Rhodora Soh -- Rhodora, a native New Yorker, is the mother of four children: Joshua 9, Noah 7, Chloe 4, and Lucas 19 months. She lives on the Upper East side of New York City with her husband, Arvin.
Q: How long have you been a Women of Vision (WOV) partner?
It will be one year in May 2012.
Q: Why did you choose to become a WOV partner?
I've always had a heart for women and children. In college I was on staff at a women's homeless shelter. I was also a rape crisis counselor. After college, I was a middle school teacher. How I became a Women of Vision partner though, was God's timing. A year before the NYC chapter began, Amy Olson, our WOV NYC chapter Co-Chair asked me if I would be interested in being the chapter’s Child Sponsorship chair. She knew my husband and I had sponsored several children through World Vision. My only obstacle was that I was expecting my fourth child that fall. I prayed about it and had to decline.
Eight months later, she invited me to one of their last meetings of the year. I could barely keep up with the conversation. They were planning for a big summer event and discussing advocacy issues. It was all confusing to me— it probably had more to do with having "mommy brains" than anything else! While they were in deep decision-making mode, I prayed, "Lord, I don't know if I'm supposed to be here. The one role I felt called to (Child Sponsorship) has been taken. These women have a heart for the things I do, but if this is just my desire, and not yours, I can walk away. Lord, make it clear to me. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen." Not a minute later, Amy asked everyone to take a break to discuss some house cleaning issues. She said, "We have several positions that need to be filled. We need someone to chair Child Sponsorship." I immediately raised my hand, and almost started to cry. How quickly He answered prayer. I have been passionately serving ever since.
Q: What benefits of partnership have you realized?
Perhaps the greatest benefit of partnership for me has been the encouragement I have received from the amazing, Godly, talented, beautiful, humble women with whom I partner. We are a diverse group of women. To see us all come together, and to observe the different gifts God has given each of us to do His work, for His Glory, is powerful, and so encouraging. It is a blessing to learn, pray and work alongside such passionate, brilliant women. Partnership has also been a humbling experience. Through the book studies, lecture series, conferences, and vision trip to Bangladesh, I've learned how much I don't know about the suffering of women and children around the world as well as in my own city. It has caused me to get on my knees a bit more, spend more time in His word, and examine where my treasure is.In addition, it has led my husband and I to be deliberate about serving in our community with our children. We are all learning more about our neighborhood, and its needs. For instance, our WOV NYC chapter cooked a meal at a women's shelter, two blocks away from our Upper East Side apartment. My family and I have passed by that brownstone many times. We never knew it was a place where lives were being restored, and women were coming to faith.
Q: What advice would you give to someone considering partnership?
I would let them know that partnership is a great way to deepen one's faith, and serve with like-minded women. Through fellowship, book studies, lecture series, you not only increase your knowledge of issues affecting the needy and oppressed, but you can see how God is working through His people, through someone like you, to further His kingdom. However, the best and most important advice I can give to anyone interested in partnership is to pray about it.
“…and if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light will rise in the darkness, and your night will become like the noonday. The LORD will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail.”
— Isaiah 58:10-11(NIV)