On an ancient Sunday morning, in a garden near a tomb, Jesus equipped his first disciple to share the Gospel when he appeared to Mary Magdalene. The greatest news the world would ever know was first revealed to, and then shared by, a woman:
“Go instead to my brothers and tell them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’”
Equipped to serve their countries and share the Gospel in the face of danger and opposition, Haggai’s female leaders across the globe are on the front lines of some of the world’s most dangerous crises. On Friday, February 25, Haggai leader and international representative Maia Mykhaliuk shared a harrowing report from her home in Kyiv, Ukraine:
“We woke up with our windows shaking from a huge explosion and the sky was orange…”
As a fomer-war photographer and leader of a 3,000-member volunteer humanitarian organization, Maia is no stranger to crisis. She began reporting on Ukraine’s military conflicts with Russia nearly a decade ago, and her photos have been featured by CNN and the UK Independent. As the invasion unfolds, Maia has been documenting the story in Ukraine while also caring for her daughter-in-law, who is due to give birth any day. On International Women’s Day (a national holiday in Ukraine), she shared this reflection:
“My prayers are for women-defenders, and for women who are covering their kids’ ears during air raids, who struggle for words to explain to their children what is happening, for women who are on the road fleeing the war… my prayers are for women who are pregnant, may God give them peace and assurance that they are bringing new life into the world that will soon become a better place… I pray for our little girls to grow strong! We shall overcome!”
When galvanized by the Gospel, women like Maia are a formidable force for good. Haggai International knew this in 1977 when the first women’s equipping session was held. And in the years since, Haggai has equipped tens of thousands of women in 189 nations. Like Maia, these brave, committed women have been emboldened by the Gospel to change their families, their communities, their countries, and the world.
Haggai leader and representative Maia Mykhaliuk was a former war-photographer. She’s been documenting the events in her home country of Ukraine.
Vera, a Supreme Court Justice in Cameroon, began her career as a prosecutor fighting for the rights and safety of women in a patriarchal system. In El Salvador, Claudia Castillo energized an “army of women” to hold the country’s first national seminar for women. Cecilia, an artisan in Greece, is giving female refugees from the Middle East vocational skills to support their families and showing them how to have a relationship with Jesus. In Buenos Aires, Jane Caldcleugh is rescuing young women from sex trafficking and helping them establish a new life in Christ.
Supreme Court Justice Vera is committed to living out God’s call on her life by confronting the abuse of women and children with the full force of the law.
Today, as stories of women are celebrated across the news and social media, we ask you to remember the women of Haggai International — women like Maia who forge ahead when faced with an uncertain future. Pray for their safety, and that they would be bold in sharing the love of Jesus with a desperately hurting world.