This month is an historic one for The Anchor! It marks the anniversary of our launch eleven years ago in Gig Harbor, Washington. It is also Women’s History Month which makes our celebration even more meaningful when you consider the history of The Anchor and the women behind it all.

There are four women who have strongly impacted my life and were instrumental to the inspiration behind the founding of The Anchor ministry. They are all women who have helped to develop my passion and love of Jesus and, all these years later, I continue to find strength and encouragement from them every day.

Most of these women would be well over a hundred if they were still living today but they have run the race and have gone before us to their ultimate home in heaven. I have learned about these women and their lives from books given to me along my own journey. Their names are Henrietta Mears, Elisabeth Elliott, Corrie Ten Boom and Amy Carmichael.

My favorite books on my nightstand

Every night as I get into bed, I am reminded of them as I see the carefully stacked books on my nightstand alongside my Bible. These books are treasures and hold the stories of incredible women who have pointed me to the truths and promises of God and have helped to train and teach me so much. They are my mentors. My hope and prayer is that you too will be inspired by these women of legacy.

Henrietta Mears (1890–1963)

Henrietta Mears (1890–1963)

While attending the University of Washington, I had the privilege of serving as an intern for the Children’s Ministry at University Presbyterian Church. It was during that time I was introduced to the most influential woman in my life. Her name is Henrietta Mears (1890-1963). I learned about her in a book given to me titled Dream Big. I couldn’t put that book down. Her life was a testimony to God at work in a life surrendered to Him. She led the biggest Sunday School and college Ministry at First Presbyterian Church in Hollywood, California in the early 1940s. She was a teacher, speaker, author, evangelist and mentor to many young people. Her mission was to know Christ and make Him known and she had a significant impact on evangelical Christianity in the 20th century. The Sunday School she directed grew from 450 to over 6,500 youth. Literally hundreds of men and women came out of her Sunday School and went on to engage in full-time ministry.

Out of her program came the leaders of some of today’s well-known ministries: Bill Bright who started Campus Crusade, Jim Rayburn who started Young Life and Billy Graham, just to name a few. Reading about her life and ministry made a huge impression on me. She became my inspiration and I wanted to be like Henrietta Mears when I grew up. I often leaf through the pages of her book which is well worn, ear-marked and underlined and continue to be encouraged, trained, and transformed!

Elisabeth Elliott (1926–2015)

Elisabeth Elliott (1926–2015)

Elisabeth Elliott (1926-2015) is another influence in my life. I was given her book, Through Gates of Splendor, in my early 30’s. I had taken a class called “The World Perspectives on the Missionary Movement” and learned about her story. I was mesmerized with her dedication and steadfast faith despite life’s trials. Elisabeth was married to Jim Elliott and they were missionaries to the jungle tribe the Auca/Waodoni in the Amazon. Jim was one of five missionaries speared to death by the tribal people as they were trying to earn the right to be heard and share the Gospel message.

After becoming a widow, Elisabeth and her ten-month-old daughter returned to minister to the tribal people who had killed her husband. Her work was successful, and many came to know the Lord. Her story of faith and perseverance still encourages me today. Her many books have taught me about the trustworthiness of God, the blessings of obedience, and the hope of joy in the midst of sorrow.

Corrie Ten Boom (1892–1983)

Corrie Ten Boom (1892–1983)

Corrie Ten Boom (1892-1983) has also greatly impacted my life. Her story is also an incredible journey of faith. I learned about her from my daughter Karina; she had read about Corrie in college at Seattle Pacific University. Shortly after Karina passed away, I found a book in her room titled Reflections of God’s Glory. Once again, I was lead to a book I couldn’t put down.

Corrie Ten Boom and her family helped Jews escape the Nazi Holocaust during World War II by hiding them in their home. Later they were found out and their entire family was imprisoned in concentration camps. In this particular book, Corrie writes about incredible God stories or as I like to call them “Anchor Moments” that are truly miracles! Corrie was the only member of her family to survive the imprisonment and was miraculously released just days after her sister died in the concentration camp. God brought beauty and healing through her difficulties, and she started a worldwide ministry. Corrie continued to share her story and it has been an inspiration to me to keep telling my story and the wonders of God at work despite suffering.

Amy Carmichael (1867–1951)

Amy Carmichael (1867–1951)

Amy Carmichael (1867-1951) is my fourth inspirational mentor. I also first learned about this amazing woman from Karina. During the summer of 2009, Karina devoured a book titled A Chance to Die by Elisabeth Elliott who I mentioned earlier. It was a biography of Amy Carmichael’s life. Karina had brought it to me right after she finished it and said, “Mom, you’ve got to read this!” That book has become one of my all-time favorites! Amy was a missionary in India. Her goal was to reach those who did not know Jesus. Her life was a testimony to obedience to God and she shared her faith with an unswerving passion.

Reading the book, I was especially encouraged by Amy’s mother. Amy was called and led to India and in those days that meant that she wouldn’t be returning home. Her mother had to surrender her daughter to the Lord and trust His plan for her life. She knew that Amy was His to be used for His glory and His purposes. I too have had to surrender a daughter to the Lord (in my case, to her untimely heavenly homecoming) and trust that He knows best.

Women play an important role in our lives. Not only have these strong women of faith through history mentored me, there are women in my immediate family that have also contributed to my life and the passion behind starting The Anchor. These women include my mother Jean who introducing me to faith, my older sister Laurie, who led me to Jesus, and my daughters Karina and Annika through their own steadfast faith.

My mom Jean Lindgren (1924–2002)

Women are very special and have the capacity to impact and make a ripple effect on those around them. I am so thankful for these women behind it all. We can continue to be encouraged by women who have gone before us, those around us, and influence many more women in and through The Anchor Gathering!

“Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.” –1 Thessalonians 5:11

With hope and light,