Before Moses and Aaron, there were Shiphrah and Puah, two midwives who stood up to the most powerful leader in the world at the time (Exodus 1). Pharaoh isn’t named. The author draws the contrast between the powerful and the powerless: a powerful tyrant against the poor oppressed, one elite man against two marginalized women.
Without Shiphrah and Puah, there would have been no Exodus. Moses would have been killed at birth. The Israelites would have continued in slavery. These midwives stood up to power, injustice and slavery. In contrast to Pharaoh, they brought new, miraculous life into the world. They were original abolitionists. They helped create new futures.
Today there are others like Shiphrah and Puah. Women who stand up to injustice. Women who lead the way. Lillian and Yvonne in Kenya are educating hundreds of young people about gender-based violence and the worth and value of women. Amber, Tammy and Alex in Jackson, Michigan, have opened a home for homeless female youth (myplacejackson.org). Mayra in Colombia is investing in the lives of hundreds of children to help preent human trafficking.
Ginger, Annie and Lorna have been persevering for more than five years to help women find hope and healing at Eden’s Glory (edensglory.org). Camille and Bonnie have helped foster families and youth while blessing social workers in Seattle for more than a decade. There is also Vicki, Felicia, DeeDee and many others.
Over the generations, God continues to raise women (and men) who follow Jesus into the dark places, who speak up and act out, and create new futures. Many of these leaders will never be recognized. They are dedicated and tenacious. They serve, they lament, and they excel in hope.
The Set Free Movement has big, audacious plans for the future. Over the next five years, we hope to see more than a million people influenced toward freedom. We want to see hundreds of thousands of youths protected. We desire to help launch more independent ministries like Eden’s Glory and MyPlace. We expect God to use us – to set slaves free and allow the oppressed to experience hope and healing. It’s going to take a mighty tribe and millions of dollars to accomplish our goals. God being our guide, and with your partnership, it can be accomplished.
I do not doubt that humble, God-fearing women will follow in Shiphrah and Puah’s steps and lead the way.