Many women who serve God on the frontline cross-culturally have to negotiate issues that are new to them and unknown to their male counterparts. Whether single or married, with or without children, women all have distinct emotional needs and crave healthy relationships, with both genders. Living in a foreign land can be very lonely and close friendships need to be fostered and nurtured, especially when missionary co-workers come and go so often. Both single women and mothers can feel sidelined in decision making. Those who serve in cultures where women are typically devalued need affirmation and those who are task-orientated by nature need care not to overextend themselves in their work. Women across the world long to understand and be understood, by those nearby and by separated family members. Our greatest need is spiritual nourishment and support as we seek to meet the needs of others with compassion.
The women in mission panel discussion at the inaugural conference will encourage all participants (male and female) to cultivate an intimate personal walk with the Lord and to express specific needs before the Lord. We will ask and answer questions about ministry and family. We will share ideas of how to have realistic expectations and decrease stress in our ministry contexts. We will pray for one another and learn more of how to experience true contentment.
“Women’s role in missions was especially important in the examples of their lives and their ministries to other women. In societies where women were isolated within harems and separate quarters, the women missionaries could enter and present Christian truth in ways that men could not. The family life of the missionaries was tremendously important to the unchristian cultures as an example of Christian marriage and home life. The exemplary life of the missionary woman was a tremendously powerful witness and testimony to the gospel of Christ.”
Quoted by Diana Severance on TGC website, author of Feminine Threads: Women in the Tapestry of Christian History