December 2007 - Vol. 14

A Response to Godís Call

 Women living single for the Lord in covenant communities meet in Monterrey, Mexico

Note: The Sword of the Spirit is an international association of Christian communities, composed of families, married couples, single people, an international brotherhood of men living single for the Lord, called The Servants of the Word, and a growing number of individual women and men who have dedicated their lives to living single for the Lord. This second gathering of women is a significant international development for the Sword of the Spirit as the women seek ways to associate across communities and countries for mutual support and collaboration.

I want to share with you the wonderful action of God I experienced as 15 women from eight communities throughout the Sword of the Spirit were hosted by the Jesed community in Monterrey, Mexico, for prayer, meetings, and fellowship. We took four days (September 20-23, 2007) to pray and seek Godís mind for us, and had fruitful discussions about how to respond to what God is doing among us. It was a wonderfully rich time of getting to know one another.

The extent of our common vision was a powerful sign to us of the Lordís grace for living this way of life in the Sword of the Spirit. The sense we had of Godís delight in us as women dedicated to him was extremely encouraging. The bold clarity of his word was almost too much for me, rendering me speechless at times (a feat indeed!). Together, we heard that he has a plan for us to be in community. His prophetic word humbled me in a way I have never quite experienced before.

Behold, I am making something new. The future glory of this house will be more glorious than the former (Haggai 2:9). I canít help but be encouraged by this word, spoken to us by the Lord, especially after having lived in a sisterhood situation in the past and then having to live without it in the present. I sense that the Lord will raise up more women to live single for the Lord in the Sword of the Spirit. They will witness to the possibility of wholehearted devotion to the Lord, and to the truth that choosing the Lord as oneís treasure and portion is still a worthwhile way to live oneís life in this day and age.Ē (Mae Legaspi, Manila) 

The miracle for me is this: God wants women to live single for his kingdom in our various communities, alongside other single people, families, and also the Servants of the Word brotherhood. This is a dream come true and a joy for many of us. As a result of our meetings, we will be making a formal proposal to the leadership of the Sword of the Spirit that we (women living single for the Lord) would become more formally ďassociatedĒ with each other for our mutual support in living this life, to foster a clearer explanation of our call, and to provide more resources and opportunities for young women and their pastoral leaders ó as young women discern state-in-life decisions at the local level.

God seemed to be speaking to us as one body, across two generations: those founders who first pursued this life in the 70ís and 80ís (in Ann Arbor and Manila) and those rookies like myself, who are again pioneering this way of life now. As founders and pioneers, we have, in different ways, pursued this call in the ďdark,Ē not always seeing the way ahead. Godís promise to us now is that he will light a path for this way of life in the Sword of the Spirit, and this seems to require us to walk forward together, shoulder to shoulder. The older sisters as founders among us have laid a solid foundation of faithfulness amidst trials, which is a strong platform and model of steadfastness for the younger, less experienced single for the Lord women among us.

In listening to the personal sharing of various sisters at the meeting, it seemed to me that the two years 2000-01 were crucial in the development of things. God spoke to a few wise women (both women living single for the Lord and married women) that he wanted to provide a place (again) for this life in the Sword of the Spirit. This life had first been ďfoundedĒ among us by Jeanne Kun, Sherry Snyder, and Sue Cummins in the early 1970s. Thirty years later, in Mexico, Ecuador, and Ireland, unaware of each other, several younger women also experienced a call to live this way. What we had in common was a stubborn conviction that we were called to live single for the Lord in the Sword of the Spirit. In his mercy, he called one such as me. And the rest of my life will reveal all he has for me, living this way of life, in community, in the spiritual battle beside my beloved brothers and sisters in this international community of communities.

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