The Women Who Bring Hope
Through the heroic efforts of over 2,000 women missionaries who have dedicated their lives to bringing God’s love to the women of Asia, we can reach them. In many Asian cultures, genders rarely mix, so traditional male missionaries are severely limited in ministering to women. However, it is possible to send trained, dedicated women missionaries to reach the millions who still wait to hear that they are precious to Jesus.
After three years of intense training, GFA-supported women missionaries are driven by a passion: to relieve the pain and suffering of women in Asia by introducing them to the love of the Lord Jesus Christ. They heroically risk persecution, beatings and imprisonment to tell hurting women about a Savior who offers hope for eternity, and strength for today.
SPECIALLY TRAINED WOMEN MISSIONARIES
an addition to the missionary team
Founder and Director, K.P. Yohannan, would like to introduce you to our specially trained women missionaries who are called Sisters of Compassion.
Over the years, our Heavenly Father has blessed us with many new ways to share His love with those who have yet to hear of Him. Today, I am excited to tell you about a new door He has opened through some of our women missionaries.
With a passion for physically showing Christ’s love to the least of society, these missionaries, called Sisters of Compassion, have undergone special training to uniquely serve communities and share the Good News where most missionaries cannot go.
God is already using these women in mighty ways we can’t imagine. I hope you will join us in watching and praying for the amazing things He will do through them.
Yours for the lost,
Founder & Director
Originally published: March 2014
Who Are the Sisters of Compassion?
Sisters of Compassion are specially trained women missionaries with a deep burden for showing Christ’s love by physically serving the needy, underprivileged and poor. After completing Bible college—and often several years of ministry—they go through an advanced six-month course of study, learning about leprosy care, family counseling, hygiene education and other practical ministries.
Before these women missionaries re-enter the field, they don a uniform of humility. Made of handspun fabric, the traditional saris they wear mirror the clothing once worn by the lowliest servants in Asia, immediately showing everyone that the women missionaries have come without any agenda but to love others.
Sisters of Compassion are eagerly welcomed as caregivers, counselors, teachers and friends. Without the uniform, they would be greeted with speculation.
An Open Door to Closed Communities
Since becoming a Sister of Compassion, Saaliha shares, “I see that people respect me. They will even approach me and share their problems with me . . . and I go to them, talk to them and share the Good News.”
From treating the open wounds of leprosy patients to training others in life-saving hygiene practices to rescuing children from the streets, Sisters of Compassion commit themselves wholeheartedly to their communities.
Through their sacrifice, God opens the door for them to build strong relationships where they would normally be rejected. And for the first time, many get to hear about the greatest Servant of all.
Some Questions and Answers about the Sisters of Compassion
Why do the Sisters of Compassion wear a uniform? What does it mean?
Although it looks foreign to Western eyes, the Sisters of Compassion uniform has a special and easily recognized meaning in South Asia. Made of humble, handspun fabric, the traditional saris mirror the clothing once worn by the lowliest servants in Asia. Over the years, women from many Christian denominations have taken on this uniform to demonstrate a desire to serve the needy without thought of personal gain.
In places where traditional women missionaries face persecution, Sisters of Compassion are welcomed as trustworthy counselors and friends of the community. With this acceptance, they freely share Christ’s love where they otherwise couldn’t even set foot.
What is the difference between a Sister of Compassion and a traditional woman missionary?
After completing Bible college—and often several years of ministry—some women missionaries elect to take a six-month course, which trains them in practical ministries such as leprosy care, family counseling and hygiene education. They commit to a minimum of three years in compassion ministry, serving widows, leprosy patients, the elderly, children and others who have been rejected by society at large.
Traditional women missionaries, while still building relationships within their communities, do not receive the specialized training that allows Sisters of Compassion to hold their distinct role. But however God leads them, all GFA World women missionaries are dedicated to demonstrating Christ’s love in word and in deed.
Do Sisters of Compassion take a life-long vow to not marry?
No, they do not. Rather, they willingly give three years to focus solely on reaching the least in their societies. Oftentimes, these women will marry once they’ve completed their three years of service as Sisters of Compassion.
It’s much like our missionaries, both men and women, who serve on GFA mobile teams. These missionaries decide to remain single during their time serving as part of a GFA mobile team because of all the traveling they do.