The Official Writing Challenge
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Amen, sister, preach it!
This is brilliant. I am nearly speechless--what connection, what ingenuity, what amazing writing and, bam, what a message. Bravo.
This story is liked a loaded shotgun. The wisest course is to grunt politely and move on. It's so incredibly well written. And what a powerful woman - almost like someone from Proverbs 31. I love the sheer energy levels that the prose conveys. It's exhilerating and so moving.

But, is this one example sanction women pastors in Africa? They do occur but they're few and far between. We face a similar dilemma in Mozambique where in many of our village a number of the older men are polygamists. Paul also speaks out against this practice, forbiding such men from taking up church office. So how do we respond to this injunction? Some churches advocate sending away second and third wives, thus freeing up their men to take up church office. But this has always struck me as cruel and contrary to the spirit of the Scriptures. Other churches will simply ignore Paul's prohibition, preferring to be pragmatic in their theology. We take a third view, welcoming polygamists into our churches but excluding them from leadership. We will even discipline a church leader who willfully takes a second wife. We do this understanding that the non-verbal messages a leader sends out are just as important a consideration as how enthusiastic or capable he may be. Personally I think that the same argument can be made for women pastors. Let a woman serve by all means, but not as the head of a church. In saying that, I thank God for the many capable women who serve alongside us in the work of the gospel here in Mozambique.

I wonder how many people will echo, Amen, brother, preach it!
I want to meet this woman and get to know her! Fabulous job of getting facts in without "telling", even tho the MC is telling them. :)
Excellent writing, development and delivery. Very interesting. While my pastor husband and I might differ, here's my thoughts of this PARTICULAR situation. She didn't ask for it, she responded to God's leading inspite of the controversy. Her love of people and love of God abounds in this piece. Terrific characterization.

In retrospect I can see that my comment here was misplaced. As Lisa has correctly pointed out, it belongs better in the bulletin boards rather than attached to an indiviidual story. I therefore apologise for my inappropriate posting.
Blessings on a superbly written article and on Greg's humble spirit.
I'd love to meet the woman so escellently described.
Thank you for introducing yourself to me. It has been a pleasure getting to know you a bit. I love the creativity you show in dismantling clothing and creating something new and lovely. I would love it if you could do that in my closet.(lol)

Wonderful character study of a fascinating woman from a fascinating culture. Wonderfully done.
I know that woman, except on a different continent and dressed in different clothes. You've given your readers a glimpse inside another world that we would do well to remember more earnestly in prayer ... joining her in bringing all the needs around her to God.
Your MC is so vivid and real, I feel that I've met her. Congratulations on your EC!
Congratulations on your EC. This was brilliantly told. I am proud, and humbled, to have met your MC: actually several of them. Just watching their lives leaves me exhausted.
I don't know any who are in charge of churches though. They are far more often 'the overworked wife behind the great man'. Personally I think your story would have lost nothing if you had not introduced the controversial bit about women in leadership, but just let this woman shine for who she is. That's just my opinion.
I love these women every time I meet them. Thank you for bringing these heroes to the attention of the FW community.
The woman was not a work of fiction. She was the leader of a vibrant black churh in Durban in South Africa.