Most women look in the mirror at least once a day.
That’s a physical truth Stonecroft international partner Emmanuel Chirambo applies to his spiritual work in the African country of Malawi. Emmanuel uses Stonecroft Bible Studies (SBS) and other Stonecroft resources to empower women and girls in a culture that, according to him, has traditionally undervalued women. What’s the connection to mirrors?
“We teach women and girls that God’s Word is like a mirror to their souls,” says Emmanuel, a Malawian evangelist. “It helps them see everything God wants them to be.”
The Other Side of the World
Emmanuel and his co-workers are building a home for widows and orphan girls, where they will be introduced to Jesus and grow as disciples through SBS groups. While construction is underway in Malawi’s capital of Lilongwe, Emmanuel leads SBS groups outdoors.
“We’re seeing great transformation in the lives of women through God’s Word,” he says. “We’re teaching them to put on the full armor of God and that studying God’s Word can equip them to face the challenges of living in a culture that views women as second-class.”
As more become Christians, Emmanuel plans to use Stonecroft evangelism training tools to equip them to be missionaries to their own people. He also hopes to build an evangelistic medical clinic and a library of Stonecroft resources.
Beyond these projects, Emmanuel and his team share Christ through SBS and Stonecroft Life Publications in prisons across Malawi. They’re reaching out to Muslims, too.
Thrown Out of the House
Emmanuel tells of leading a Muslim woman named Chiwa* to faith in Christ and sharing SBS materials with her. When Chiwa’s husband, Funsani,* learned she became a Christian, he threw her out of the house.
Later, Funsani contacted Emmanuel to visit him. He’s coming to kill me, Emmanuel thought.
Instead, Funsani came with questions. He’d been reading the SBS Who is Jesus? Chiwa left in their bedroom. Emmanuel answered his questions, and Funsani prayed to receive Christ.
Today, Funsani and Chiwa are growing together in their new faith.
Their story “was so beyond our imagination of how God could use us and Stonecroft resources,” Emmanuel told Stonecroft staff during a visit to the Home Office last year. “Thank you for praying for us and sending us Stonecroft materials that transform lives.”
More stories of transformed lives are happening in the more than 40 other countries where Stonecroft has international partners and affiliates. But the stories don’t stop there.
In Our Own Backyards
Stonecroft volunteers and staff in the U.S. are seeing God do “immeasurably more” here, too.
Here’s one example. Sarah LeBlanc, Director of Field Ministry, and her team of Divisional Field Directors (DFDs) are watching “a movement of God” in Stonecroft’s 30-plus hubs. Primarily led by younger women, hubs are local Stonecroft groups of Christian women of all ages who together grow in their faith and learn to share the Gospel in their own backyards. In one year, the number of hubs has more than tripled.
“We’ve seen doors open that the only explanation (for) is Jesus,” says Sarah. “When God starts opening doors and moving on the hearts of women … it has nothing to do with our skills. It’s the Holy Spirit calling people.”
One woman who’s been called is Kyra Langston, hub leader of Stonecroft Brevard County (Florida). Last year, Emma Reynolds, Southeastern DFD, recruited Kyra to teach a session at a Find Your Balance outreach. Later, Kyra led a Story Marks outreach featuring women and the stories behind their tattoos.
Kyra shared the faith story of a tattoo on her forearm. It covers scars she got as an IV drug user before she became a Christ-follower. “I tried everything to get sober. Nothing worked. Because I’d been hurt by organized religion, I steered clear of God, too,” she says.
But He found her while she was serving jail time, when a woman chaplain reached out to her.
“She didn’t judge; she just showed me the love of Christ,” Kyra recalls.
While in jail, Kyra read the entire Bible. Through that, she began a forever relationship with Jesus.
Today, she’s passionate about reflecting His love to other women through Stonecroft. “What drew me to Stonecroft is that we meet women where they are, as they are, with no judgment.”
Kyra recently co-led with Emma a hub event where they taught area Christian women to share their faith through Stonecroft’s Your Story evangelism training. Emma is excited about how God used Kyra there.
“Kyra is new to Stonecroft, but she’s great at equipping women to share the Gospel,” Emma says. “She’s so thankful for her salvation, and that leaves a lasting impression.”
“People can see what Jesus has done in my life,” adds Kyra. “How can I keep that grace, redemption, and freedom to myself? It has to be shared.”