Women make up 19% of active duty service members in the Air Force. I’m a chaplain in the Air Force Reserves, and the numbers in my career field are even lower. The last statistics I saw reflected fewer than twenty female chaplains in the Reserves, out of about two hundred.
Many know the story of Queen Esther from the Bible. However, often our own culture and struggles can lead us to “discover” lessons that are not part of the text, or miss important details that are. Often in churches, Esther becomes obscured to the point where this brave woman who was mightily used by God becomes passively subject to the decisions of men. For example, a marriage book released recently by a popular pastor and his wife used the story of Esther to promote obedience to one’s husband, contrasting disobedient Queen Vashti with a “submissive” Esther. Is submission to one’s husband truly the lesson of this narrative?
Is there a way forward beyond the dominant complementarian discourse at this nexus where a predominantly white North American evangelical Christianity has met racial and ethnic others, especially East Asians in the contemporary milieu?
As God makes our ministries anew, it can be hard for women to navigate the gap between the here and not yet of gender equality in ministry. How do women practice self-care and how do we teach fellow ministry leaders to lean into the gap of support of women? The diversity of women and our experiences will be explored in this lecture.
Economically, teaching girls has the most significant impact of development funds, as seen in education and health outcomes. Come and hear inspiring stories of “education for liberation” from my experiences as a missionary teacher among the Maasai in Tanzania, East Africa. Beyond economics and development, this session develops the title’s theme with a biblical application from the Book of Ruth, incorporating intercultural interpretation and illustrated by stories of Tanzania women.
Our daughter Christy was born in Congo and spent her childhood there while my wife Joy and I were missionary professors with the Evangelical Free Church Mission seminary serving French- speaking Africa. Our son Mark heard about our ministry in Africa all his life, but had never seen it for himself. Although Joy could not join us for this trip, the three of us were heading back.
The resilience of children is truly amazing. This strength in spite of suffering was again demonstrated to me in a workshop at the Side by Side symposium in Bangalore, India. The story of the struggles of Devadasi children unfolded in a drama entitled “Seeds of Hope.”
If we are serious about widening our historical narrative, addressing racial bias, and celebrating the history of African Americans in the US, our reading lists should reflect that commitment. So if you’re looking for a place to start, here are 8 books that Christians can pick up after Black History Month. Bonus: many of these resources highlight the historical experiences and contributions of black women, so you can start celebrating Women's History Month a little early!