Brett White from Kingsway Churches reflects on how his church has sought to live the call of International Women’s Day 2021 theme #ChooseToChallenge.
When he saw the vast crowds of people, Jesus heart was deeply moved with compassion, because they seemed weary and helpless, like wandering sheep without a shepherd. Matthew 9:36 TPT
Our church hears this scripture as a call to walk alongside those who are lost, broken, weary and in need of love, compassion & kindness. It created the foundation for us as a church family to Choose to Challenge the gender imbalance faced by many women and their children in society today. Our Kingsway Community Churches sit in and across 2 of the top 10 catchment areas for women reporting domestic and family violence in NSW.
So, we stepped up, stepped out, and stepped into the call to see people clothed fed and housed and Platform Nine crisis accommodation services was established. It became the call on our lives that sees us blessed to be able to do God’s work and walk alongside these warriors of women and their children.
We have seen women come in as shells of humans and go out with shoulders up and heads held high ready to take on all that life has to offer with a newfound strength and skip in their step.
Domestic and Family violence takes on many shapes and forms from the obvious physical abuse to the more subtle coercive control. It is everyone’s problem, and it is your/our responsibility to step up when someone else is not able to “Choose to Challenge” their environment. Be the voice for someone who has been silenced who has had their power taken from them. Choose to Challenge by standing up in the gap for them and giving them hope that there is a way out.
Together we ‘Choose to Challenge’ gender inequality daily by providing crisis accommodation, case management and support to women. With a holistic approach towards empowerment that addresses socialisation, community engagement, alongside practical, emotional, and spiritual needs with the aim of guiding women towards independence.
P9 currently has had the honour of supporting over 400 people through its services and continues to ‘choose to challenge’.
Brett White is Lead Pastor at Kingsway Churches where the community is inspired by love to live differently and has created Kingsway Care to support women in their community.