Here are some of the names that come to my mind when I think about some of the women who have inspired me with their impact in the field of International Development:
Mother Theresa (recently canonized as a saint) who modeled compassion for the dying lepers on the streets of India and worked to show the dignity and value of each human life.
Amy Carmichael, who stole and rescued children out of the Hindu temples in India where they were being used as sexual slaves and then raised these precious ones as her own children.
Gladys Aylward, a parlormaid who desired to go to China but was rejected as unfit by organizations but went anyway. She found great opportunity in accepting a role later as a foot inspector to travel to different villages to help shift people from the recently banned practice of foot binding.
Ellen White was a foundational thinker and voice for the Seventh Day Adventist movement, which has had far reaching impact in the world with medical missions and hospitals, education, and development projects.
Heidi Baker working with orphans and “the least of these” in Mozambique and around the world.
Laura Richards, who gave up her supported position with an organization as an international nurse in China so that she could take in abandoned babies, starting an orphanage that ran purely by faith.
Aimee Semple McPherson who started the Foursquare Denomination and also befriended and discipled a motley crew of Crow Natives when her car broke down on a trip across the country, eventually transforming the Crow Nation into a nation of Jesus followers.