*Representative photo used to protect identity. Although marginalized and looked down upon in some countries, women often have a surprisingly important voice within their families. They’re the ones instilling values into their children, and husbands often take their wives opinions into consideration. When a wife and mother places her faith in Jesus, it can be a catalyst for the entire family. Getting the gospel to women is such an important task around the world. In spite of gender discrimination in countries like Laos, God is truly working mightily in this area. Let’s take a closer look: Women in Laos have always been considered inferior to men. Most of them work without rest, on top of fulfilling domestic demands, only to constantly prove their worth. In fact, as Buddhists, they believe the only way for a woman to enter ultimate enlightenment is for her to be reborn as a man. For Christian women living away from big cities, life is much harder. Because the government champions Buddhism, these women practice their faith in the shadows. Once their faith is exposed, however, they are stripped of their properties, disowned by their parents, and even beaten by their husbands. These are the stories of real women, whose names have been changed for their protection.
- Onaona loves her husband, Kahoku. She desires for him to know Jesus, but he laughs at the idea of accepting Him in his life. Whenever Onaona tries to share the gospel with him, they just end up fighting. Kahoku despises Onaona’s faith so much, that he reports her to the police whenever a pastor visits their home. Pray that God strengthens Onaona and opens Kahoku’s heart to believe in the Lord Jesus.
- Kina, Laina, and Iwalani try to keep their families together. They invite their husbands to church, and succeed at some point, but their husbands go back to their old ways. They have become stricter, prohibiting them from attending church activities without permission. Worse, they torture Kina, Laina, and Iwalani who have declared their faith in Christ. Pray for God’s comfort for Kina, Laina, and Iwalani. Pray that their testimonies will reveal God to their families, especially to their husbands.
- Dea wants to attend church services, but her husband Mong, who’s addicted to alcohol and drugs, pushes her to work on Sundays. Dea cuts grass and harvests from the fields while Mong gets further intoxicated. Ask the Lord to give her strength to fulfil her duties as a homemaker while learning more about God. Pray that Mong would encounter Jesus and be freed from the bondage of his addictions.
- One of the reasons why Kena can’t bring her family to church is poverty. Her husband and children keep on convincing her that church is a waste of resources, and that they are hungry enough as it is. Kena’s salary as a school principal has been delayed for four months. Pray for provision for Kena and her family.
- Jeanitha is new to the Christian faith. She finds it difficult to fully let go of the rituals she has grown up with. Sometimes, she still invokes spirits and seeks advice from fortune tellers. When she loses objects, or when animals in her care are missing, she consults shamans, or witchdoctors. Some of her fellow Christians offer meals to spirits when their loved ones die. Lift Jeanitha and those who share her struggles to the Lord. Pray for God to give them courage and boldness to trust in Him alone, that they may be redeemed from their old ways and be renewed in Christ day by day.