International (MNN) — United Nations staff in the U.S. are observing International Women’s Day today ahead of the annual March 8th designation. Supporters observe this day globally to advocate for women’s rights. IWD began in the U.S. at the turn of the century and quickly spread throughout Europe and beyond.
Despite progress in key areas, one-third of all women and girls worldwide suffer gender-based violence. Peggy Banks heads up Trans World Radio’s Women of Hope program, which helps women find their place in God’s story.
“We are encouraging them to see themselves from God’s perspective, to see that they have a purpose and a plan,” Banks says.
“We have teams on the ground in 125 different countries that connect with these listeners, do Bible studies. We do events… we have prayer groups. There are many ways that we touch and connect the lives of women, ultimately having them come to know Jesus.”
More than a radio program
The Lord led Banks from working in local churches to the helm of Women of Hope’s ministry in 2016. “My passion is biblical counseling, so God opened up this door to really bring hope and Jesus to women around the world and across generations,” Banks says.
As described here, Women of Hope educates, encourages, and equips women to pray, listen, learn, grow, and give through media, small group interaction, and leadership development.
This year, Banks and her team want to help even more women find freedom and meaning in Christ.
“We hope to enhance our content, enhance presence on social media, maybe translate more languages so that women in other countries – especially closed countries – can hear a message of hope about a God who loves them,” she explains.
As an example, Banks describes the story of a young Farsi listener who wrote to Women of Hope staff. This young woman grew up in a Muslim home and “didn’t attend school because [her parents] didn’t believe that girls needed to attend school. So, she never had the opportunity to learn how to read and write,” Banks says.
This listener, and others like her, learn who God is through Women of Hope’s 30-minute radio broadcasts. The program also provides practical life lessons like “how to live with depression, how to live your identity, how to love your husband if you’re married, how to feed your children if you’re a mom, how to grow a garden.
“She says, ‘through your programs I’ve understood more about God’s love for me’.”
If you live in the San Diego area, you can meet Peggy in-person tomorrow. As described on Instagram, the program begins at 5 pm. “We have an audio program called ‘Hidden Treasures’ that’s created specifically for women and men who are rescued from human trafficking,” Banks says.
“Right now, we have it translated into 12 different languages and we have more languages that are needed, [including] Mandarin, Chinese, Vietnamese. When you donate…that helps us translate those programs into languages in countries where anti-trafficking organizations are working.”
No matter where you live, please surround this ministry in prayer. Use the prompts listed alongside this article as a starting point. To pray year-round, consider joining the Women of Hope email list here.
Header image courtesy of Women of Hope.