The GLS in Pakistan
The ripple effect of the GLS spreads to some of the most unexpected places in the world. Christian leaders in Pakistan face great opposition, often at the risk of losing their lives, for the sake of bringing the Gospel into their communities.
Our friends in Pakistan courageously host the GLS in order to train, encourage, and build up leaders in this difficult region. While all Christians leaders in Pakistan face opposition, women in leadership battle even greater challenges. But this does not stop them from pressing on to satisfy their hunger to learn and grow as leaders and women of Christ. One woman, moved by the GLS and the impact if had on her and her leadership, started a women’s leadership training program. “We will do all we can to get trained.” she said.
More than half of the 45 women who enrolled in the 11-month leadership program, were forced to drop out due to pressure from male leaders in their churches. Undeterred, 22 women (ranging in age from 18-72) continue with the program, learning from world-class GLS teachers including Bill Hybels and John C Maxwell. The vision of the program is to reach every woman in Pakistan with the Gospel of Jesus Christ and teach every woman how to read, write, and lead.
We celebrate these 22 courageous women who graduated from the Women in Leadership course, the first of its kind in the history of Pakistan. These women who lead as teachers, medical professionals, evangelists, church leaders, college students, and women’s rights activists have been encouraged and empowered by this program. The 2013 graduation was a celebration attended by many pastors, leaders, and citizens of the Christian community in Pakistan. Already 60 women have enrolled for the 2014 program! Pray for the impact this training will have on these women and their communities.
The GLS in Costa Rica
“Leadership training is what the Costa Rican church needs to grow and be relevant in a fast-changing society.” -GLS Leader, Costa Rica
350 leaders gathers from every corner of Costa Rica to attend the GLS. Participants were welcomed by an enthusiastic group of volunteers, among them a group or 10 women who have been freed from sex slavery, and are now a part of the Rahab Foundation. This organization is recognized for their work and focus on relief from from sex trafficking. Since becoming a part of Rahab, they’ve received protection, support, training, and even funding to start a new life. At the GLS, they also received leadership training. The collaboration between the Rahab Foundation and GLS organizers was a great blessing to these women who volunteered to serve food and were invited to attend the GLS sessions.
This is a great reminder that God redeems and restores the broken and continues to use us to further the Kingdom in the roles we can play. Everyone was stirred and impacted by all the sessions, including the ones focused on vulnerability, a healthy culture, and innovation. Many are already asking about the next year because they desired to continue to grow in their leadership for the sake of the Church and their communities.
View more pictures and stories at www.willowcreek.com/followthegls
I sought the Lord, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears. Psalm 34:4