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Honoring the lesser knowns for Women’s History Month

By Barbara Latta

Through the years women have played an important role in history. We read about the bravery of Dolly Madison as she hid valuable and historic artifacts from the British while they burned the White House during the war of 1812.

Martha Washington, at a risk to her health and safety, traveled to various battlefields to bring supplies to her husband and his soldiers during the Revolutionary War.

Marie Curie, along with her husband Pierre, discovered radioactivity.

We could go on and on about the benefits to the world from famous women throughout the ages.
But what about those not acclaimed by the secular world? As we observe Women’s History Month in March, I would like to shed light on some of the lesser known heroines who decisions affected not only their own lives but the future of others.

Elizabeth Elliot is a well-publicized figure in Christianity. Because of her books and the movie, End of the Spear, her exploits may be known by some in the secular part of society. But she is not as acclaimed as some celebrities who venture into a foreign country for a few days with news hounds following them proclaiming their so-called sacrificial benevolence. Elizabeth and her husband Jim were missionaries in Ecuador to the Auca Indians. When Jim and four others were killed by the people they set out to help, she left the country. Later God led her to return to Ecuador. She was a widow with a young daughter, but she overcame her fear to obey God and return to minister to the very ones who killed her husband. Her decision impacted an entire village. The native man who killed Jim and the other men came to know the Lord. Elizabeth’s books continue to bring the message of hope and salvation to those who read them.

Corrie ten Boom suffered for years in a concentration camp because she and her family gave aid to Jews during the Nazi occupation of Europe. Her entire family perished but she survived and was later released from prison. Corrie’s experiences were reenacted in the book and movie, The Hiding Place. Her testimony revealed acts of forgiveness toward her captors. Many people came to know Christ because of Corrie’s actions and an estimated 800 Jews were saved because of her family’s decision to harbor them.

Sabina Wurmbrand also lost family members in Nazi concentration camps. During her life she secreted Jewish children out of ghetto conditions and smuggled food into refugee camps. Her husband, Richard, was arrested by the Communists in 1948 due to his underground activity and spent 14 years in confinement. She was arrested in 1951 because she encouraged the underground Christians to continue their work. Her jailors promised to let her go if she would divorce her husband and renounce Christ. She refused. After both of them were released, they escaped Romania and founded the Voice of the Martyrs, an organization that helps those in bondage due to religious persecution.
Then there are others who are forgotten by some even in the Christian world.

One of those is Leah Sharibu. She is the only remaining prisoner from the 2018 Dapchi school abduction in Nigeria. Five girls were killed during the raid and 104 were released because they acknowledged Islam. Leah would not relent but remained firm in her Christian commitment and today is still a prisoner of the Islamic State-West Africa Province (ISWAP). Their goal is to keep her as a slave for life.

Women we don’t know about suffer all over the earth locked away in dark prison cells with barely enough food to keep them alive. They are tortured, cold, sick, beaten, raped, and have the threat of death over them every day. Some have watched family members murdered before their eyes. All because they have committed their lives to Jesus Christ.

What better way to recognize Women’s History Month than to honor those who have suffered for a greater cause than any invention can give us.

The accomplishments of females across the globe are important and have provided benefits to our lives. But the greater impact to the population of the earth is from those who selflessly sacrifice their health, safety, and lives to remain faithful to the Savior who died for them.

Religious persecution has already started in America. But, so far, our most difficult hardship cannot compare to the harsh conditions the women mentioned and others have endured. They deserve our honor, recognition, and prayers.

Their willingness to deny their own wants and needs to give to others continues to bear fruit.
The examples they have left can show us what trust in God can do. We can learn to love the Savior the same way those who have gone before us did. We can follow the strong faith of those who still survive to be a living testimony.

Barbara Latta is a freelance writer who posts online articles at and contributes to the devotion website Christian Devotions.

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