Lausanne Women’s Network Letter

Dear Friends,

The Forum on World Evangelization hosted by Lausanne in Thailand at the end of 2004 seems like a long time ago, but the memory of 1,500 people from 130 countries all working on particular issues related to obstacles and opportunities for the gospel still lingers. All the reports from the Issue Groups are now on the Web at www.lausanne.org and are a great resource for individual Christians and churches. Do look them up and feel free to download those that are of particular interest to you and encourage church leaders to look closely at the suggested outcomes from each group. Some countries are organizing one-day consultations in their city on one or more of the papers and encouraging Christian leaders to attend so that the impact of the Forum and the work which came from it will spread far beyond the Forum itself.

Lausanne Younger Women’s Network
Some of you will remember that a few years ago I and five older women were able to take eighteen young, gifted Christian women leaders from fourteen different countries to Berlin for a week. This was a Ì¢‰âÒmentoringÌ¢‰âÂå conference where ideas and ministries were shared, giftings were examined, Scripture was studied, prayer was experienced and the city of Berlin was explored!

Twelve of those who were with us in Berlin were at the Forum and each was involved in one of the Issue Groups. It was wonderful to meet up again and to see what the Lord had been doing in each of our lives since we had all been together. Let me share with you the ministry of two of these young women.

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 Evangeline and some of her children
at the Vacation Bible School

Evangeline Sita in India
Some years ago Evangeline started teaching a small group of children from a slum in Hyderabad to read. From this humble beginning has emerged St. Andrew’s School with 560 children, which Evangeline leads. I had the great privilege of visiting her school and speaking to the children and teachers at the end of a week-long Vacation Bible School. Hundreds of children from schools throughout the area had come every day to learn about Jesus. I will always remember the singing of the children and the smiles on their faces.

I had an opportunity to speak to the children on the importance of the Bible as God’s wonderful letter to each of us and at the end of the session, each child was given a New Testament in his or her own language.

Evangeline Sita is a young Christian woman who has put the needs of her country ahead of her own personal ambitions. She chose to sit under a tree in the slums at the end of her university training rather than seek paid employment as a teacher. As a result, God has used her mightily. Many of the children who attend her school can’t afford the small fees that need to be charged. Evangeline does not get a salary so that any money received goes straight to the school. If you would like to support the work of Evangeline and help some of the children continue their education, let me know.

Evangeline has also started a ministry to the women in a nearby leper village, where she regularly takes food to the people and has recently established a church.      

ÌâåÈ Prayer Point
Please pray that finances might become available to move the school to a more appropriate building. There are too many children for the existing premises and although Evangeline has found a suitable block of land, the school still needs the money to build it.

Please pray that finances might become available to move the school to a more appropriate building. There are too many children for the existing premises and although Evangeline has found a suitable block of land, the school still needs the money to build it.


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 Eva and Danijel Mrsic

An Exciting Ministry in Croatia
Another of the young women who came to Berlin and who was involved in the Forum is Eva Mrsic. Eva is Spanish and is married to Danijel, a Croatian. They have had a wonderful ministry for over ten years in Split, Croatia. I have spent time with Eva on a number of occasions in different parts of the world and am always challenged by her commitment to the Lord and her enthusiasm in following him. Danijel and Eva are a dynamic couple and a wonderful example of team ministry.

You will remember that as a result of the war in Yugoslavia in the 1990s, when Croatians, Serbs and Bosnians were engaged in a terrible conflict, that many villages were completely destroyed, hundreds of people were killed and thousands were left homeless. One of the results of the war was a sense of hopelessness among the young. Because of this, many turned to drugs. Eva and Danijel started a ministry among these young people and have been able to arrange for some of them to go to Spain to a Christian rehabilitation center. There they receive help in giving up drugs and are also told of the love of God.

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 Children’s camp in Croatia.

Many of these young people have returned to Croatia and are eager to be involved in ministry. When my husband, David, and I were in Split a couple of years ago, we shared in a river baptism service which included some of these young people and others who had come to Christ. We also saw the church which Danijel and Eva were building. This would be a place where people could come, experience fellowship with other believers and receive solid Bible teaching. When we met up with Eva in Thailand she said the church was nearly finished and set to be dedicated in July 2006.

Eva is an excellent speaker and has started a number of ministries for women and children: the Ì¢‰âÒDeborahÌ¢‰âÂå seminar for women whose husbands are unbelievers; two women’s Bible study groups; a meeting for mothers of pre-schoolers; evangelistic meetings; and visits to mothers in the refugee camp close to Split. The children’s ministry is flourishing as well and includes Sunday school classes, camps and Ì¢‰âÒLife in the KingdomÌ¢‰âÂå seminars for young people.

ÌâåÈ Prayer Point
Eva and Danijel have a dream to establish a Christian camp which will offer discipleship programs and training for Christian leaders. They hope it will be a place of reconciliation among the nations of the ex-Yugoslavia. The couple has found a suitable place and are in the process of negotiating with the owners. They need prayer for the negotiations and for funding to make the dream a reality. If you would like to support Eva and Danijel, let me know and I will put you in touch with them.

One of the wonderful things about being part of God’s family is that we can support each other.

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Jill with some of the children.

Another Result of the Forum: Jill Wallis’ Ministry in Bangladesh
One of the great pluses of the Forum was the networking. Jill had been involved in the Ì¢‰âÒLocal Church and the Great CommissionÌ¢‰âÂå Issue Group and had met one of the participants from Bangladesh. This led to an invitation for Jill to come and minister in Bangladesh. She spoke twenty-two times in ten days, preaching in churches, speaking at women’s conferences, speaking to pastors, sharing the gospel with children from the slums and meeting wonderful people who are lights for Jesus in a country that is ninety percent Muslim.

Jill had many opportunities to see the work of HEED (Health, Education and Economic Development) firsthand. Adolescent girls were trained to teach pre-school children in their homes in the mornings. In return, they received a small salary which helped them pay for their own education in the afternoons. Women from the slums were given a small loan to start a business. They were then able to repay the loans using the money they earned in profits. These opportunities have not only raised the self-esteem of the women and girls, but have also raised the standard of living for poor families. One woman started with one sewing machine and now has seven machines and employs fifteen women.

One woman had saved up for a rickshaw for her husband so he could work. This same woman also lent her son some money to start a video stall.

Many Christians in Bangladesh are being persecuted for their faith; however, they are standing firm. Many who had come (and were coming) to Christ did so after having a dream in which they saw Jesus with outstretched arms calling them to come to him.

Jill asks that we would join her in praying for (1) the Christians of Bangladesh, (2) the pastors, teachers, women and children who heard of the love of Jesus through her visit and (3) for the ongoing work of HEED.

ÌâåÈ Prayer Point
Please pray for an orphanage which the local Christian church is setting up for little girls between the ages of four and twelve who are found wandering the streets. There is little finance available for this vital ministry. If you would like to help, I’ll put you in touch with Jill.

My Lausanne Ministry
I continue to be greatly encouraged by the huge difference Christian women are making around the world. May we continue to be salt and light so that all we do will have the Ì¢‰âÒflavorÌ¢‰âÂå of Christ. May our lives reflect Jesus, who said that as the Ì¢‰âÒLight of the World,Ì¢‰âÂå he had come to call people out of darkness into his marvelous light. The fact that he calls us to transmit this light is a great privilege!