Yesterday was Bold Women’s Day, but today is the day that the Lutheran church remembers the bold Elizabeth Fedde, a Norwegian Lutheran Deaconess who founded the Norwegian Relief Society after being challenged by her brother-in-law. She came to the United States to set up deaconess homes and hospitals in New York City, Minneapolis and Chicago, before returning to Norway. She did all of this in five years, and she was only in her thirties! (You can read more about Sister Elizabeth here.)
Isn’t it nice to set aside one Sunday a year for us to remember bold women and to think about how we are bold ourselves? We show our boldness every time we live up to our mission statement, “mobilizing women to act boldly on their faith in Jesus Christ.”
So what is the boldest thing you have ever done, for the sake of the Gospel that is? I’m guessing you probably haven’t traveled halfway around the world to set up homes and hospitals like Elizabeth Fedde did, but perhaps there is something that stands out to you–something that you have done for the sake of the Gospel. For me, it was teaching at an elementary school on a mission station in Cameroon while in my mid-twenties.
Back in the 1980s, serving the church by going to Africa was not as commonplace as it seems to be today. I boldly left the familiarity of Minnesota to spend two years teaching in a small American school for children in grades 1 – 8. Their parents were missionaries with the American Lutheran Church in either Cameroon or the Central African Republic. Although I didn’t establish anything great while I was there, I did serve a valuable role. My presence allowed missionaries with school-aged children to follow their calling to that part of western Africa, knowing their children would not miss out on a solid, American education from a licensed American teacher.
So, am I still so bold? Maybe not in as big of a way as I was back then, but I hope so–I think so. My boldness today comes every time I fill a need somewhere or volunteer to do something that benefits others and not myself. (For example, serving on the churchwide executive board is a bold thing, don’t you think?) It is then I am being bold for the sake of the Gospel.
How have you been bold lately?
Kris Brugamyer, a member of the churchwide executive board, lives in Dickinson, N. Dak.
Photo of Elizabeth Fedde courtesy of www.deaconesshistory.org