can apply. Australia. FEE-Help and HECS-Help available. Moved out of a heart of 181 Goodwood Rd Millswood SA 5034 compassion for tel. 08 8373 8777 the needs being presented, Colour www.taboradelaide.edu.au
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34 Christian Woman Autumn (ANZ) // Spring (USA) 2013
women have focused their skills, talents and ingenuity, raising this money through every imaginable fund-raising activity— from garage sales and coffee mornings to gala balls and sponsored walks. But the blessing has not just been felt overseas; the women themselves have been deeply affected by the opportunity they have been given to impact the lives of others. Women working in partnership Creating an environment where women are both valued, encouraged and inspired to make a difference in the world has been central to the vision and mission of the Colour Conference, which is now celebrating its 16th year, and from that initial desire has emerged a tangible sisterhood of women who are literally making a difference on several fronts, both in Australia and globally. Articulating that vision further, Bobbie explains the mandate of The Sisterhood: to rescue orphans, come alongside sisters (both in Australia and around the world) and empower nations. Personally, Bobbie sees her role in the Sisterhood as helping to create an environment that believes in women and lifts the ceiling on their potential. “Women, when they are strong and believed in, can rise up and accomplish amazing things. she says” And as for those amazing things... Bobbie has a vision to see multitudes of women working in partnership to bring global solutions to poverty and injustice. “I believe God is gathering his daughters for such a time as this, with the intent to raise us up and then sow us in places we never dreamed possible.” The miracle continues... CW
For more information on The Sisterhood or Colour Conference visit: www.thecoloursisterhood.com
LET THE JOURNEY
WE HAVE THIS
ANCHOR AS AN
E FIRM & SECUR
HE MADE ME
I WILL SEND DOWN
T H E R E WI L L B E S H OW E R S
LITTLE PAPER TRAIL
JOURNALS & NOTEPADS TO INSPIRE YOUR WALK WITH JESUS...
l i t t l e pa p e rt r a i l . c o m
Meet Beguens. He is a senator in Haiti.
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Published on Mar 14, 2013
Welcome to this issue of Christian Woman! The Colour Sisterhood, Easter, Faith, Real Stories PLUS more... Read now or pick up your FREE copy...