Her Story Embraces Compassion for Women at Risk


Pictured above is Brenda Hollenbach with jewelry made by women at risk.

By Brenda Hollenbach

Every person has a life story. God has been writing each of ours, even before we were born, creating us with certain bents and strengths that unfold into passions and dreams. There is continuity and flow in our stories as God brings about circumstances and events in line with the desires and giftedness he has given us. The key is to keep looking to him for our story and not try to write our own.

For as long as I can remember I have supported the underdog, sticking up for the oppressed, wanting to help in some way, but feeling powerless. Having the opportunity to live in some third world countries has heightened this desire and the frustration as the needs I have seen are so much greater than my abilities and resources.

It seems that God has especially burdened me for women and children who are exploited in any way. My heart has hurt many times with the desire to do something to help; but what?

This past October, our church held an event called “Caring for Our Sisters, Caring for Ourselves.” Deciding to go at the last minute, I had no idea that this was part of God writing the next chapter in my life story. Becky McDonald, founder of WAR International (Women at Risk) shared not only the plight of women around the world, but also the truth that God sees and cares, as well as specific ways that we here in America can help!

I went home and told my husband, John, that I didn’t know exactly what I was to do with all the information I received that day, but I knew I would never be the same. Since that day, I have seen God’s writing in my life in new ways as he is bringing about opportunities to do tangible things that will enable women around the world to live lives of dignity, such as selling jewelry that they make. I am trying to follow him step by step, not run ahead or lag behind, but simply obey the next step he shows me.

There are the seasons in our lives when God opens our eyes to see the truth of Ephesians 2:10, “For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” I feel like I am in one of those seasons. My prayer is that you too will be intentionally seeking to know God more deeply and to discern what story he has been and is writing in your life.

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