Wills Point, Texas – Gospel for Asia (GFA) – Discussing the importance of women national workers in Asia cannot be overemphasized. Millions of Asian women face unimaginable pain, misery and degradation.
In Acts chapter 16, the Apostle Paul tells of visiting the city of Philippi for a number of days. On a Saturday, he and those with him retired to a river bank where believers customarily gathered for Sabbath prayers.
It was there that he met Lydia, an entrepreneur (centuries before entrepreneur was even a word) from the city of Thyatira. Both Paul and Lydia were a long way from their respective homes. They were in Philippi, a city in Macedonia named for its former king Philip, the father of Alexander the Great. When Paul met Lydia, the city was under Roman rule and was, in fact, planned to be converted into a miniature version of Rome.
Thyatira, Lydia’s hometown and base of operations, was located in Asia Minor, nearly 600 miles away by land.
Lydia, like the Ethiopian eunuch, was a follower of the one true God, but she apparently was not yet aware that He had come in the flesh to redeem us. She and her husband opened their hearts to the Lord after listening to Paul. Not much else is said of her in the Bible except that Paul and Silas stayed at her house after their release from prison (Acts 16:40).
Lydia was revered in both Philippi and Thyatira. Some scholars believe that she and her husband may have been instrumental in establishing the body of believers that became the church in Thyatira to which Christ directed a communique in Revelation chapter 2. Their assumptions are based on the fact that Paul never visited the city, at least not that history records.
The point is that not only did Lydia become a follower of Jesus, but it is almost certain that she also became a missionary for Him in her homeland.
The Case for National Workers
One of the advantages of national workers, i.e., those who, rather than going to a foreign country, remain in place and share the love of Christ with their own people, is that they are not strangers to be scrutinized, but they are one with the people.
If that is true from a cultural perspective, would it not also be true from a gender perspective?
If Tibetans understand Tibetans better than a stranger could, would it not also be true that Tibetan women understand other Tibetan women even better than Tibetan men do? The same question applies within any cultural context in any country.
The Case for Women National Workers
With all of the study and research conducted over the centuries, no one understands women as well as other women. Many jokes have been made about it, unfortunately, usually to the denigration of either the men or the women.
The fact is that women who commit their lives to Christ have, among their many blessings, the ability to better communicate with and understand other women—their hopes and dreams and problems and pains.
The importance of women national workers in Asia cannot be overemphasized. Millions of Asian women face unimaginable pain, misery and degradation. Suicide death rates among young women in Asia are among the highest in the world, according to a study released September 1, 2018.
In some Asian cultures, only women can minister to other women. If a woman wants to share something on their heart with someone else, they will seek out another woman whom they hope will listen and empathize. GFA-supported women national workers commit to coming alongside other women, willing to listen, to pray and to help share their burdens, demonstrating the love of Jesus. Many women willingly inquire about Jesus and choose to embrace His love simply because of the dedication and commitment of women national workers.
Please prayerfully watch this brief video (2:46) and allow the Lord to touch your heart for the women of Asia and the Asian believers who are committed to sharing the peace, joy, love, and hope for which so many are seeking.
May the Lord bless and encourage you as you pray.
To learn more about Women Missionaries, visit this page on the GFA website.
To read more posts on Patheos on National Missionaries, go here.
Click here, to read more blogs on Patheos from Gospel for Asia.