Worthy is the Lamb who was Slain!
Open your mouth, judge righteously, defend the rights of the poor and needy (Proverbs 31:9)
This week a small team of women from Stone Hill will be headed out to Europe. There, they will play an important role in an annual training seminar for women from the 10/40 Window. Let me explain.
The 10/40 Window is a term used to describe the area of the world where the gospel faces its stiffest resistance. The “Window” is composed of those portions of Africa, Europe and Asia located between 10 and 40 degrees north of the equator: in other words, places like North Africa, the Middle East, India, China, and Southeast Asia. There, the realities of life and state have frequently combined to create:
- extreme poverty and a low quality of life
- restricted access to Christian resources
- scarce knowledge of the gospel
- official and unofficial persecution of believers.
Women who live “in the Window” are especially exposed to these hardships. Consider, for instance, these grim statistics:
- Nearly half of all women in the Arab world are illiterate and are unable to read Holy Scripture;
- Under Sharia law, compensation for the murder of a woman is half the amount of that of a man. A woman’s testimony in court is worth only half of a man’s;
- 65% of brides in Yemen are under the age of 18. That number goes up to 70% in rural areas. Only 7% of husbands are under 18.
- In 2011, a prominent cleric and member of Saudi Arabia’s highest religious council issued a fatwa asserting that there is no minimum age for marriage and that girls can be married “even if they are in the cradle.”
These problems are aggravated when a woman in the Window follows Christ. In many places, she could face the threat of hidden persecution from family. In addition, she would likely be cut off from the encouragement and support of the gathered church, from Christ-centered teaching, prayer with other believers, advice from those older in the faith, and heart-to-heart fellowship. It is precisely these strategic gifts, the blessings of the gospel, that we are providing in sending our team to Europe. So pray for the team members while they are serving our sisters from the Window, November 4–12.