15 Oct Stories Behind Missions Grants | Kristin Fisher
Kristin Fisher, a member at our Taylors campus, serves as the Myanmar Country Director at She Is Safe. She received funding from Grace Church to support her personal ministry through the Missions Grants program. To learn more about the Missions Grants program or to apply for support in your personal ministry, please visit www.gracechurchsc.org/missionsgrants.
Tell us about your background.
After graduate school, I worked as a teacher and basketball coach in Montgomery, Alabama. It was during that time that my eyes were open to the real challenges that people around the world face due to circumstances beyond their control. I prayed and asked God what part I could take to respond to those needs, and he brought me an opportunity to serve as a traditional missionary in Zambia. It was through the trials I experienced living in Zambia that God taught me the importance of working alongside local people and empowering the local church to bring lasting transformation.
With the desire to work through partnership with nationals, I accepted an international role based in the United States that allowed me to travel all over the world. I met with women and saw first-hand how they suffer disproportionately. I sat with women that had been trafficked, denied education, forced into marriage, and experienced way more abuses than anyone should ever have to face. My heart broke for these women, and I knew I wanted to work to help women and girls be safe.
What led you to work for She Is Safe?
I first learned about She Is Safe when I read a book on international partnership written by Daniel Rickett, the International Director for She is Safe. After I learned about She Is Safe’s vision for every girl to be safe and free, to work through partnership, and to do so in the toughest, most unreached places around the world I knew I wanted to join this ministry. For the last four years, I have been working with my Myanmar coworkers to prevent women and girls from facing abuse and share the hope of Christ with them.
What is She Is Safe?
She Is Safe is a Christian non-profit organization that has been working for over 15 years to prevent, rescue, and restore women and girls from abuse and slavery in high-risk and least-reached places around the globe. We do this by partnering with local non-profit organizations and churches.
We believe that partnership allows a great way to bring real-life transformation and present the gospel in difficult places. Our partners bring knowledge of culture, language skills, connections, expertise, relationships, ideas, experience, and so much more. We bring expertise, programming and training, an effective due diligence system, encouragement, and financial support when needed. It is a beautiful thing to see the body of Christ around the world coming together for his glory!
What kinds of challenges do women in Myanmar face?
Myanmar is one of poorest countries in the world and one of the most at-risk for human trafficking. Because of the one-child policy in China and the great shortage of females, women in bordering countries like Myanmar are at risk of being trafficked and sold as brides. The poor economy in Myanmar drives many to look for work across borders, opening up the possibilities for many types of abuse. According to Joshua Project, 78% of the population in Myanmar is Buddhist and most people have never heard about a God who loves them.
Tell me about one of the women in your programs.
A woman I will call May Su lost her husband a few years ago and struggled to support her children. She lives in a high-risk community with limited options for employment.
Things started to change for May Su about two years ago when she learned of our vocational training program. She joined the sewing class and became one of our first graduates. May Su also completed a business development training that helped her learn how to write a business plan and manage her finances. Using the marketing training she received, May Su created a flyer to let her neighbors know about her sewing services.
Just a few months after May Su started her business, she joined a Transformation Group (TG), She Is Safe’s flagship program. In these groups, women hear the gospel and receive literacy, leadership, and health and hygiene training. May Su saves about 70 cents a week and is eligible to take out a low-interest loan from her TG’s collective savings pool. Her favorite part of her TG is “sharing life with the other women in her group.” She no longer feels isolated and she has a community around her. When asked about being in her Transformation Group, May Su told us, “My life has been transformed and my whole family is better off. I know how to care better for my children and how to lead my family to a better life. I have learned how to build good relationships with others.”
May Su’s life has been completely transformed, and last year she was baptized!
What does it mean to have the support of Grace Church?
Grace is my home church. My husband and I have seen God work in our lives through our community group and serving at Grace. It means so much to me to know that my home church believes in what I’m doing and supports me through prayer, encouragement, and the Missions Grants program.
For more information about She is Safe, visit https://sheissafe.org/.