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How Being Executive Director of Asia’s Women’s Commission Led Me Into Becoming An Advocate to Stop Domestic Abuse

by Grace Hee, Malaysia

It is said God works in mysterious ways. What can I do as the newly appointed Executive Director of the AEA (Asia Evangelical Alliance) Women’s Commission in 2021 at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic lockdowns? Humanly speaking, nothing much. It was the “nothing much” that I heard God speak, “What do you have in your hands?” The answer laid in what I already had – the newly minted team of Women’s Commission leaders in Asia – rather than what I did not have.

Posing the same question to them in the first meeting, we started our work in faith – inviting women from across Asia via Zoom to be trained, to dialogue and to act on topics of passion ranging from grief care to widows connect to leadership empowerment and to domestic abuse.

I was a stranger to domestic abuse. Why is this even necessary? It only happens to non-Christians, surely not in Christian homes. Trusting the urgency of the issue from the voices of my fellow sisters, I agreed to host a “Biblical Understanding of Domestic Abuse” awareness session in September 2021. It was to be a one-off event. Instead it snowballed into a full-scale survey of family conflict and domestic abuse among Christian families within the national evangelical alliance countries in Asia. The results were staggering. One in five evangelical church-going families were suffering domestic abuse!

With numbers come responsibilities.

But I knew no one in my life suffering from domestic abuse; God brought them to me unsolicited.

I needed leadership support; God provided favorably.

I had no support team; God provided passionate advocates and partners.

I had no funds; God provided them.

From 2021 through to 2023, the AEA Women’s Commission was able to host a series of communication sessions and pastoral consultations among Asian church pastors and leaders with the strong backing of the AEA General Secretary. Slowly but surely, resources began to be built up. We now have an Online Resource Centre, a Charter to Stop Domestic Abuse for local church adoption and Training Materials and Videos. We continue to bring this dark shameful issue into the light of God’s presence among the local churches in Asia. The snowball is still rolling.

I have been deeply impacted by understanding the depth of despair of victims and its consequences on children and their future. I have been deeply impacted by knowing the heart of God in this issue.

What continues to amaze me is how God guides and leads weak vessels like us in the AEA Women’s Commission to be instruments of His righteousness. To God be the Glory.

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