Standing With Our Sisters

For almost two years I have had the pleasure of working with the Rev. Patty Garner and Sallie Greenfield as they planned for a capital campaign in the Southern Province to support the work of the Unity Women’s Desk.

If you aren’t familiar with the Unity Women’s Desk, it is a ministry of the worldwide Moravian Church whose purpose is to positively impact the lives of women and girls by coordinating the spiritual, financial, educational, and material resources that exist throughout the Moravian Unity. It is their vision to bring about global change for Moravian women around the world.

Global change. That’s big. But the issues facing our Moravian sisters are big; in fact, they’re huge: not having access to water, violence against them, being denied an education, not having what they need to safely and healthily deliver a baby….the list goes on.

Listening to Patty, Sallie, and others speak about their experiences with Moravian women in other countries, as well as learning about the women and girls who are benefiting from the UWD’s work, has been a powerful and profound experience. I’ll confess I’ve never been on a mission trip, but I did go to an all-girls high school, and eventually graduated from a women’s college, so I thought I had been exposed to “women’s issues”. I quickly learned that my issues are not the same as those of my Moravian sisters all over the globe. As Phil McKinley (co-chair of the Unity Women’s Desk Standing With Our Sisters capital campaign) likes to say, I won the lottery being born an American. Sure, my life may not be quite like that of my male counterparts, but I am so fortunate to be a woman living in the United States.

My eyes have been opened to the realities other women face, and I can’t close them. I can’t take the availability of food and water, my safety, my education, and my freedom for granted. And, let’s face it, I have to admit that I’m rich. Did you know only 8-9% of people on the planet have a car? How can I think of myself as anything but rich when my household has not one but two cars? Over a billion people live on less than $1 a day and I’m focusing on scarcity rather than abundance in my own life.

Jesus continually acted on behalf of the voiceless. I am inspired by the Unity Women’s Desk and their work with Moravian women and girls around the world. Through providing scholarships, microloans, and project grants, they are giving women a hand up (not a handout) and truly making a difference in their lives.

To learn more about the UWD’s work, please click here; you can also learn more about the Standing With Our Sisters capital campaign by clicking here. We are thrilled that the campaign has already raised over half of its $250,000 goal!

In his book God the Economist, Douglas Meeks writes:

“God’s interest is transforming the world into a household in which all of God’s creatures can find abundant life.”

May we all prayerfully consider what we can do to play a part in helping others to experience an abundant life, as well as to stand with our Moravian sisters around the world.