Tell us a little about yourself
With my family, I worked in the Middle East for over two decades, in education (adult Arabic literacy, teacher training) - I still miss it. As an ethnographer, I did major research in adult literacy in Egypt, and on the women’s mosque movement in the Middle East. I currently teach people how to think theologically about and practically engage with other cultures, and other religions, particularly Islam. I’m based in the CMS training college, and also part of the When Women Speak… training and research network. About 18 months ago I was diagnosed with terminal lung cancer. We’re all ‘terminal’, but the horizon has come a lot closer for me and our family. So I’m thankful for the energy I still have: and live in the space of not knowing whether I’ve got 6 months or 6 years left.
What's your favourite bible passage & why?
Favourite Bible passage: currently I’m enjoying living in 1 Peter, with all that it offers us in identity while living as aliens here, what it means to be God’s community, the pure / refined / eternal balance against the impermanent, and God’s perspective on shame and honour, in relationship to Jesus.
How do you keep your eyes fixed on Jesus?
Keeping my eyes on Jesus – there’s nowhere else that offers hope, love, belonging.
What would you like the next generation of Christian women to know?
For the next generation of Christian women: look to the vigorous example of women in the Bible, that challenge our cultural stereotypes. Be aware of gendered sin – how as women we often tend to over-humility rather than pride, not taking ourselves seriously enough as women each called uniquely by God for His kingdom purpose.
What's one thing that you love about your local church?
My local church is a small gathering that meets in the local housing estates, of people from the Estates, Iranian refugees, and a small core of missionally-minded people. I love the mix, the unpredictability of every service, the crazy humanity of it.
What are you passionate about?
I find at the hardest times, when I am down and out, with nothing left to offer God or others, that His arms are holding me.
What did you learn about God at a time in your life you found hard?
I’m passionate about asking for the women’s view on issues, whether it be current social issues (DV), understanding Islam and other faiths, how we read texts – what does it look like when we view it from the standpoint of women? And I love beauty, however it comes.
What do you enjoy doing when you rest?
When I rest (I have to do more of it now), sometimes I read (novels, biographies, poetry), or just sleep: or go for a walk.