WINGS – Women’s International Network in God’s Service

Robyn Claydon (front row, right) recently handed over
leadership to Elke Werner (front row, left).

You will never know to what heights you can soar, unless you spread your wings and fly.”

On 14 January 2007, our plane took off in Frankfurt, Germany. Together with my friend and supporter Annette, I flew via Singapore to Sydney, where we met with Robyn and David Claydon.

At the 2006 Lausanne Younger Leaders Gathering in Malaysia, Robyn had handed over to me the role that she had served in, that of Lausanne senior associate for women in evangelism. During our time together in Sydney we planned our next steps and I was able to meet supporters of Robyn as well as some friends of the Lausanne Committee in Sydney. Together we went on to Hawaii, where David Hamilton was holding a conference at the University of the Nations. What started at the Lausanne 2004 Forum for World Evangelization in Pattaya, Thailand as Issue Group 24, “Empowering Men and Women,” has turned into a working group which has continued to meet and discover opportunities for teaching and modelling the way God wants men and women to fully use their spiritual gifts. The conference drew many students as well as a large group of Korean pastors and their wives. Afterward, our working group continued with planning and praying for the release of women in the churches to the full use of their gifts.

From Hawaii, Annette and I flew to Chicago, Illinois, USA, where I was able to spend some time looking over the Lausanne archives, which are housed at the Billy Graham Center at Wheaton College. My research included the role of women in the history of the Lausanne Movement. During our stay in Chicago I met with a group of ten outstanding women who were interested in helping form the Women’s Network of Lausanne.

We were also joined by Marie Little, whose husband Paul was one of the leaders of the first Lausanne International Congress on World Evangelization in 1974. Well into her nineties, Mary was excited to hear that Lausanne is still strong and alive. It was special as she also prayed for me and blessed me in my ministry.

Our journey was truly remarkable as we felt the Lord’s presence and guidance and are glad that we can work to encourage women around the world to “spread their wings” and soar into the full heights of their calling. My newly-founded ministry, which supports my Lausanne and other involvements, bears the title “WINGS” (“Women’s International Network in God’s Service”). Thank you for your prayers!

Lausanne continues; the work among women continues. The blessing of the Lord is passed on from generation to generation and around the world!

Elke Werner is the senior associate for women in evangelism for the Lausanne Committee for World Evangelization. She also is founder and director of WINGS (Women's International Network in God's Service) in Marburg, Germany. Werner is the co-leader of a vital interdenominational church fellowship (Christus-Treff). She resides with her husband, Dr. Roland Werner, in Marburg.