More than 250,000 women, girls ‘vanished’ in U.S.; Int’l Women’s Day, March 8, casts spotlight on women’s plight
STONEY CREEK, Canada — Mission agency GFA World (www.gfa.ca) is challenging people to “pray tenaciously for the world’s vulnerable women like never before” — including the more than 250,000 women and girls who’ve disappeared without a trace in the U.S.
As the annual International Women’s Day takes place in March, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) reported 257,000 women and girls were missing across America in 2021, the most recent year for statistics.
For most of us, it’s a distant thought, but across North America and around the world today, millions of parents, spouses and children live with the daily, brutal reality of not even knowing if their daughter, wife or mother is still alive.
Danger From ‘Womb to Widowhood’
Globally, it’s estimated up to 100 million women and girls are “missing and unaccounted for” — the victims of gender-selective abortions, female infanticide, slavery, human trafficking, and abandonment.
“Around the world, women’s lives are threatened from the womb to widowhood, and millions of precious girls won’t survive to become mothers,” Yohannan said. “It’s vital we combat the culture of violence against women and girls — and shower this broken world with God’s love.”
The mission pioneer — who inspired a wave of national missionaries across Asia — said: “The hurdles faced by women around the world seem insurmountable. But if the global Body of Christ is committed in prayer and action, we can see change in our lifetime.”
World Day of Prayer
The annual World Day of Prayer in March mobilizes Christians worldwide to pray for women in mission work — and GFA World’s Canadian-based workers will participate with special prayers for the courageous women missionaries serving women and girls in crisis around the world.
Across Asia, GFA World supports tens of thousands of girls at risk of abandonment, exploitation, trafficking, and the threat of vanishing without a trace. Projects also provide vocational training and sewing machines for thousands of women at risk.
The ministry’s Sisters of Compassion— specially trained teams of women missionaries — have a burden for serving vulnerable women, including widows and those with leprosy who are shunned by their wider community. By cleaning and bandaging their open wounds, the Sisters show women scarred by leprosy “they’re loved and have priceless value in God’s eyes.”
“Our Christian compassion should drive us to prayer and action,” said Yohannan, whose organization has “shown God’s love” to the extreme poor in Asia for more than four decades.
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