History is filled with great and heroic missionary ladies: Amy Carmichael, Mary Slessor, Betty Stam, Anne Judson, and Margaret Stringer, just to name a few. Do you know who my favorite missionary lady in the Bible is?
I don’t have one.
Because there isn’t one mentioned in the Bible.
What!!?? Not one missionary lady in the entire Bible? Does this mean that the Lord never intended for women to be missionaries? Of course not. Philippians 4:3 says, “And I intreat thee also, true yokefellow, help those women which laboured with me in the gospel, with Clement also, and with other my fellowlabourers, whose names are in the book of life.” Who are these ladies that labored with Paul in the gospel? By looking through the book of Acts and the Pauline epistles, we can see some of these ladies who had a part in the work of the gospel. I believe as we look at their contributions in the ministry, we will realize that God expects all of us to be involved in the work of world evangelism–not just a “titled” few.
Lydia – Business Woman
We find Lydia in Acts 16. She is a business woman who sells purple, but she also gathers ladies interested in God to pray together. Once she receives Christ as Saviour, we see her using her resources for the Lord. When Paul is released from a Philippian jail, he goes to Lydia’s house for refuge.
Priscilla – Teacher and Soulwinner
Priscilla and her husband Aquilla (Isn’t that cute? Their names even match! What an adorable couple!) had a tent-making business together. Evidently they did everything together because they are always mentioned in tandem. But in Acts 18, we see them taking a young man aside who knew only the baptism of John, and teaching him the truth of the gospel. The man they teach becomes a mighty preacher of the gospel.
Lois and Eunice – Mother and Grandmother
These ladies raise the mighty Timothy, and it appears from Scripture that they did so without much help from Timothy’s father. When Paul wrote Timothy, he spoke of the faith of his mother and grandmother and how Timothy knew the holy Scripture from a child because of these two ladies.
Phebe – Servant
We believe Phebe helped Paul by delivering the book of Romans to the church at Rome. She was available to help Paul how ever she could.
As you look at these ladies, I think we could all identify with at least one of them. Maybe you would say, “I’m a mother. I’m a business woman. I serve in my local church.” Would your pastor be able to say, “Help (put your name here). She has labored with me in the gospel work. She gives her finances and resources to the local church. She is teaching young people the Word of God. She is giving the gospel every where she goes. She is raising her children to love and know the Bible. Anytime we need help at the church, she is there to help us.”
Studying these ladies makes me evaluate my own life. Am I doing all I can in the wonderful work of the Lord just as these ladies were?