This is a terrific “must” read – by NY Times columnist Nicholas Kristof and his wife Sheryl WuDunn, winners of the Pulitzer Prize.

It is about the plight and potential of women around the world, the title a Chinese proverb.

Women hold up half the sky.

And they do … over half of the world’s population. The Kristofs write about turning oppression (sex slaves, devastating injuries from childbirth, poverty) into opportunity.

It’s easy reading on a tough topic, but also for a positive attitude toward Christians.

Missionaries have been running indispensable health and education networks in some of the poorest countries for decades … Aid workers and diplomats come and go, but missionaries burrow into a society, learn the local language, send their children to local schools, sometimes stay for life …

If there is to be a successful movement on behalf of women in poor countries, it will have to bridge the God Gulf. Secular bleeding hearts and religious bleeding hearts will have to forget a common cause …

They have good words for World Vision, and evangelicals like Rick Warren, and note that

Liberals could emulate the willingness of many evangelicals to tithe  – to donate 10 per cent of their income to charity … Americans who attend church services at least once a week are “inarguably more charitable in every measurable way” than the two thirds who are less religious.

Good to have that recognized!

But most of all read Half the Sky because God calls women to love and serve him … women make up half of the potential mission force for the gospel .. and over half of the mission field!

Leighton Ford

May 2010

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