We love learning from others...so we have asked some good questions of great female leaders across the globe. We hope it will inspire you in your own leadership!
If you have some questions for these women, post it in the comments section.
We continue this series with one of our ZOE Partners - Kim Hodgkiss
Who are you?
I am a committed Christian with a heart for evangelism and a desire to make a difference in the lives of others through practical training and discipleship.
Where do you minister?
Currently I’m serving in a vocational Training Centre for teenage girls in the small coastal city of Trujillo (Tru-HEE-yo), Honduras, Central America. We provide opportunities for girls who cannot afford to go to high school to learn marketable skills such as sewing, cooking, computers, and English, along with Bible study and Christian values. The teens live with us from Monday to Friday and return to their villages on the weekend, all at no charge. Graduates of the two-year program also receive sewing machines to take home to help their families. Through this ministry many of our students come to know the Lord personally. As a result, these young women not only develop practical skills but are also changed for eternity.
How long have you worked with vulnerable women?
For three years I have been living and working with the girls, first as a volunteer English teacher, and since January 2014, as the Director of the ministry.
Using three words, how would you describe your leadership style?
Collaborative, purposeful mentoring.
How do you go about empowering women in your context?
Empowering to me is about assisting others to accomplish their own goals. At the Ministry Centre this involves recognizing individuals’ strengths and talents, and training both our students and staff in skills that they can use to start businesses, assist their families, or pass on to future generations. It may involve formal education or exposing them to new experiences and other viewpoints to help enhance their self-confidence and expand their views of the world. As we emphasize God’s love for them personally, these young women develop a greater sense of their true identity and value, and begin to blossom before our eyes.
Who has been your greatest influence in your development as a leader? (Dead or Alive)
My mother, Marilyn Dirksen, is a natural leader – a woman of vision who is not afraid of hard work, and naturally draws alongside others to assist them in meeting their goals.
What specific ways have you worked to develop your skills?
Over many years I have read books and taken courses on relationships, leadership, and communication. I have also embarked on a personal journey of introspection and healing which helped refine my character and make me a more compassionate and effective leader.
What is the greatest need you see in women around you?
As I see it, their greatest need is hope. The majority of the women and girls I encounter lack opportunities for education, work, and advancement. They seem destined to be single mothers living in poverty (the average age of first pregnancy in Honduras is 14, and the average per capita income is less than $2200/year). As a result of the societal norms and role expectations, these women don’t dare to dream or expect a better future.
If someone wanted to get involved, what could they do to help?
We are deeply grateful for our faithful partners who support us in prayer and finances, and would warmly welcome anyone to join this team. Occasionally we have teams of volunteers come to assist the ministry in maintenance or other ways. For more information on specific involvements, you can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or like us on Facebook at “Kim Hodgkiss in Honduras” https://www.facebook.com/KimHodgkissMinistry
If you had one piece of advice for someone who wanted to do what you do, what would you tell them?
My advice is to begin where you are and be faithful in what God has entrusted to you. It is in the course of daily life that God deepens our capacity, expands our vision, and equips us for the future.
Students in the Training Centre