When we think about empowered women, we might imagine them smartly clad in suits while walking down busy skyscraper-lined streets.
But God’s vision of power is even bigger.
For many women who live in cultures of oppression, his Word offers hope, peace, and a voice they never thought they’d have. This International Women’s Day, will you take a few moments to celebrate how Scripture strengthens women throughout the world?
Empowered with Perseverance
In some cultures around the world, women experience daily abuse and subjugation. But today, women are using their voices in those same communities through the Esther Initiative. This program trains women to boldly share the Word of God in their heart language through Oral Bible Storytelling.
In an oppressed area of South Asia, one storyteller named Sunita was emboldened by God’s Word to share Bible stories with her community. She traveled from house to house, painting stories with words for whoever would listen.
But, in one home where she planned a story group, she was not welcomed. The matriarch of the house refused to let her sit and share a Bible story. “Go to another house to tell a story,” she said. But Sunita stayed and told the story of the lost sheep to the woman’s two daughters-in-law. The old woman was very angry and told her to “get out.” She wanted nothing to do with Sunita or God.
Sunita visited a week later and discovered the elderly woman was ill. Sunita prayed over the woman and left. Later, when she returned to the same home, Sunita discovered that the old woman’s anger had disappeared. Instead, she was joyously talking with her family, sharing about Jesus!
Because of Sunita’s Christ-fueled love, the household matriarch finally embraced God’s love for her.
Empowered with Peace
Bimala married a man who followed her region’s majority religion. They were very poor, so Bimala started selling wine to earn money. This helped their family financially, but they still lacked peace.
Day after day, they fought with each other. Bimala and her husband began drinking alcohol to numb the pain. Slowly, their son followed their example. They became addicted to drinking as a way to cope with life’s struggles.
In this low state, Bimala longed for escape. She wanted to commit suicide. “I was in search of peace but didn’t get [it] anywhere,” she said.
But, one day, everything changed. A local storyteller named Miriam, along with some other women, visited Bimala. Miriam told her the story of Zacchaeus the tax collector. For the first time, Bimala felt true peace in her heart. She stopped selling alcohol and found a new job.
Now her daughter-in-law and grandchildren join her in attending church. She prays for her husband and son to find the same joy and peace she’s found. Renewed through the power of God’s Word, Bimala shares that she is now “very happy to live such a wonderful life in Christ.”
Empowered with Faith in God’s Promises
The phone rang in the night, and Nang’uyana picked up to hear the worried voice of her son many miles away. She listened closely as he told her that some of the family’s livestock—sheep and goats—were lost. They wandered away while grazing, and he had searched all day to find them.
In nomadic cultures like the Rendille, a family’s economic and physical safety depends on their livestock. This news was a very real threat.
But instead of clinging to fear in that moment, Nang’uyana clung to Scripture.
She remembered Luke 15:1–7, the story of a shepherd who lost his sheep and later found them. “This also reminded me of the Good Shepherd, Jesus Christ, as mentioned in John 10,” she shares. “I prayed for my son and the lost sheep and goats, knowing that God was assuring me in his Word that my son would find them.”
Praise God! The next day, Nang’uyana’s son found their lost livestock. Because she has God’s Word in her language, Nang’uyana knows that—no matter what happens—her Good Shepherd will take care of her.
You Can Empower More Women with God’s Word
Putting a Bible in the hands of women across the globe empowers them with everything they need to experience freedom in Christ. When they have God’s wisdom in the languages they best understand, they:
- encounter Jesus
- learn they matter
- become a catalyst for positive changes in their home, community, and culture
- and gain a sense of belonging and dignity.