Women Who Inspire Us

10 comments Written on September 1st, 2014     
Filed under: Testimonies and Stories
Evelmyn Ivens was born in Mexico and moved to the United States during her teenage years. She graduated from North Park Theological Seminary in 2013 with a MA in Theological Studies and is currently a Curriculum & Resource Development intern at the Christian Community Development Association (CCDA) in Chicago. Evelmyn has lived in Los Angeles, CA, Washington, DC, and Chicago, IL, enjoys traveling and learning about other cultures. She’s passionate about issues of immigration, hunger, poverty, and human trafficking.

Having lived in Mexico until my teenage years gave me some good understanding of the gender roles in that society. In my extended family for example, gender roles were very evident and for me this was very common and natural. I grew up seeing women do the cooking and cleaning of the house, taking care of the children, etc. That was their responsibility as wives. It was very rare to see husbands do the same. Culturally, that just wouldn’t look good. If men would do all these “jobs” that would mean that they didn’t have “good wives”, men were seen only as the providers. However, when I moved to the United States, and as I began to interact with people from different cultures, and having committed my life to Christ, some questions began to arise. Is this how God intended it to be? Somehow, something seemed unfair. As a woman, did I have to decide whether to have a family or to have a career?

As I was experiencing this and beginning my faith journey, it was such a blessing to befriend women who were in ministry. I was 16 years old and was attending a small group with some seminary students from Fuller Theological Seminary, and have to confess that it was very intimidating sometimes! I was the youngest of the group and trying to learn as much as I could. It was then that I was very inspired by the women in the group as they were pursuing their seminary education. Also during this time I got to see that women preached at my church, and held positions of leadership, something that the congregation valued and embraced. I remember one night, some church friends where at home, and one of them told my father, that he was very happy that I had been experiencing such a healthy gospel. Now as I think about it, I think he was talking about my experience with the small group, which was life changing, and that I was getting to see empowered women serving the Lord.

In 2010 I was visiting my good friend Brenda in Puerto Rico, who was part of that small group. Coincidently, the weekend that I was visiting, she had her installation service, as associate pastor. I was very privileged to be part of that, what a gift! Now as am reflecting on this, it was kind of a full circle, first because I was part of her life as she was completing her M.Div. and then attending her installation service.

Then, there’s also my other good friend Emma, who has her heart on missions and teaches at a seminary in Texas, and is someone who continues to follow God’s calling in her life. Even though, I’ve been friends’ with these women for over 10 years, I actually have never told them how their call for ministry was such an inspiration to my life. Seeing them in action years ago, encouraged me to consider seminary education, and as I was completing my degree, thought of them very often. Brenda and Emma, thank you for being such role models and for teaching me that women can do it all!

Lord I give you thanks for those women in our lives who have inspire us to follow you and to serve you. Amen.

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10 comments “Women Who Inspire Us”

Thanks Evelmyn – Women who have pioneered in ministry simple through obedience to call are such an inspiration and I too join you in thanking God for the women who confidently said ‘yes’ and serve faithfully. What a powerful testimony you have in God’s placing these women in your life as you were discerning your call. Thanks so much for sharing their impact on you with the rest of us. 

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Great to hear of women who modeled and mentored along their journey into ministry. What a wonderful example of a life-giving journey.

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Thank you for sharing! Your life is as inspirational as theirs. When God first started to make my calling clear, my husband and I did not have a framework for women as full equals in ministry. We embarked on a process to learn, grow and understand by studying and engaging folks from other cultures as well. I am grateful for my time in seminary where many faculty, administrators, and colleagues walked slowly and patiently with us on this path. (So many of whom made it their business to affirm me and give me opportunities all along the way!)

Since that time, I continue to be amazed by who is “watching.” I have heard from men and women who quietly or silently observed my life (without my knowing it). At some point they decided to share with me how God used the witness of my life to change their perspectives, bring inspiration to boldly follow the Lord’s call, etc. Thank God for those who have inspired us, and may we be used by God for the same purpose as we simply live for God!

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How has your family reacted to your call into ministry?

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Since my parents are divorced, my mom and her side of the family who are Catholics (in Mexico), don’t really understand why I went to seminary or what my professional career is. However, they have been very supportive over the years. My dad is a pastor and he totally understands and supports me. 

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Gracias Eve! Thanks for your beautiful words. I am an ordained minister in the Methodist Church of Puerto Rico, an alumni of Fuller Theological Seminary, a former member of the small group you mentioned, and most importantly, your friend. Reading your words transported me to those years at Fuller, and at the small group. We all knew that you were going to respond to God’s calling, since you were always been receptive to His voice. God has been good to you, and still is good to you. As I read your blog, I feel proud of the time we shared together, because I know that it produced “good fruits”. In our denomination, men and women are viewed as equals and with same responsibilities, roles, and opportunities for ministry. Though our latino heritage still perpetuates a patriarchal world-view, we, as Methodists, are advocating equality through Biblical Studies, discipleship, seminars and through an inclusive church policy. Eve, sigue hacia adelante, pues Dios tiene grandes cosas para ti. Sigue en la lucha que Dios te acompaña y te respalda. Aquí te queremos un montón (como decimos los boricuas). Sería bueno que busques información de la Obispo Minerva Carcaño….   

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Querido Jorge! Gracias por las palabras… I have read about Minerva Carcano, and wrote about her in my thesis. I also was privileged to seen her preached once.  

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Thanks for sharing, Evelmyn! To keep the theme going, I consider it a privilege to have crossed paths with you in seminary. My life and ministry and way that I process things have certainly been blessed by your insight and wisdom (and laugh). So I suppose I should also express gratitude to those who have poured into you!


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Thanks Nilwona! I really have no words for everyones’ words and encouragement. What a blessing!

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