It takes a lot to render me speechless. Even more to make me angry. This story happened yesterday.
We have had a delightful lady church planter from India staying with us this week. She trains other women church planters and between them they have seen 50,000 to 60,000 baptisms of women over the last few years. In the network that she and her husband run, there have been around 250,000 baptisms. They have planted thousands of house churches.
This lady is in the United States to get her doctorate in ministry–she comes over once a year to attend the course in person. The course is about missions and how to reach the world for Christ.
I was driving her back to the airport and the subject of the book I’m compiling on women came up. I told her that in some circles, in this country, women are not allowed to speak in church.
“I understand what you mean when you say that ,” she said. “I am the only woman in the group taking this course, and I don’t say anything.”
“Why not?” I asked.
“I’m not allowed to speak because I am a woman.”
“Do the people in the course have any idea what you are involved in?” I asked. “Do they know how many churches you have and how many people have become Christians through what you are doing?”
“Oh no,” she replied, “I haven’t been able to tell them. I’m not allowed to take part in any of the discussions that the men have.”
I asked her several questions to make sure I was really understanding her correctly. The men are allowed to speak during the course but she has to keep silent. They teach from theory but do not benefit from her experience. They have no idea what a treasure they have in their midst.
Here’s a woman who has seen what these men long to see–a move of God–and she’s muzzled.
It’s the men’s loss, but oh, what a tragedy!