A Revolutionary Calling

In the early 1800s, Polly Webb invited her friends to participate in a sewing circle. They sent the money they raised to support missionaries in India. Polly wrote letters inviting other women to do the same. She believed God called her to use her time, her talents, and her circle of influence to participate in the Great Commission, and she invited other women to join her.

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A few years later, in 1888, at Broad Street Methodist Church in Richmond, Virginia, a group of women came together for a singular purpose. They would agree to participate in the Great Commission together and to invite other women to do the same.

Some of the “brethren” were against the women organizing. They felt it was dangerous and revolutionary. They had no idea how right they were. For generations to come, ordinary women would respond to God’s call to pray, give, and go. Thousands upon thousands of women would invite their friends to join them in a missions lifestyle.

We are women who understand that God has a place for us in His work throughout the world. We are women who find creative ways to share the love of Christ. We are women who encourage and invite others to be on missions with us.

WMU was founded by women who believed everyone could respond to the Great Commission, and we continue to build on the foundation they laid. Lottie Moon said, “How can I not speak when I know the words of life?”

WMU helps Christians find their voice so they can speak the words of life using their own talents, time, and influence. Are we revolutionary? Absolutely.

Learn more about the revolutionary women who founded Woman’s Missionary Union in Rosalie Hunt’s book We’ve a Story to Tell: 125 Years of WMU.

The WMU Foundation supports the life-changing ministries of WMU which help fulfill the Great Commission both locally and globally. Sponsor one hour of WMU ministry for $34 through the WMU Vision Fund.

A Mother's Influence

I have always been a little bit on the…how do I put this…dramatic side. Growing up, I was always jumping, dancing, singing, and storytelling. I’m not much different as an adult. I feel big and I talk big. I have somehow found myself in the public domain, writing for a living and sharing my strong feelings and dramatic life events with others. This is kind of a dream job for me.

My life is lived out loud, and I’ve been told I have a voice of influence. But when I think of influence, a much different picture comes to mind. I envision a cold January night. I had been tossing, turning, praying, and blogging. My life had been turned upside down by a chain of events and I had never felt so helpless or desperate. After a day filled with legal battles and angry tears, sleep just wouldn’t come. I stumbled into the dark kitchen of my parents’ house, and there she was: my mother. Sitting in the dark, head bowed, praying for me. A silent warrior, storming the gates on my behalf.

My mother never has liked the spotlight. She would much rather serve behind the scenes than have all eyes on her. She’s quiet and soft spoken; steady and strong. While I blog about things like what it means to lay down your life, she consistently lives a life of service. And the Internet does not praise her. There are no “like” buttons for months of bedside palliative care or nights slept on the floor beside a sick child. There are no comments sections for the hours spent on her knees, petitioning the Father for the hearts of her children. She has no audience. And yet, she serves. She prays. And she does so with joy.

Have I been given influence? Maybe. But my impact will never exceed the quiet, fixed influence of my mother—whispering fervent prayers at one a.m. Wiping fevered foreheads. Laying her life down for others again and again and again, and telling not a soul about it. Her quiet strength behind the scenes gives me courage to be strong in the public sphere. Her steady love for me makes me brave in vulnerability. Her joy in suffering gives me hope in the midst of my own pain.

I may speak to the masses, but her life has spoken profoundly to my one soul. When I grow up, I want to be just like her. 

To honor the mom in your life, be a part of the WMU Foundation's Give 34 Challenge to honor the most influential woman in your life. 

Jennifer Phillips is the New Hope Publisher's author of 30 Days of Hope for Adoptive Parents