I met Olivia in the opening pages of Ronne Rock‘s book One Woman Can Change the World. Interesting characters always captivate me, so I read on, willing—because of Olivia—to read one more book about leadership and missionary outreach. Many of these are, after all, important books, awakening awareness and compassion. Inspiring prayer. Giving me tools for working with others.
But I’ve read lots of them over the years. Now I was looking for something more.
So I was delighted when this book made me weep.
With courage and insight, Ronne tells her own history of generational brokenness and trauma and of God’s interception and redemption of it. We hear her story in bits, as she weaves it into narratives about other women’s lives . . . women who, in partnership with the living God, have changed their worlds in the midst of the most desperate of conditions.
Sisters Lourdes and Teresa—one a former doctor; the other, a teacher—appear early in the book. As founders of Pequeño Refugio, aka Little House of Refuge, they piece together children’s shattered lives in an inviting home they built out of discards, using remnants of fabric for bedding; pieces of cardboard for closets; broken tiles for a colorful mosaic floor. Infusing those kids with Love, broken for them.
Newly arrived at the sisters’ Guatemala home, author Ronne surrendered her agenda as a short-term missionary to instead learn from their devotion. As she watched them in action, she observed that “true leadership had to be relational to be transformational. And yet they weren’t trying to be leaders. They were simply taking one step and the next . . . leadership they lived.”
So far, so good. These were fascinating women, neither of whom was “living the life she had planned or the life her culture said was the norm” but having a world-changing impact.
Then, as I had hoped, I read THIS and was instantly ALL-IN:
“Instead of being limited by or angry about gender or pedigree or position, they embraced it all.
“I wonder what Lourdes and Teresa would think about the two ends of the ‘Who am I as a woman?’ spectrum that seem to gain the most attention where I live. On the one end, the message ‘Let’s be girl-boss-babes and crush the patriarchy by taking over the world’ is strong. On the other end, the story is ‘Femininity over feminism—let’s be Proverbs 31 women, here for hearth and home!’ Both sides have points to ponder, each side wags the finger at the other, and both have sharp barbs used as weapons against invisible enemies.
“But neither reveals woman as she was fully designed to be.”
From that point on, I entered the guts of the book, broken into chapters exploring how we women can reclaim ourselves with the freedom and purpose and love God designed for us.
Ronne’s beautiful, resilient, inspiring friends from around the world show us the way.
And in other posts from our week with family in California:
Easter week with family, punctuated.
1000 miles to kiss those freckles (and hug her mama).
Favorite Sea Ninja, age 4.
When being a turkey is a good thing.
“Fools vent their anger, but the wise quietly hold it back.”
Thanks for joining me today, friends. I hope you leave here with food for thought.
Watching Nature, Seeing Life: Through His Creation, God Speaks