Where We Work
Fifty-four nations, with 1800 major languages, and home to the world's 10 poorest nations, Africa is faced with many challenges today. Poverty, corruption, ethnic wars, and the world's highest percentage of HIV/AIDS patients and orphans contribute to the overwhelming difficulties plaguing this region. But God is at work in these nations, and believers are working from the grassroots to the highest governmental levels to change the destinies of these countries through God's message of love and hope.
Women in Africa have been particularly hard hit by the AIDS pandemic. Lack of education, forced early marriage, poverty, and violence have proven to be a deadly petri dish in which AIDS is thriving. Many of the social norms of this region devalue women and girls and make it difficult for them to break the destructive cycles around them.
Tirzah International is working with national partners in Africa to encourage what Christian women are doing to share and show God's love to those in need, especially to poor widows and orphans. Tirzah works to interrupt destructive cycles with strategic assistance and concrete affirmation that lets women know they are not forgotten and not alone.
Peninsula and Islands
Asia is the largest continent in the world, located entirely in the eastern hemisphere, east of Europe and northeast of Africa. It covers 29.9% of the earth's land and has approximately four billion people - 60% of the world's current human population. During the 20th century, Asia's population nearly quadrupled. With its size and diversity, Asia is more a cultural concept, with different regions and peoples, than a homogeneous physical entity.
Women in Asia face many challenges including forced early marriage, poverty and modern day slavery. In many regions, daughters are not as highly valued as sons and so are vulnerable to mistreatment and exploitation. Tirzah leaders in this region work to assist and encourage marginalized women.
India, located in South Asia, is the seventh largest country by area, the second largest by population and the world’s most populous democracy. Since breaking from the colonial rule of the British in 1947, India has become a world and economic power. It is one of only nine nations to possess nuclear weapons. Despite its economic growth, India still faces persistent challenges with poverty. According to the Borgen Project, India has one third of the world’s poor.
Gender inequality is rampant in India. It consistently ranks as one of the most dangerous places to be a girl. This is due to one of the highest rates of female infanticide (which includes sex-selective abortion and the killing of unwanted girl babies.) India also has a high rate of child marriage and women face a myriad of accompanying, often catastrophic complications of early marriage including HIV/AIDS, bride burning and dowry death. There is widespread aggressive sexual harassment that can escalate into life threatening physical violence.
Tirzah’s partner in this region, Nireekshana ACET (AIDS Care, Education and Training), works in the Hyderabad area of Andhra Pradesh. It aims to provide compassionate, unconditional care for those who are affected by HIV, to provide life saving education, to foster effective community responses and in doing all of this — demonstrate Christ’s great love.
Twenty two countries and territories bound together by a common language, the Arab world is home to nearly 400 million people, straddling North Africa and Western Asia. Often in our news for unrest, terrorists' attacks and other violence, this region is also home to a small and struggling above-ground church in five nations, as well as underground churches in numerous others.
Tirzah International has been partnering with the Arab World Evangelical Ministers' Association for more than a decade, supporting training for emerging young women leaders. Under-valued by their culture, and told that their worth only comes from marriage and motherhood, these young Christian women have new hope when they understand God's value and purpose for their lives. We are also partnering with local churches and trained staff to provide counseling, training and encouragement for young women who are victims of abuse, which is prevalent in these nations.
Eastern Europe is a general geopolitical term often used to describe states that were once behind the Iron Curtain. The issues facing this region include the legacy of communism, the difficulties that accompany integration with Western Europe, and ethnic conflicts like the Bosnian War. While Christianity has been practiced throughout Europe since the 1st century, many European nations are in a post-modern era in which religion is seen as irrelevant. Still, now that it is no longer illegal to practice Christianity, a small, struggling Church in Eastern Europe is re-emerging.
To encourage growth, leaders need to be trained. One key group that needs to be encouraged and developed is emerging women leaders. They need to be discipled in their faith, and developed to train others. Women in this region face poverty, trafficking and the struggle of finding their place in their societies. This struggle parallels the struggle that their society is undergoing as it seeks to find its place in the global arena. Tirzah International is working with our partners to provide leadership training for young women leaders. Without training, many of these young Christians, (which include Roma women and girls who are marginalized throughout the region), will not be grounded in their faith or able to lead and train others.
Latin America is made up of 20 nations and is home to more than 560 million people. With beautiful coasts, exotic ruins and a strong history of Christian faith, these nations are open and responsive to the Gospel message. The evangelical church is experiencing tremendous growth in these nations, but these complex cultures face many challenges.
Poverty, war, gangs and drug cartel violence have caused instability for many women. Women in this region must also contend with machismo culture, an aggressive pride in masculinity that often leads to the devaluation of women and manifests in domestic violence and a lack of regard for women and girls.
Tirzah International is investing in the training of women leaders who can teach women and men the truth about the value and identity of women in God's eyes. These leaders come alongside the poor, assisting with school fees for poor children and providing counseling for women and children who have been abused.
In Brazil, Latin America's largest and most populous nation, a growing network of women are praying for the nations, training missionaries to serve in unreached areas, and helping the poor with food, clothing and other assistance.
The Pacific Island nations are a vacation destination for many but for those who live there, life can be difficult. Poverty, natural disasters, addiction, and political unrest are a few of the challenges faced by the island inhabitants. Women face all of these challenges and must also contend with strong patriarchal societies.
Tirzah's leader in the region is working to develop a network that will help women increase their income-building capacity and form discipleship groups so that they can grow in their faith and create additional support systems.
Tirzah's North American advocates work to raise awareness and funds for the issues women and girls combat globally. These supporters host screenings, assist in local anti-trafficking projects, speak in churches and other forums, and take trips to meet women in Tirzah's projects. American women partner with the women in the global Tirzah network and help make their stories known in the States.