When I read the title of our feature this month, A Ministry for Every Woman, I was taken back a few years to my pre-teens. We were a bunch of high-energy earliteens. Not bad kids, just...earliteens. Each Sabbath, Edith and Ruth, two young, single nurses, came prepared to lead our lively Sabbath School, sometimes even planning a Saturday night activity for us. I'm not sure how much thanks they received for we never imagined the commitment of time and energy it took to creatively prepare for each weekend. But their impact on me has been lifelong.
I've been reflecting on some of the varied and unique ways A Ministry for Every Woman is being fulfilled here in the Northwest. Allow me to share a few with you.
It is exciting to hear the reports from various short-term mission trips sponsored each year by our Northwest conferences, churches and schools. Sue and I have been privileged to be a part of a number of these. Some individuals have faithfully participated, yet have never left home. I'm referring to people like Frieda and the rest of the Faith Adventures group. They generously make, bundle and package attractive little handouts and give them to any short-term mission group who requests them. What a blessing we have received by sharing these materials with eager children and adults overseas!
I first got acquainted with Danielle when she was a student at Anchorage Junior Academy. A budding artist, she sent me cheery handmade cards containing encouraging quotations and Scripture verses, often arriving at just the appropriate moment. I was not the only one to receive these special gifts—fellow students, faculty, strangers, just anyone needing encouragement, were grateful recipients. As Danielle's ministry, now known as The Cheery Little Card Company, continues to grow so does the inspiration she exudes.
When I learned recently that Helen had passed away I personally felt the loss. This special senior won my heart when she told me some time ago, "I pray for you daily." Helen had a ministry for many years of faithfully praying for 401 individuals every day (plus 37 families!). She was part of a network of consecrated prayer warriors. Has someone picked up the torch she so faithfully carried? How earnestly I hope so.
Shari and Jean prayed over how best their talents might be used. They were impressed to visit and befriend those who no longer attend church. For years now their ministry has softened bitter hearts and rekindled the flame of faith.
When I think of Kathy, I am reminded of what William Rose Wallace once wrote: "The hand that rocks the cradle is the hand that rules the world." Kathy and many like her are successful professionals who have at least temporarily laid aside a financially lucrative career to focus on a higher calling—their children.
Many of our Adventist women are making highly visible contributions in leadership and ministry. But in our feature this month you will be reminded of some who receive little or no recognition, yet by Heaven's measuring rod are making an eternal impact.
Ellen G. White once wrote, "The Lord has a work for women….The Savior will reflect upon these self-sacrificing women the light of His countenance, and will give them a power that exceeds that of men….Their labor is needed."1
1 Ellen G. White, Review and Herald, Aug. 26, 1902.