Marie serves on the mission field and for years has quietly spoken truth to women about sexuality, one woman at a time. This year she discovered Awaken-Love and was able to take the class using the internet. She hopes to use the Awaken-Love videos to minister to other women on mission field. But I believe God smiles down at the quiet mentoring she does in her village. Here is a little glimpse into her world.
The other day the word “held” and the variations of that word made me pause and think. One simple word and yet so profound. Welcome to my corner of the world where I am held by God to bring His life to a country where villages are nestled high up on mountain sides or lie sleepily in the valleys below. Where people quickly welcome you into their family.
Ministry in Another Country
This world in which I live is the reason why I feel compelled to share the Awaken-Love lessons I have learned. When people come to visit they are often touched by the warmness of the people and the rugged beauty of this place. I too shall never grow weary of the beauty – the beauty of the people, the beauty of the deep relationships I cultivate, the beauty of the mountains, valleys and lakes. My heart, however, is affected in another way.
As the years go by and as the women here age, you can literally see the years of heartache and disappointment etched into the lines on their faces. They carry the heaviness of the burdens upon their shoulders. Arranged marriages are normal here. Some arranged marriages work and are beautiful. Other times lost hope and profound sadness, coupled with years of hard manual labor in homes, kitchens and fields make the women humped over. They look overwhelmed by the burden of struggling to survive not only physically but also emotionally and spiritually.
I am ever so careful of how I address the cultural mindsets here as I mentor some of the ladies. I love seeing transformation as the ladies begin to dance in the arms of their Savior. They hear Him sing an intimate song of loving and belonging to Him. My heart is filled with joy as I see understanding light up in their eyes. They begin to know they are more than a cook or an excellent housekeeper. Yes, those things are important, but it is only a small part of who they are! God the Father calls each of them by name as His beloved daughter. As they realize their true identity, a change begins within them that has a positive impact on their closest relationships, beginning with their spouse, and then extending beyond that into their extended family and friends.
I live in a land where old traditions and superstitions still hold sway over the people today. Young ladies in this society can never walk alone publicly. A male family member must escort them everywhere they go. Or a group of girls together may venture into town. Even middle-aged and older ladies cannot walk alone after dark. A young lady’s maidenhood is protected, which is a good thing. Sex education is taught in great detail in schools, but never mentioned outside of the school walls because it is scandalous to mention the word “sex” in mixed company. In situations when I am teaching only females and I even hint about the beauty of sex between a husband and a wife, the girls feel embarrassed and even ashamed to talk about the subject. With eyes cast down – they think, this should not be!
We are beautifully and wonderfully made. He knitted us in our mother’s womb. Young brides feel extremely nervous about their wedding night. No one has told them about the beautiful gift of sex and how it connects them to their husbands. God has created this gift for our pleasure and His glory. Making love to our spouses is right and good in God’s eyes. Fear dissipates as I explain how we can be both a godly wife and a sensuous lover to our husbands. I rejoice when women understand that God created pleasure for the both of them to enjoy.
So, I will continue to teach these precious ladies, even though the context is almost always one by one due to the culture. I will continue to give what I am holding – the knowledge that they can be free in Christ. Free from the shame that seeks to cling to them, holding them back from freedom and joy. I am holding a precious gift, given freely to me, and I pass it on to many others. I teach them to arise and dance in the arms of our loving God and to enter into the freedom of enjoying the pleasure of sex with our husbands. And so I hold these precious people in my own heart as I myself am held safely and securely by my Heavenly Father in His arms.