On March 8th we celebrated International Women´s Day with the group of women with whom we work, just as we do every year. This year there were thirty-five of us. We celebrated in the midst of pressures, and were strengthened in the midst of our weakness. The women awaited the festivities with great expectation. It was a day of laughter and fellowship, and it was a special day to share and model the spiritual values of the Kingdom.
We invited the wife of the pastor of the local congregation, which is not an official church but meets secretly. She shared about the value of women, and the complementary relationship with men: “God did not create woman from man´s head, so that she would be above him. Nor did He create woman from man´s feet, so that she would be below him. Rather, He created her from his rib, so that she would be beside him, as of equal value in the eyes of her Creator.” This began discussion on the topic of the role of women in the Quran, in the Sharia (Quranic law), and in Muslim society. One by one, the women stood in the middle of the room and expressed their ideas.
One of these women stood up and began to share her point of view, which was quite different from the traditional Muslim point of view. We were surprised. When the meeting finished, she came and showed me her ring, which was a very original piece with a small cross subtly placed on one side.
– “A cross!” I exclaimed with astonishment. “Do you know what this means?”
– “I know what it means. The cross represents the sacrifice of Christ.”
– “And why do wear it on your hand? Does it mean something to you?”
– “Yes! He died for me. I have been a Christian for some time now. My husband and my children know about it, and I am not going back. I need to meet with you so we can study the Bible and pray together! I urgently need a Bible in Arabic!”
At this moment, I was inundated with the presence of the Lord. All of the pressures which I had been feeling disappeared in the light of the Spirit in the life of this woman. Her journey has just begun – the Lord looked for her, spoke to her, and brought her to us so that with His help, we might be a fragrant aroma of Christ. Let us maintain this aroma, and let it not become something that we are willing to lose.