In honer of International Woman’s Day I challenged myself to seek out three woman to interview. I had no plans or any idea who I would ask. I was nervous, but I believe the outcome is worth the fear.
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What is you name, age, and sum up your daily life, fun moments, hardships, and fun?
Elizabeth Germain, 38, stay at home Mom living in India with my husband and our two small kids. My husband, Eric, is an IT contractor connecting business between India and the United States. I, homeschool my two young kids, though I went to public school and have no idea how to do this well for them. But I am trying. We try to get out and spend time with neighbors in our community, many of whom have a Hindu background, celebrate many holidays, and love fireworks. I refuse to be held captive within my flat because I am a foreigner. We have spent many hours learning Hindi so we can communicate and have relationships with others.
We try to culturally adjust by defining ‘wins’ that India has. Like being able to go to the pharmacy and purchase drugs without a prescription or seeing a doctor when one of us is sick, India Win! But also, their doctors are very educated, so that is a Win! My kids personal favorite is the animals that roam the streets. In the states, one has to go to a farm to see cows, donkeys, pigs and a herd of dogs. In India, we simply step outside onto our balcony. India win!
The hard part about being with my husband while he is working here in India, is not being able to be with family and friends back home. The support system of being able to call at anytime is taken away too. I rely on texting and in the early morning or late night evenings, an occasional FaceTime chat to reconnect.
The only other hard part is not being able to find enough cheddar cheese, avocados, various types of meat and all the home comfort foods that I grew up on. But it’s cool.
What is something new you are working on and what inspired you to do it.?
Something new…I am writing my first book “Embarrassed but not Ashamed.” It is still being drafted but it is a collection of 40 embarrassing stories from my life to make you feel better about yours. Walking through my life, I remember all these crazy moments that I wanted to crawl into a cave, hide, and never come out. I never felt like I held much value because I kept messing up. The journey goes from being Ashamed of who I was to being able to laugh at the ‘did that just happen, yes it did’ kind of moments and then move on, being certain that I was loved, had a purpose for my life, and could be who I was created to be, even if I still mess up at times.
Have you ever stuck a tooth in your ear? I did and it did just that, got stuck.
Brown poop substance smeared all over your pants? That was me.
Rescue melting nails, spill the snack time snack on your birthday, enter and exit numerous schools and have to continuously make new friends? That was me. My past was a mess. But my past does not define who I am now. Your past does not have to define who you are now. If yours was a mess, journey with me through the moments that changed my perspective and may your perspective be changed too. Let’s laugh together when it gets finished and published.
What are you most passionate about? (When this happens my heart id full.)
What comes to mind when you hear the word “Woman”?
I am passionate about letting people know they are loved and that they hold value, loads of value. When I hear the word, “woman” I hear, lover. Lover of good things. Lover to those who need it. The compassion in a woman’s heart to help the wounded, look after those who need assistance, encourage the broken hearted, is powerful and necessary. And if a woman should herself be wounded, the scar goes deep, it can be hard to recover, to forgive. There is freedom in forgiveness. Freedom and space. Space to let go of the hurt, space to love again. Women are remarkable at this. Some carry a lifetime of battle wounds, yet continue to smile and be positive.
As a woman what trials have you faced? What trials have you over come?
Personally, I have had to overcome the scars from being sexually abused as a child. It happened over the span of three years and lent itself to the only view I had of love, being ‘physical’. If I was not physical in a relationship, I was made to feel like I had nothing else to offer. NOT TRUE. I have learned that I have loads to offer in relationships, a listening ear, reasonable advice, hugs for tears and encouragement that it will be ok. I have had to forgive and move on, helping others along the way who have been through similar experiences.
What accomplishment are you most proud of?
I am most proud of my family. I have a loving husband who seeks to provide and have quality time with all of us. And our two kids are grand explorers wherever we take them. They often have to make new friends, like I did when I was little. But I think they are better at it than I was! We have a lot to Thank God for because we believe He gives us strength to be where we are and to love on those who need love.
I would still be a mess without Him.
What is you name, age, and who are you? What are you likes, dislikes, unique quarks?
~ My name is Yesica Tere Goblirsch. I’m 24 years old and will be turning 25 on October 31! I’m from the sweet city of Monrovia, CA (which is close to Los Angeles). I love the Lord with all of my heart! I’m His daughter, His beloved. I’m the middle child of 3 children, and I was born to Christian parents who are still married to this day! I’m passionate about life and laughter. I’m in a season of discovering my passions and dreams and finding the drive and confidence to pursue them. I love to run, to hit the gym, to go on hikes, to walk and really to just be outside, appreciating the beauty God has created.
I LOVE to worship the Lord. He asked me to learn the piano a little less than 2 years ago, and a little less than 2 months ago He asked me to learn the guitar. I started singing when I started to learn the piano. Worship awakens my heart and aligns me with my creator- it is one of my greatest passions. People are one of my greatest passions as well. I truly care for and love the people God has placed in my life!
I dislike being misunderstood- but we have to remember that can happen when imperfect people interact with each other. I dislike injustice, evil, abuse in all it’s forms. I dislike the fact that I still have moments of insecurity because I do not want to doubt who God created me to be! I dislike being spoken over or even interrupted when I’m speaking, as my voice is something I got back about 2 years ago. I’m learning to use my voice.
Unique quirks? Hmm, that’s a good question! Sometimes when I talk, my voice raises at the end of my statement, and so my statement sounds like a question! I love to laugh and almost anything makes me laugh, sometimes I even laughing at nothing. So you may be talking to me and I might giggle, but it’s not because I don’t believe what you’re saying! It’s simply because joy overflows in my heart. I enjoy making life a little easier for people, so I tend to tidy up for waiters at restaurants, and for friends in my community home. I can’t help myself. 🙂 There are more quirks I’m sure, but these are a few. I don’t know if I can move on to this question without letting you know I really do love cats and turtles. 🙂
What are you currently doing and how did you get started doing it?
~ I’m serving as a missionary with a ministry called David’s Tent DC! We are located right on the National Mall by the Washington Monument, where we have a tent set up of continuous worship. We’re doing 10,000 hours of worship to Jesus, and have been going nonstop since September 11, 2015 at 7 pm.. At David’s Tent I lead worship, I’m a shift leader to my team of 4-5, I greet, pray for, encourage and minister to people who come into the tent, and I run David’s Tent DC’s Twitter account! I love what I do. There is a bit of a story to how I got started with David’s Tent, but ultimately it was because of me surrendering my will to obey my Father’s will. I’ve been a missionary with YWAM Kona since September 2014, serving either in Kona, HI or the beautiful nation of Nepal. I took a 2-week trip to serve David’s Tent as a part of a requirement for the Leadership Track with YWAM Kona. Little did I know that upon arriving at David’s Tent, God was going to challenge me to lead worship for 2-3 hours EVERY night. But Saturday during the night watch. My heart started to be awakened and to come even more alive, and I was feeling a pull towards David’s Tent. I had had plans to potentially staff a Discipleship Training School (DTS) in Kona in January. But God asked if I would be willing to commit to staffing David’s Tent full-time, and of course I said yes. How could I say no to Him? So I made the official move to Washington, D.C. mid-November and I have experienced the most tremendous healing, growth, breakthrough and transformation here! I LOVE what I do, I love that my job in this season is to praise and worship the Lord, as He receives glory and honor!
What are you most passionate about? (When this happens my heart is full.)
~ I think I started to answer this a bit in the last question. I’m actually passionate about a lot of things, but I have to say I am passionate about worship and music! You know, God spoke to me years ago about playing the piano but I didn’t say yes until I was 22. Had I known how much playing the piano and singing to God would revive and make my heart come alive, I would have said yes a lot sooner. Now I’m in a place where I’m growing in playing piano, where I’m learning to play the guitar (slowly but surely), I’m starting to write songs (even more slowly but surely then learning to play the guitar), and my singing voice is developing. I LOVE to play and sing to Jesus, it literally is one of the things that brings my heart the greatest and deepest enjoyment and pleasure! Right now my voice is actually strained and I’m supposed to be on “vocal rest” BUT I can’t stop singing to Jesus! I’m leaning into Him all the more and trusting Him to carry and sustain my voice because I can’t help but sing to Him!!! I know it’s one of the things I was made to do.
What comes to mind when you hear the word “Woman”?
~ LOVE. I seriously love being a woman! There is something special about being a woman, being feminine, being gentle but strong. Women are absolutely beautiful, we are strong, we are overcomers, we are passionate, we are radical lovers, we care so deeply and listen intently. We were made to be free to pursue the call of God on our lives and the passions He instilled within us! As women, we are meant to change the world- one life and one step at a time. We really need to rise up in confidence in who we are because we are the Beloved Bride of Jesus Himself! We are the dreamers, the go-getters, the ones who are supposed to celebrate and love each other, and call each other higher! I LOVE being a woman! I love dressing up- just for fun! I love dancing in the kitchen as I wash dishes, I love makeup, shoes, nail polish and heels! I love being gentle, feminine, girly and sweet. I love how men protect me. God has placed brothers in my life who love me so well. We are deserving of care, of respect, of honor, of love, etc.. Being a woman is such a privilege in my eyes and I would not trade being a woman in for anything! 🙂
As a woman what trials have you faced? What trials have you overcome?
~ As a woman I have faced abuse, sexual and verbal. It actually started when I was young. I didn’t realize what was happening until I was about to enter high school. My confidence was very low and I had a lot of insecurities. I was extremely self-conscious about myself and my body. One of the hardest things about it was not knowing how to speak up, communicate or express myself, because so many boundaries had been overstepped! I was broken and truly gave too freely of myself. But this is one of the very things that I overcame in the Lord! The moment I first spoke up about my abuse was when I was 19. I went to a woman’s conference whose theme was “He Knows My Name”. My struggles with speaking up, with being taken advantage of, with not being value didn’t stop at this moment- but the process of healing and breakthrough did commence. I went through some inner healing classes and in the summer of 2014, the Lord restored my voice. It wasn’t that I was physically unable to speak, but it felt like there was a muzzle on my voice. If I wanted to speak up, defend myself or even express myself, my voice would tighten and freeze and I couldn’t speak. While this was the case a good portion of my life, my voice was released during a time of ministry in my inner healing course! From there I went to do my Youth with a Mission (YWAM) Discipleship Training School (DTS) with Fire and Fragrance. I had NO idea that I didn’t know who I was!!!
In the previous question, I mentioned how I LOVE being a woman. This is the result of the Lord working in my heart, because growing up I was afraid to be “feminine” and “girly” because I didn’t want to attract any attention to myself. I’m learning more about who God is, I’m learning about who I am, I’m discovering my passions, I’m combating insecurity with truth. One thing I’m convinced of is that satan hates women because he envies us. We carry the beauty, purity, passion and love of Jesus! Trials come in many shapes, sizes, etc and any time the enemy seeks to distort my view of who I am or who others are, I overcome when I choose to give people the benefit of the doubt, I overcome when I choose humility over strength, being right or even failing to love or trust in the moment. Anytime I have closed the door to the enemy in my life, I overcome. We are more than conquerors in Christ Jesus.
What accomplishment are you most proud of?
~ I’ve had a lot of success in life, whether it was in sports, academics, Missionettes (a program for girls with the Assemblies of God denomination), clubs, almost anything I set my mind to. I graduated from high school, I graduated from university. But the thing I am most proud of is the fact that I have surrendered all of it to my King Jesus. If you asked me in college if I would be a missionary in Washington, D.C., I don’t think I would believe you. What I desired in college was stability- a good paying job, my own place, bills paid, etc.. What God lead me to after college was, not stability in the world’s eyes, but rather stability in God Himself. I don’t boast in myself, I boast in the Lord, but I am so proud of myself for learning to let go and let God. I’m proud of myself for learning to love- even the most unlovable. I’m proud of myself for surrendering my finances, dreams, ambitions, time and talents to Jesus simply because He is worthy and I seek to honor Him! To learn to love is one of the greatest accomplishments I would say. 🙂
What is the big Dream on your heart? Not necessarily something that you can envision reaching now, but one day through faith. The dream that is beyond just you.
~ Ahhh this is such a good question! I love dreams! I saw a picture in the fall of 2014 of a big house full of children running around, laughing and thriving. I realized in the moment that I was their “mum”! Some were my own children from birth, others were children I had taken in, to care for. I have a huge heart for children, youth, young adults. If I can influence one child and see that child walk with the Lord all the days of his or her life, my heart would be content. I want to open up a home/business/ministry (whatever it may look like) where children can come and find relief and peace in Jesus. A place where they don’t feel the pressure and stress of the world, but they can simply be children. To go alongside, I want to be able to have a scholarship program so if these children want to play a sport, learn an instrument, practice art, study a trade- finances, or lack thereof, will not be what hinders them. I want to be able to offer scholarships so that students who passionately want to pursue their dreams and go to college, they can do so without the stress of loans and mass debt. My heart longs to see hearts come alive, dreams revived, sons and daughters walking in their identities, unhindered by tactics of the world, but fully alive and well in Jesus Christ- changing the world, one step at a time.
What is your name, age, and sum up your business, what it does, and what it seeks to do?
- My name is Sarah Musa and I am twenty-two years old. The 501c3 non-profit foundation that I founded in May 2014 is called Prospect In Mummy’s Tummy (PIMT) International. The purpose of PIMT is to help communities break the cycle of extreme poverty by assisting the underprivileged expectant women and children. PIMT aims to improve the life status of children on a sustainable basis and is geared towards the health of the mother and baby. PIMT’s approach is multi-faceted, with specific areas like: maternity care, infant and child health, and providing basic education for underprivileged children. Although we do not have funding but our activities have spread from the USA to 2 countries in West Africa, namely: Sierra Leone and The Gambia. We are grateful to have recently received a grant of $5000 from The Cloudbreak Foundation which will be implemented in the US. Through this grant, we will provide 50 Baskets of Love and 100 school bags and school supplies.
- According to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), over 124 million children and young adolescents are out of school. Girls are the majority of children who are out of school. Furthermore, over 24 million children will never set foot in a classroom setting. As of right now, the focus of PIMT Int. is geared towards creating an impact in children’s life through the construction of a school in The Gambia. The Gambia is the smallest country in West Africa with a population of over 1.9 million people. According to a 2013 World Bank survey, 89,476 children in The Gambia were out of primary school. Furthermore, the CIA world factbook states that 48.4% of Gambians are below the poverty line and make less than $1.25 per day.
- PIMT Int. will help break the cycle of poverty by building a school in The Gambia. The name of the school will be Prospect In Mummy’s Tummy Academy (PIMTA). At the moment, we are raising funds for the construction of the school due to the fact that we do not have partner organizations. Therefore, the majority of the money has come from my mother’s contribution to the organization. For the school, our goal is to start with the construction of a nursery school. The nursery school will be comprised of three levels. The first level is geared for the age range of 4-5 years. Then the second level will be geared for ages 5-6. Finally the third level will be ages 6-7 years.
- Our goal is to promote girls education and we plan on starting with fifteen children.There will be ten girls and five boys in our first Prospect In Mummy’s Tummy Academy. The target population will be families who are below the poverty line and will not be able to afford to send their children to school. Our goal is to create a solid foundation for the children at a young age so that they will be prepared for the primary level work. Eventually, we do plan on expanding PIMTA to include a primary and secondary school. We believe that by providing a secondary school, the students will have better opportunities of shaping their communities through a higher paying job and furthering their education.
- The concept of PIMTA is unique in that with the availability of funding, we hope to be providing free education, uniforms, school supplies, and food for the children. Some of the barriers that prevent children from stepping foot into the classroom are uniforms and school supplies.
What happened that ignited you to start this business?
I had an interview at the end of my Sophomore year in college. One of the questions that I was asked was “where do you see yourself in ten years?” I responded by saying that I would like to build a clinic in ten years. After the interview, my mom said “Why wait for ten years when you can start now?” Since then, we have been working on PIMT Int.
What are you most passionate about? (When this happens your heart is full.)
I am most passionate about universal girls education and women’s health. For me, it all started in high school when I co-started a chapter club called Girls Learn International. Through this club, I became aware of the obstacles that stand in girls way of accomplishing their goals in life. Some of these challenges for girls in developing countries include: poverty and cultural preference of educating a boy over a girl. Since high school, I had wanted to work in the labor and delivery field. For the most part, this is a field that is filled with celebration due to the birth of a child. I see myself working in a positive environment. However, I am aware of the fact that every minute, a woman dies from complications in childbirth. Furthermore, the majority of women who lose their lives during delivery are in developing countries(Unicef). As a result with the availability of funding, PIMT Int. hopes to build clinics to ensure that women in developing countries will have safer deliveries and experience the joys of healthy deliveries.
What comes to mind when you hear the word “Woman”?
When I think about the word woman, the words that come to mind include: powerful, strong, bold, and courageous. As women, we have the unique abilities to nurture one another. Furthermore, we inspire and encourage one another through our journey and walks of life. We are powerful and valuable because our “worth is far above rubies” (Prov 31: 10). We are strong because of our determination to not give up after trials come our way. Moreover, through our bold and courageous mindset, we break the limits that society sets for us and soar to new levels.
As a woman what trials have you faced? What trials have you over come?
I am faced with the trial of lack of funding for the implementation of activities of PIMT, especially the construction of the proposed school in the Gambia. However, I take it as a challenge and trust that God will make a way to overcome this challenge, so that the underprivileged children would be educated and make a positive impact in their respective societies.
What accomplishment are you most proud of?
- One of the main accomplishments that I am most proud of is the formation of PIMT International. PIMT started its operation in 2014 by assisting pregnant women with donations of the essential items that babies would need upon delivery, which are but not limited to; blankets, clothes, socks, lotion, medicine dropper, thermometer, etc. These items are wrapped in baskets we call ‘baskets of love’.
- One of PIMT’s goals is to distribute 400 baskets of love per year to pregnant women, especially the underprivileged. Even though we do not have funding, which has been a challenge, nonetheless, PIMT met one of the goals by donating 441 baskets of love to pregnant women in 4 countries as follows: USA- 170, Sierra Leone-100, The Gambia-170 and Canada-1. Funding so far has been mainly provided by my parents, Joseph and Jestina Musa. Occasionally, I also do fund raising during my spare time in front of stores.
- Also, PIMT has impacted the lives of over 1,000 people, mainly the underprivileged who have been either directly or indirectly benefitted from activities of this organization. There are a plethora of items in life that we tend to take for granted. For instance, on May 30, 2015, during the launching ceremony of PIMT Int. in The Gambia, one of the pregnant women who received a basket of love that same day, delivered in a local clinic in Gambia. Donations of these baskets to Clinics or health centers in developing countries will encourage pregnant women to go to the clinics for routine check ups during pregnancy. This will reduce the mortality rates prevalent in women and children. Another example is of a woman in Gambia who said that she appreciated the lotion that was in the basket. Also it was her first time using lotion for her baby.
- On 15th August, 2015, I was one of the recipients that received an award for my dedicated service to the society in creating an impact on the lives of people, especially pregnant women and their newborn babies. This ceremony took place during a Leadership and Health Management seminar that took place in Virginia.
- On April 25, 2015, with the support of my mother, Jestina Musa, PIMT donated a total of 200 school bags with school supplies and water bottles to school children in Sierra Leone. Schools were closed in this country for 8 months due the the Ebola virus that affected Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea. This donation created an impact on the lives of both the parents who could not afford to buy these school supplies for their children as well as the children who could have otherwise dropped out from schools.
- In September 2013, in a book titled, Stand Up! I was among 75 of the world’s most dynamic young activists whose story ‘Because she is a girl’ featured in this book. The book was edited and introduced by John Schlimm.
- When I was a junior in High school, I was one of the four recipients that received the University Women Diversity Awards. The event took place on Thursday, April 14, 2011. This was in recognition of my involvement in raising awareness and funds for girls in India to get an education through the Girls Learn International organization, which was an organization I co-started at my high school.
- Several newspapers in different countries such as; the USA, Canada, Sierra Leone and the Gambia have written and published articles on the impact PIMT is creating on the lives of the underprivileged. See links to the newspaper articles
What is the big Dream on your heart. Not necessarily something that you can envision reaching now, but one day through faith. The dream that is beyond just you?
The big Dream on my heart is to help girls and women worldwide. I hope to be the voice for girls around the world whose voices are not heard. I have the opportunity to use my voice to inform the public about the unfair treatment of girls. The dream that is beyond me is for God to bless PIMT and get the glory from this organization. I envision PIMT operating in developing countries where the poverty rate is 50% or above. Therefore, the people who are in need will be targeted and their communities will be transformed. I believe that God will make a way and enable PIMT Int. to be a valuable asset to the communities through the construction of schools and clinics in developing countries.
With the availability of funding, I hope that the various countries that PIMT Int. operates in will have nursery to secondary schools and clinics. I believe that through education women can be empowered. In the clinics, the pregnant women will also be provided with educational information on how to care for their newborn babies. I hope to encourage pregnant women to deliver their babies in a clinic environment, where there are qualified professionals. As a result of a safe delivery and educated children, our slogan of healthy moms, healthy babies, and healthy nations will come true by the grace of God.