This is Marvelyn Schell.  

Marvelyn is the International Liaison for ZOE Projects.  Marvelyn works directly with our ZOE Project Partners to help assess community needs and determine practical ways that Canadians can get involved.

Marvelyn is uniquely equipped in this area having recently returned from Southern Africa, where she and her husband served as PAOC Global workers for over a decade.  While serving in Africa, Marvelyn worked as the South Africa Project Manager for Child Care Plus.  She also worked with the mothers of her CCP kids and developed a leadership training program that offered micro-finance loans to women starting small businesses.  Marvelyn loves to see women do well..and she carries that passion into ZOE Projects.  Marvelyn is now based out of London, Ontario where her husband pastors. Gary and Marvelyn have two young adult daughters who are currently furthering their studies. 

Marvelyn Schell

Victoria Had a Secret...Three Simple Steps Towards Dignity

My life had been riddled with bouts of insecurity until I met her.  Her name was Victoria and she had a secret.

It was our first year as Global Workers with the PAOC in Zambia.  Victoria helped me in my house, and God knew I needed help.  She was a widow.  Quiet, shy, hard working.  She knew how to laugh and fill the rooms of our home with joy.  English wasn’t her first language but she was a fantastic communicator.  In fact, Victoria wasn’t well educated but she was very smart.

My life intersected with Victoria’s for just 2 years but it left an indelible imprint on my life.  Why?  Because I saw a woman who knew her value because she knew she was valuable to God. 

Herein lies dignity.  Knowing your worth.

Let’s make it very clear, ZOE Projects is not about throwing money at women’s issues around the world. 

Dignity and value do not have a price tag.

It is about giving honour - dignifying that which is worthy.

That’s the secret. 

Victoria taught me that secret.  Maybe it shouldn’t be a secret anymore.  Maybe we need to say it out loud.

So, let me reveal three simple steps to get you started:

Start where you’re at.

1) Begin to value the women in your life now.

Don’t compete with them, don’t compare yourself with them.  Validate them and honour their presence in your life.

2) Get to know them.

Every woman has a name and has a secret to share.  You’ll be amazed at how rich your life will become as you take the time to listen.

3) Understand them.

Travel into their world.  Try picking up a book like I Am Malala by Malala Yousafzai or watch a documentary like Half the Sky by Nicholas D. Kristof & Sheryl WuDunn. 

And when you learn the secret…dignifying that which is worthy...pass it on.