Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide by Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl WuDann (Knopf, 2009)
New York Times columnist Kristof and his wife, WuDunn, a former Times reporter, make a brilliantly argued case for investing in the health and autonomy of women worldwide. More girls have been killed in the last fifty years, precisely because they were girls, than men were killed in all the wars of the twentieth century, they write, detailing the rampant gendercide in the developing world, particularly in India and Pakistan. Far from merely making moral appeals, the authors posit that it is impossible for countries to climb out of poverty if only a fraction of women (9% in Pakistan, for example) participate in the labor force. Publishers Weekly, Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc.
About the Author: Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn are the first married couple to win a Pulitzer Prize in journalism; they won for their coverage of China as New York Times correspondents. Mr. Kristof won a second Pulitzer for his op-ed columns in the Times. He has also served as bureau chief in Hong Kong, Beijing, and Tokyo, and as associate managing editor. At the Times, Ms. WuDunn worked as a business editor and as a foreign correspondent in Tokyo and Beijing. They live near New York City.
Forgotten Girls: Stories of Hope and Courage by Kay Strom and Michele Rickett (IVP Books, 2009)
Think of the little girls you know: your daughter, a niece, a friend’s child. And then think about this: little girls are tossed away every day. All over the world, women and girls face starvation,displacement, illiteracy, sexual exploitation, and abuse. In fact, statistics show that the world’s most oppressed are overwhelmingly female. Moved by their plight, Kay Marshall Strom and Michele Rickett took a trip across continents to partner with ministries working to help females and to interview girls in some of the most difficult places in the world. These pages hold those girls’ stories: stories of deep pain and suffering, inspiring courage, and incredible hope. They are the stories of girls who have discovered their value in God’s eyes, in the midst of cultures that have rejected them. They are stories of rescue and redemption by God working through compassionate people — people like you. These pages might hold pieces of your story as well, as the authors invite you to pray and speak on behalf of the millions of women and girls who still need to know how much they’re worth. For each of the five sections of the book — physical suffering, education, sexual protection, prison and war, and spiritual life — the authors provide specific, practical action steps and prayer points that allow you to get involved as God leads. Opening these pages will open your eyes to situations you couldn’t imagine, to places you’ve probably never been and to young girls — not so different from the ones you know — who are dearly loved by God. And our powerful God will help us as we read, speak and pray on their behalf, that the forgotten might become free.
About the Author: Kay Marshall Strom is a writer and speaker who loves learning about the world, especially through travel. Strom says, “Of course, the more I learn, the more I want to write. And then I want to jump up on my soapbox and share all my insights and ideas. … Come, explore the world with me. Together we’ll strive to make it a better place.”
Kisses from Katie: A Story of Relentless Love and Redemption by Katie J. Davis (Howard Books, 2011)
What would cause an eighteen-year-old old senior class president and homecoming queen from Nashville, Tennessee, to disappoint her parents by forgoing college, break her little brother’s heart, lose all but a handful of her friends (because the rest of them think she has gone off the deep end), and break up with the love of her life, all so she could move to Uganda, where she knew only one person but didn’t know any of the language? A passion to make a difference. Katie Davis left over Christmas break her senior year for a short mission trip to Uganda and her life was turned completely inside out. She found herself so moved by the people and children of Uganda that she knew her calling was to return and care for them. She has given up a relatively comfortable life — at a young age — to care for the less fortunate of this world. She was so moved by the need she witnessed, she’s centered her life around meeting that need. Katie, a charismatic and articulate young woman, is in the process of adopting thirteen children in Uganda, and she completely trusts God for daily provision for her and her family.
Despite the rough conditions in which Katie lives, she has found a life of service to God to be one of great joy. Katie’s children bring constant delight and help her help others by welcoming whoever comes to their door. As the challenges grow, so does Katie’s faith and her certainty that what she’s doing in Uganda, one person at a time, will have far-reaching rewards. It isn’t the life she planned, but it is the life she loves.
About the Author: To further her reach into the needs of Ugandans, Katie established Amazima Ministries. The ministry matches orphaned children with sponsors worldwide. Each sponsor’s $300/year provides schooling, school supplies, three hot meals a day, minor medical care, and spiritual encouragement. Katie expected to have forty children in the program; she had signed up 150 by January 2008; today it sponsors over 400. Another aspect of the ministry is a feeding program created for the displaced Karamojong people — Uganda’s poorest citizens. The program feeds lunch to over 1,200 children Monday-Friday and sends them home with a plate of food; it also offers basic medical care, Bible study, and general health training.
Katie Davis is more than fascinating, she’s inspiring, as she has wholeheartedly answered the call to serve.
The Hole in Our Gospel: What Does God Expect of Us? The Answer That Changed My Life and Might Just Change the World by Richard Stearns (Thomas Nelson, 2009)
WHAT DOES GOD EXPECT OF US? Is our faith just about going to church, studying the Bible and avoiding the most serious sins-or does God expect more? Have we embraced the whole gospel or a gospel with a hole in it?
Ten years ago, Rich Stearns came face-to-face with that question as he sat in a mud hut in Rakai, Uganda, listening to the heartbreaking story of an orphaned child. Stearns’ journey there took much more than a long flight to Africa. It took answering God’s call on his life, a call that tore him out of his corner office at one of America’s most prestigious corporations to walk with the poorest of the poor in our world.
The Hole in Our Gospel is the compelling true story of a corporate CEO who set aside worldly success for something far more significant, and discovered the full power of the gospel of Jesus Christ to change his own life. He uses his journey to demonstrate how the gospel – the whole gospel – was always meant to be a world changing social revolution, a revolution that begins with us.
About the Author: Richard Stearns brought nearly 25 years of corporate experience to World Vision when he became its president in June 1998. Stearns holds a bachelor’s degree from Cornell University and an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. His professional career began in marketing with the Gillette Company. From 1977 to 1985, he held various roles with Parker Brothers Games, culminating in his appointment as president in 1984. In 1985, he became a vice president at The Franklin Mint, then joined Lenox in 1987 as president of Lenox Collections. In 1995, Stearns was named president and chief executive officer of Lenox Inc.
As president of World Vision Inc., Stearns is responsible for U.S. operations, which include fund raising, advocacy, and program development.
Stearns and his wife, Renee, have been World Vision supporters since 1984. The couple has five children and live in Bellevue, Washington.