In a previous blog, I mentioned that God is opening more doors and asked you to say tuned…. God has opened a whole new mission and venture for me and my family. Let me tell you a little bit about how God is moving.
As some of you know, I’m part of a great legacy of strong women—and my husband Don and I have had a shared ministry in Harrisburg, PA, as well as our own individual ministries for more than 34 years. We have four daughters, Andrea, Lauren, Kristin, and Rachel. They are all strong leaders in their jobs, communities, and churches as well. God has been good to us in so many ways. Life seemed to be going very well until December 16, 2016.
My life changed that day when I was diagnosed with stage four pancreatic cancer.
There are many, many emotions that come with such a diagnosis. The medical prognosis is not good, but we know that God is in control and can intervene with healing as we are asking, if He chooses to do so. We have no doubt that He has the power to heal. We are trusting Him and His sovereign plan. The enemy continues to wage war, but we know our God is victorious! We do not know the future, but we know Who holds the future.
I have been faced with questions about my priorities now as time may be limited. I want to spend time with my family. Our daughters have been making more frequent trips home. Don and I are trying to plan and spend special moments together. I want to tell more people about Jesus! It is easy to live life in a routine with a sense that we have all the time in the world until something like this becomes a reality. I found myself thinking more about the legacy I will leave. My daughters are my legacy and will carry on my legacy, along with those I have helped to know Jesus. Relationships and bringing more people to heaven are the only things that really matter. The sense of urgency is heightened. I have a found myself asking, “What else do you want me to do Lord? What else can I do for your kingdom?”
Then in March, we received a call from our friends who lead a group called Stadia. Stadia has been instrumental in starting hundreds of new churches. With each church planter they support, they have a passionate desire to see a world where every child will experience the love of Jesus Christ through a local church. Recently Stadia formed a partnership with Enhance, an organization that seeks to fulfill the Great Commission in Southern Asia, where the largest concentration of unreached people groups live. More than 500 million people in Southern Asia have never even heard the name of Jesus! Around 26 million children are unwanted, calling the streets their home. These children live disrupted, difficult lives. They are hungry for love, care and the Good News of Jesus. I cannot even wrap my mind around these numbers and the severe poverty that exits in this region of the world. This quote from the founder and international director of Enhance impacted me: “The greatest injustice in the world is this: you and I can hear or read about Jesus any time we wish, but there are still millions of people who cannot, even if they want to.”
My family and I were presented with an opportunity to be the catalyst family to help promote awareness of this great need, and help raise the funds needed to transform communities in this unreached and poverty stricken area of the world. Stadia is partnering with 50 new graduates receiving training and support in 2 transformation centers in Southern Asia, and 25 of them will be young women. These 50 graduates will work in an average of three communities each in their first five years of ministry. The first goal is to transform 100,000 communities by 2030. The graduates are first generation Christians on fire to share Jesus and transform their communities. We will be concentrating on raising a total of $170,000 this year to support all 25 young women for 3 years, which can be broken down to $6500 per woman. The name and idea of “Gail’s Girls” came to one of Stadia’s leaders in the night. He didn’t take this lightly as he said God doesn’t usually speak to him in dreams, but this one was clear! My family and I have been blessed to be in a chain of Godly women leaders and now have the chance to extend that chain into Southern Asia!
Enhance has been working in Southern Asia over the last 18 years. They have encouraged and partnered with the native workers who have already begun work in 20,117 villages through 2016. The work is difficult with multiple languages, cultures, and religious beliefs, but is being carried out by those who already live in these villages. They share love in their communities and meet social and practical needs such as education, clean drinking water, first aid and sanitation. They are learning trades to be able to support their families and teach others in the community, so they can do the same. They are starting house churches and Bible studies which are transforming lives and entire communities. The testimonies of these women are amazing and miraculous! I will share some of their stories later.
Since I have been diagnosed with this aggressive cancer, many people have been asking, “What can we do to help?” I have received many, many cards of encouragement and support. Countless people have been praying for me and my family. We can’t begin to express our gratitude for your prayers and love! We are humbled and amazed at how the family of Christ works to support, love, encourage and pray for us and so many others. Please continue your prayers. We sense God’s presence and peace surrounding us.
I also hear God saying, “keep moving, I am not done with you yet!” I am inviting all of you who sense God’s calling and want to help, to join me in building a legacy to help support “Gail’s Girls” as the kingdom of God is on the move in Southern Asia.
God gave the name for this venture in the still of the night. That’s pretty significant to me! I am honored to be a part of “Gail’s Girls.” The women we’re empowering are courageous and faithful women, on fire for Jesus, willing to give their lives for the kingdom, transform their communities, and to love and help unwanted children. Please consider joining me and my family as we continue to build a legacy of women leaders in the kingdom, now reaching into this unreached area of the world. I know this is bringing joy to the Father!
I will be sharing more of the women’s stories and our progress. I would love to answer any questions you have. Stadia’s website can explain more of the mission also. All funds will go through Stadia at www.GailsGirls.org .
Thank you for making a difference in the Kingdom of God!