By Hannah Cameron, LeadHer International Director
As a core team, we often challenge ourselves in our leadership by doing a book study. Towards the end of 2015, we read “Half the Sky” together. This book sheds devastating light on the unjust realities of women and girls around the world. The book isn’t only their heart-wrenching stories, however, it provides practical and motivating solutions to these global issues. Though it doesn’t minimize the size of the problem, it does give hope that people like you and I can make a difference. As we came together to discuss what we’d read, God moved in a big way in our hearts. Much of our time that night was spent humbling ourselves before God, repenting of our inactivity and committing ourselves before Him to continue educating ourselves on these difficult topics, so we could be better equipped to speak into them as an organization.
That commitment led us to start off our first team meeting of 2016 watching a documentary entitled “Girl Rising”. This too deepened our desire for our influence to be increased to the extent of impacting lives similar to the girls represented in the documentary. One of the prominent messages in both of these works was the importance of education. Though taken for granted in the western world, it is vital to a girl’s sense of worth and her hope of a sustainable income that she doesn’t feel trapped into relying on cultural injustices for survival as a result of a lack in education.
We were again led to our knees in prayer expressing our willingness to go anywhere and do anything for God… even the difficult things in potentially dangerous places if He willed. At the time, I don’t think we realized just how much God was already answering our prayers. So often in prayer, we’re overcome by the magnitude of the problem that we think it prolongs God’s response. However, God isn’t limited by the size of our request, but I believe we limit God by the size of our faith and our willingness to ask. Scripture tells us “we have not, because we ask not” (James 4:2). The greater our need, the greater the testimony, but God doesn’t expend any more energy based on our need. He IS our healer. However, our faith is often dependent on our need.
God had already begun to open doors into countries that we hadn’t expected to reach out to for some time. He also began shutting doors into places that we expected to be good starting points. We have shared before on our blog the work God has done in our international program since launching in October specifically in our continually growing relationship with our future coordinator in India. To update those who have followed our journey in our ever developing international program, that coordinator has completed training and will be ready to launch in February! Even though I had been in communication with her for quite some time, it wasn’t until our last e-mail exchange that I realized just how much our hearts aligned and how God was answering our prayers by sending her to us. This is an excerpt of her response to us asking how we can pray for her as she prepares to launch her chapter:
“Mainly I want to help the women to know and grow in the Lord. I want many Non-Christians and Hindus to come to the Lord. We have so many social evils in India. Women are discriminated in every area. I will concentrate on these problems. I also want to spread the chapters to different places. Please do pray that Lord may use me.“
The Lord has also connected us with a ministry in Thailand who focuses on rescuing girls out of human trafficking and, through education, provide them with trades to keep them out of the industry. Though the timing isn’t right for them right now, both of our ministries are excited about the possibility of future partnership.
Our topic in our LeadHer Local chapters this month is detailed prayers. If you attend one of those 27 chapters, or if you follow us on any sort of social media platform, you’ve probably seen some of our thoughts and discussions surrounding this topic. (If you’ve somehow missed out on those, be sure to scroll through our blog and see some of my teammates’ insights on detailed prayers. I know they will challenge you (in the best way) in your prayer lives.) It’s important to understand this isn’t something that we are simply teaching on, but we are challenging ourselves on in our personal prayer lives and implementing it in every area of our ministry. LeadHer International is no exception. We’ve already begun to see glimpses of answers to those detailed prayers as mentioned above, but we continue to ask God to give us opportunities based on our willingness rather than our resources.
As we begin to allow ourselves to pray big, bold, detailed prayers, we are inviting God to move in those circumstances and in our hearts. When He changes our hearts, it’s always in a way that better reflects His own and is conformed more to His likeness. When we truly let Him “break our hearts for the things that break His”, His will becomes our will. When you pray according to His will, don’t be surprised if He’s swift to move. It’s quite possible He’s just been waiting for you to ask and to not be overwhelmed by the size of your problem but confident in the ability of your God.
“Only ask, and I will give you the nations as your inheritance,
the whole earth as your possession.” Psalm 2:8 NLT