Today I want to praise the important women in my life. From childhood my mother and my grandmother loved me and cared for me. I am so thankful that they taught me about Jesus. In my childhood they were the two most important women in my life. I thank God for their godly influence upon me. All my childhood I was ill. I was in and out of hospitals all the time. My mother was always there with me, always caring and loving. I am so thankful to God for my dear mother.
Later I came to know Solveig who eventually became my wife. She is the most important women in my life. I don't have enough words to tell how blessed I am because of her. She has become my best friend. She is my partner in ministry. She is my helper and companion. She is kind, caring and loving. She is the best wife in the world. She is a home maker par excellence! She is my BELOVED!
Solveig also became the mother of our six children. God blessed us with four sons and two daughters. Solveig has been the most devoted mother. Raising our children became her calling in life and she has dome a most wonderful job. When the kids were small I was often away in ministry, but Solveig faithfully cared for the children, raising them to become wonderful persons.
But today I also think of all the suffering women in the world. Especially I think of all those women in lower casts in India and those who are living in Islamic cultures. We must fight for their dignity and human rights as equal with men. I never forget a lady I met from the Yandi tribe in India. Solveig and I had the privilege of helping some of them after the Tsunami. We had built some simple houses and started a school for them. The Yanadi tribe is among the "untouchable" in the Hindu cast system. Now she was standing tall in front og me, saying: We were treated like animals. No one gave us anything. No one even spoke to us and we wer not allowed to speak in front of people. We were not allowed to see the doctors. We were outcasts in society. Then you came from a foreign country and helped us. Now I can read. Now I can write. Now I can even visit offices and sign documents!
I never forget her smile and her dignity as she said that she could visit offices and sign documents. We take it all this for granted, but for countless women in the world it is an unreachable goal. As long as so many women are deprived of their fundamental human right we need this International Women's Day, even though the women in the west often forget their sisters elsewhere.
I normally don't celebrate this day - the 8th of March. 19 years ago on the International Women's Day my father passed away and went to be with the Lord. My mother lived on a few more years. I thank God for my dear and godly parents.