06 March 2015
Celebrating International Women's Day with inspirational women
In celebration of International Women's Day on Sunday, 8 March, we have asked Evangelical Alliance staff, friends and supporters to tell us about the woman who has most inspired them. From family, friends to famous role models, we celebrate some amazing women from around the world. Who is the woman who has most inspired you? Join the conversation below or on Twitter, by sending a tweet to @EAUKnews with the hashtag #IWD2015.
"I can't name just one woman because I'm
surrounded by inspiring women - from the amazing women in my own family: my
mum, sisters and many, many aunties who are wise, loving homemakers,
storytellers and barrier-breakers. There are also the dedicated, hard-working
and creative women I'm honoured to work with every day. And then there are
my friends: mighty women of valour who strive for excellence, who laugh with
me, cry with me, cheer me on and hold me to account. I'm so honoured to
know so many inspiring women."
Director of communications at the Evangelical Alliance
"A great number of women: writers, teachers, preachers and artists
have left positive and indelible marks on my life. Some of these are very
public figures with loud voices, while others spoke and still speak their
truth, wisdom, love, grace, and compassion to me in unassuming quiet tones. My
dear mother is one of these. She continues to inspire me to celebrate
myself and others as complementary rather than competing individuals. I believe
that is why I have so many great women friends whose shouts of approval cheer
me on to live life in abundance."
Education director of the New Testament Church of God
"My mentor LoriAnn is an inspiring example of a godly women of
integrity who has achieved great success in the business world while keeping
her faith at the centre of who she is and all she does. Her character, work
ethic and daily habits reflect discipline, intentionality, grace and
compassion. But above all they reflect a woman who is confident and committed
in walking the journey God has called her to. She continually inspires me,
challenges me and encourages me not only in the conversations we have &the
advice she gives but most importantly in her example of a life well lived."
Public policy officer of the Evangelical Alliance
"When considering history's most inspirational
women, one cannot fail to recollect Rosa Parks and her incredibly courageous
act on 1 December 1955 when she refused to give up her bus seat to a white
passenger. Parks' act of defiance illustrates how an ordinary person with a
passion for justice is able to have tremendous impact, in this case on the
civil rights movement. There will have been many who would have thought about
doing what Rosa Parks did, but for one reason or another failed to go through
with it. After all there were consequences for such a defiant act. Rosa knew
this, but she also knew that she had no other option but to stand for what she
felt was right in the hope that somehow her individual stand could make a
difference. And a difference it certainly made by giving courage to others to
also campaign for racial equality. For me, Mother Theresa's reflection on the
importance of 'participation' best sums up the significance of Rosa Parks, "We
ourselves feel that what we are doing is just a drop in the ocean. But the
ocean would be less because of that missing drop."
National coordinator of the South Asian Forum
is much like many missionaries. She was called by God to travel to China and
spend the entirety of her life spreading the good news in the mountainous
provinces of a largely unreached land, and later in Taiwan. She did the
missionary thing before it was a 'thing', travelling alone as an unmarried
young woman in the early 1900s, bucking every social norm imaginable. What
strikes me most about Gladys is the matter of fact manner with which she gets
on with it. In her biographical account The
Small Woman, she's asked to do something by God and she goes and does it.
No inner turmoil. No hums and ha's. No sense of woe is me. Just a simple and
beautiful obedience to God and a compulsion to act on her conviction. At times
her story reads a bit like accounts of the apostles in Acts: "The angel of the
Lord said to him, 'Go down south.' So they went." (8:26). And, just like the
story of Acts in which the early Church grows exponentially due to the
missionary zeal of a few, the Church in China is currently the fastest growing
in the world. I wonder how much of that could be down to Gladys, and others
Editor of Youthwork Magazine and Childrenswork Magazine
"There is an amazing group of women at my small church in King's
Cross who come from a whole range of backgrounds, of all different ages and
ethnicities. Some have had pretty have had pretty tough lives. They inspire me
to be braver, and fight harder when the going gets tough. They give freely,
sharing what they have and serve until they can barely stand up any longer.
Family, friendship and encouragement are their heartbeat. Their faith and
passion for Jesus takes anything that is thrown at it;when I'm with them, they
make me feel like a better person."
Editor of Rhythms
"I met Nancy in her four metre square shack which is part of the Kibera slum in Nairobi (the largest slum in Africa). Surrounded by children, none of them her own, this woman was making a life for herself, her husband and her wider family in an extremely difficult situation. For me, Nancy's quiet dignity represents one of the hundreds of millions of unsung heroes, women around the world who refuse to be defined by what they haven't got but get on, taking responsibility for children, family and a wider community. Where would the world be were it not for women like Nancy?"
General director of the Evangelical Alliance