By Francie Likis
Hope Through Healing Hands was delighted to be the title sponsor for the inaugural Why Christian? conference led by Rachel Held Evans and Nadia Bolz-Weber. This was a gathering of storytellers who talked about why they continue to follow Jesus “with all the atrocities past and present committed in God’s name, amidst all the hostile divisions ripping apart Christ’s church, in spite of all our own doubts and frustrations and fears about faith.”
Thirteen women, including Rachel and Nadia, representing diverse denominations, theologies, races, and ethnicities gave compelling testimonies for why they are Christians.
Many of the speakers’ words reflected the clear connection between the Christian faith and the work of justice and equality, particularly for marginalized populations. Here are a few quotations:
“God gardens in dark and hopeless corners of the world.”
-Rachel Held Evans
“Christians weep for the world as it is and have unquenchable hope for the world as it can be.”
“Human dignity is always the right answer.”
“The work of love and justice is the work of Jesus.”
“Your voice is an instrument that is limitless.”
Emily’s words resonated with those of Hope Through Healing Hands Executive Director, Jenny Dyer, who spoke to conference attendees about their ability to be advocates for the most vulnerable women and children around the world. Jenny described how healthy timing and spacing of pregnancies not only saves lives and improves the health of mothers and children, but also touches on so many other important issues including universal education, families’ economic independence and sustainable futures, gender-based violence, sex trafficking, and orphanhood. Investing in the health of women helps them, their families, and their communities. You can read her speech here.
Each Why Christian? 2015 attendee received a copy of The Mother & Child Project: Raising Our Voices for Health and Hope book and a postcard. Attendees addressed these postcards, which outlined their support for protecting and increasing U.S. foreign assistance funding for maternal and child health and healthy timing and spacing of pregnancies, to their Senators and Representatives. These postcards gave the attendees the opportunity to use their limitless voices and live out the call of Christ to love our neighbors, even when they are a continent away.
To learn more about Why Christian? 2015, read Rachel Held Evans’ recap and search the hashtag #WX2015 on social media. For information about Why Christian? 2016, which will be held in Chicago on September 30 – October 1, visit http://www.whychristian.net/.