International Women’s Day

Today we celebrate International Women's Day.  All around the globe, there women are making amazing accomplishments, in big and small ways.  Grain of Rice Project and myself are privileged to be surrounded by incredible women of faith, hope and perseverance, and I often think that the unsung heroes are the average people who are doing their own small part to make the world a better place.

When I think of the great women in my life and the life of GORP, I think first about my mom.  My mom has nurtured my creativity and has shown me the importance of being a life-long learner.  If you ask my mom to do something, she will do it seriously better than you can imagine in your mind.  She really pours her energy into the task at hand, and I know her example has deeply influenced me as we started Grain of Rice.  By the way, she has sacrificed extensively to help grow GORP and we've lost track of how many events she's worked.

Then there is Naomi, our administrative director in Kenya.  Naomi is a true go getter who has brought a thorough sense of organization to everything we do in Kenya, and everything I do...she is always reminding me about tasks I'm forgetting.  She is a great team player, and she never complains.  Last June, I was alone one night, and as I was cooking dinner, I could hear a rustling inside one of the bags in the hall closet.  Upon hearing it a second time, I knew it was a rat.  And while I tried to chop louder to cover up the rustling, and tried to close the door in avoidance, neither of those things really did the trick.  So, rather than try to take care of the problem myself, I naturally called Naomi, who had to walk a good 20 minutes through the slum, in the dark to reach me.  And brave Naomi, disposed of the rustling bag and the mischievous rat, and I proceeded to sleep with peace of mind.  I say all this to show that Naomi is good about putting others first.  Naomi is trying hard to build a positive future for herself and her family.  When she first starting working for GORP, her family was nearly a year behind on their house rent.  But now she has slowly saved up money, cleared her debt, and has begun helping her mom to build a small house in Western Kenya.

Another amazing woman I know is Mary Lou.   I was privileged to teach with her for 2 years.  She was the music teacher, who also put her heart and soul into developing the musical and theatrical talent of children.  She is an amazing host who has taught me about hospitality, and I feel like I'm on vacation every time I stay with her.  Even in her retirement, Mary Lou is continuing to spread her love of music to children and adults through her church.  She is also the person who influenced her global missions team to partner with GORP as one of our major supporters.  She is a true cheerleader and a passionate person who helps others to strive to be the best God has made them to be.

I could go on and on about more amazing women on our GORP team--women who've been forced into single motherhood by no choice of their own, who are overcoming disease and illness, who are joining together to make great strides for not only themselves, but also their families and communities.  Tell us about the amazing women in your life who are making a difference.

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