A daunting dream
The Christian Women Connection began as many organizations do: in the dream of a solitary person.
Nora Siens Hunter sat staring at a magazine cover. The image was a wheat field showing a wide swath cut by a combine. Having just returned from a 5-month missions trip, Nora was inspired by the image—and the Holy Spirit—that the "swath" cut by missionaries was a mere strip compared to the "broader fields" of the unreached.
But reaching the world with the gospel was a daunting dream in 1930. The Great Depression was in its infancy, and foreign missionaries were already being cut funding as the Church of God struggled to survive. Not only that, but women at home were stretched to their limits keeping up with manual chores, mending clothes and homes, and garnering whatever income they could to make ends meet.
It was challenging enough for women to keep a positive outlook for their own families, much less have a vision for the unchurched in other lands.
Yet Nora's heart remained convicted. A particular verse of scripture came to mind: "The Lord gave the word; the company of women that published the tidings is as a great host” (Psalm 68:11 ARV). She knew it was her calling to rally the women of the church to "publish the tidings"—to spread the Gospel at home and abroad.
An enthusiastic reception
Nora began to gain support for her dream among women, ministers, Gospel workers and the Foreign Missionary Board of the Church of God. And within the year, the National Woman’s Home and Foreign Missionary Society was organized.
During the 1932 Anderson Camp Meeting, 58 women signed as members of the new group. By the next year, the society had 948 members and had raised an astonishing budget of $1000.
The focus of the group was to promote missionary work at home and abroad. Women were encouraged to contribute out of the richness of her own talent—baking, cooking, sewing, whatever her gift. Even in the Depression years, these humble gifts raised thousands of dollars for missions.
The dream persists
While its name has changed—becoming "Women of the Church of God" in the ’70s and "Christian Women Connection" in 2009—the group's emphasis has not wavered.
Meeting the needs of missionaries, educating the church about the unreached, and forming mission trips to inspire women of the church remain the top goals of the group.
Christian Women Connection includes 15,000 women from the United States as well as strong groups in Africa, the Caribbean, Asia, and Europe.