Oh, August. The warm ending of a busy summer. The anticipation of a coming autumn. August is the month all children either dread or welcome with open arms; children either are sad to be returning to school, and others are bursting with excitement to begin a new grade.
As a student teacher, I often re-examine my reason for choosing such a profession. Of course, I feel this is what God has called me to do, but I also find such joy in knowing I am training young men and women to someday find a profession to support themselves and their families.
Just as Shama Women does.
See, I teach children in hopes that one day, they will be prepared enough to find work to support their families. Shama Women provides women with the knowledge, experience, and tools to work in either cosmetology or sewing, and in turn, support their families through the profits. Isn’t this the hope all mothers and fathers would have for their children? See, the parents I know want their children to have opportunities to learn, grow, and to succeed in the world. They don’t just send them to school to get them out of the house every day, but they send them in hopes those children will become able to support themselves as adults.
If we want this life for our own daughters, shouldn’t we actively seek such a life for someone else’s daughters? Shouldn’t we give opportunities for education to the daughters of our Savior?
I was recently told the story of a sister in South Asia who had come to Shama Women and become involved in the sewing program. Anna was the second wife of a man, and though she was young, she had experienced years of life I will never understand.
At Shama Women, Anna learned about a Godly view of marital relationships as well as God’s plan for intimacy within the marital context. She had never known of these truths! Soon, she realized her place as a second wife was wrong according to God’s plan.
Soon after, her husband brought home a third wife, and the household was even bigger than before. Though Anna knew God’s plan for marriage, she could not leave her current circumstances. Instead, she testified at Shama Women of how God had revealed His perfect plan for marriage to her. She has since come to know the Lord in a stronger way, and she is glorifying God’s name through her faithfulness.
Though Anna knows her circumstances hold her back from leaving this relationship, she is still able to be used by God in her household. Through the teaching of Shama Women, Anna learned God’s perfect plan for marriage and intimacy within marriage.
Anna’s story reminds me of Titus 2:9-10 which says:
“Urge bond-servants to be subject to their own masters in everything, to be pleasing and not talk back, not stealing [things, regardless of value], but proving themselves trustworthy, so that in every respect they will adorn and do credit to the teaching of God our Savior.”
You know what? Anna may be in a particularly difficult situation. Many North Americans will never have to be in a situation like this sister’s, and we may not understand such a life. Yet through Godly teaching at Shama Women, Anna has learned that being faithful to her household (and the people within it) makes the Gospel of Jesus Christ beautiful to those who do not yet believe. Through Anna’s testimony, we pray her household will come to know Jesus as their Savior.
As you prepare to send your daughters back to school this fall, please consider the young women in South Asia whose stories you are reading about. Through the ministry of Shama Women, these ladies will not only receive education and the tools needed to help support their families, but they can also hear the Word of God presented to them. Just like our sister, Anna, other girls can have testimonies of God’s work within their lives. As part of our Back to School support initiative, please consider sponsoring Shama Women through a monthly gift. Our prayer is that God would provide 100 new monthly sponsors during the month of September. Would you like to join us? Your gift may have an eternal impact.
Alannah Pang is a blogger, newlywed, and a child of God who writes about finding the goodness in the simplicity of life, and finding joy in the ordinary. Find her at RoseandBliss.com.