As we look forward to the 10th anniversary of Women of Hope International in 2019, we recognize that this ministry has been entrusted to us as a “…treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us.” (2 Corinth 4:7)
We are keenly aware of God’s grace in bringing us to this point, and know that it is also His grace that will carry us through. We are also keenly aware that we ride the wave of hundreds of ministry partners, who equip us with the resources to have the impact that we have had, and will continue to have.
It is our heart’s desire to be faithful stewards of the charge that we’ve been given, and the resources entrusted to us. Toward that end, we want to share with you – our ministry partners and friends – these initiatives in which we feel the Lord leading us to focus on throughout the next 3 years.
Initiative #1: Equip ministry leaders to effectively disciple people with disabilities
In 2016, we launched a branch of Women of Hope that is focused on multiplying impact among people with disabilities through the equipping of churches and ministries in the developing world toward that end. This arm of WOH is known as Equip. Our vision for this aspect of our ministry is “Reaching 1000 by 10” – reaching 1000 new ministry and church leaders with the biblical message about disability by our 10-year anniversary. We do this through the provision of our Theology of Disability workshop, a customizable 1-3 day workshop that helps Christians working in the developing world wrestle through their engagement with people with disabilities and develop strategies to reach this vastly unreached group of people with the Gospel and practical aid. Pray with us for strategic connections to achieve this goal!
Initiative #2: Develop and distribute Biblically-based resources designed to evaluate and shift worldviews
Our desire is to see Christ-followers around the world equipped to reach those with disabilities with the Gospel and draw them into Christ-centered community where they can live out their inherent gifts. In the developing world, there is often a significant barrier to the inclusion of people with disabilities due to pervasive worldviews and beliefs related to disability and its cause. We want to provide resources that will allow Christians in these settings to evaluate their own worldviews and beliefs, as well as those of the broader community, and combat any wrong ideas with Truth from God’s word. We currently have a wholistic training curriculum for women with low educational levels, a Theology of Disability curriculum for church and ministry leaders, and a Church Resource booklet to assist churches in making their buildings and congregations more accessible and welcoming to those with disabilities in their community. Please pray for wisdom as we develop the resources that would catalyze these shifts in thinking.
Initiative #3: Catalyze wholistic transformation among women with disabilities
This initiative speaks to our commitment to continue to see women with disabilities in Sierra Leone, and beyond, reached with the Gospel and wholistic development programs. Our programs in Sierra Leone continue to expand into other areas, and more women are joining. We currently have over 800 women enrolled in Women of Hope Sierra Leone, at varying levels of involvement. We are committed to continue to evaluate what programs, activities and initiatives will more effectively meet the needs of this amazing group of women, many with untapped potential, equipping them to be contributors to their families and communities and letting them know that they are seen, known and loved. Please continue to pray for true transformation among women affected by disability.
Initiative #4: Increase global impact by developing strategies for long-term sustainability
As the ministry of Women of Hope grows in scope and in size, we want to be faithful to do the hard work on the administrative side that will ensure that our foundation can support the programs. We know that only a healthy ministry structure can truly provide successful ministry on the field, and we are committed to doing what is needful to ensure that success. We know that the need around the world is great, but we want to be careful not to overstep our capacity as we grow. We are currently working with a consultant to help us formulate a robust long-term strategy for sustainable growth. Please pray with us for the appropriate resources (human, financial, and otherwise) to accomplish what God leads us into.
We are grateful to have a small role in the work that God is doing around the world among people affected by disability, and to have a front-row seat to life transformation and redemption. We are also grateful to have so many people on our team as we walk out His purposes for us – and them!