Today is International Women’s Day. Every year since 1911, March 8 has been set aside to specifically honor the courage of women in all parts of the world.

I was deeply moved this past week while watching the International Women of Courage Awards ceremony. Annually, the U.S. State Department  “recognizes women around the globe who have demonstrated exceptional courage and leadership in advocating for peace, justice, human rights, gender equality, and women’s empowerment, often at great personal risk.” Seeing the recipients and hearing their stories was humbling and inspiring. I was so proud of those women.

I began thinking of the many women serving around the world that I know and love. How I would cherish an opportunity to present them trophies of gratitude and honor. I’d thank friends such as:

Leila for her tireless work among the vulnerable elderly in Moldova through Dorcas.

Karen in Ukraine for her loving efforts to place orphans into nurturing homes.

Rosemarie in Indonesia for inspiring students to consider questions of faith and theology.

Christina in Spain for loving marginalized women and offering them rescue and safety.

Jane in Ethiopia as she serves children and missionary couples with her friendship and care.

Liuba in Moldova as she, with much boldness, reaches into the lives of those at great risk for suicide and personal harm.

Lynn in Sweden who preaches, mentors, educates and innovates.

Pat who will travel this week to offer health education and care to women who know little freedom.

I am privileged to know a host of faithful, gutsy women who serve in difficult places around the world. And, I know a few here at home too! Including a very amazing daughter and daughter-in-law—who take risks every day advocating for peace and justice in their homes and communities.

Kudos to women of faith at home and around the world! May we stand and serve boldly “for such as time as this.” (Esther 4:14)

written by Leona Bergstrom, Director, Re-Ignite
©Re-Ignite 2019
Images © CanStock