Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Women and Missions

Mary Slessor, 19th-18th Century
missionary to Africa.
For this week's Wednesday night conversational ESL class I have the privilege of opening up the discussion on "Women and Missions". As I slowly wandered my way through the familiar stack of missions text books that form the lion's share of our portable library here in Brasil, I found myself perpetually struck with a growing realization.

I love this topic.

Why, you may ask? Take a look.

1. Controversial Reasons: There's a lot of room for debate here, whether it's explaining why women comprise TWO-THIRDS of today's missionary force, or why women comprise 70% of the 1.3 billion people living in deep poverty. Not to mention the classic debate of where the lines (if any?) are drawn for women in church ministry. And when I say GOOD debate, I'm not give any praise to the H8ers* and the Trollers* who talk big and do nothing. I mean the debate that actually gets people thinking in a way that leads to action (James 3). Maybe at some point in the future I'll actually post more on my convictions regarding this one, but for now I'm glad that people are talking about it, because (let's be honest), it's something we need to be talking about both in the church and in the world!

*I've never used these terms publicly before. Please correct me before I make a n00b of myself.

2. Personal Reasons: I married a woman. She is a missionary. I love her.

3. Encouraging Reasons: This is huge. I am amazed and filled with joy, reading about the accounts of women, who, for centuries, embarked into the unknown, faced sickness, death, disease, loneliness, ridicule, and more for the sake of the gospel. What a powerful testimony through the ages!

I want to go even further on a limb here in regards to the many single women today who feel the call of God to serve him in missions. You ladies do not receive the respect and encouragement you deserve. I cannot know what it may be the Holy Spirit leads you through or what sacrifices you may need to make to run the race set before you. But I do know that you are part of a powerful legacy. And you have the very real assurance of Christ that HE will be WITH you to the very end. Be encouraged sisters, His grace is amazing.


Jake Rivers


  1. Hi Jake
    Thank you for posting your blog today .
    I found it very interesting and I hope it will go well as you use this as a spring board for your class this week.
    Our prayers will continue for both of you as you minister there in Brazil.
    Lots of love from Nana and Poppa