In celebration of International Women’s Day, we are sharing a series of interviews
with incredible women who #PressForProgress and are making a difference in Canada and around the world. Check our blog throughout the month of March for fresh inspiration!
Name: Allison Alley
Occupation: President Elect, Compassion Canada
How she's making a difference: Leading the charge in giving children around the world the gift of hope.
1) Tell us a bit about yourself.
I am a wife, a mother, a leader, a learner, and most of all a follower of Christ. As a wife, I have the joy and privilege of doing life with my best friend, Tommy, and we have two young daughters. As a leader, I’m passionate about influencing others to accomplish God’s purposes in and through their lives. As a learner, I take great delight in seeking, sense-making, and sharing with others. And, most importantly, as a follower of Christ, my desire is be transformed into his likeness and for my life to bring Him glory.
2) What unique gifts do you bring to the world?
One way I think God has uniquely gifted me is in my orientation to learn and love as I lead. I place a high value on fostering collaborative, dynamic and Christ-centered environments where individuals and teams can flourish. This means investing in those I lead, while drawing out their unique perspectives and walking alongside them in the journey of personal growth and development.
3) How are you making a difference right now?
I am passionate about equipping the Church to live out God’s calling to care for the least of these. In my role at Compassion over the past five years, I had the privilege of developing a number of discipleship tools and experiences for Canadian Christians to support them in their journey of loving God, loving others, and being Jesus to a world in need. More personally, my husband and I desire to be a more compassionate and just family. We involve our daughters in serving at a local homeless shelter, and in building relationships with our sponsored children around the world.
4) What motivates you to do what you do?
Being a mother is one of the primary ways God continues to show me His heart for caring for children around the world. My love for my children is profound—I want them to be healthy, to excel in their education and to love the Lord. God has shown me that He calls me not only to desire this for my own children, but to actively work towards this wholeness for all children.
5) Why are you passionate about the work of IJM? How do you show your support?
The ministry of IJM is close to my heart, and to Compassion Canada’s ministry toward children. We want all children to have the freedom to thrive and reach their God-given potential. It has been my privilege to partner with IJM on several conferences, commissioning Canadian Christians to engage in this vital work of advocating for vulnerable children.
I also just returned from Thailand, near the Myanmar border, where a large population is stateless. I met a Compassion staff member there who was trained by IJM to help our sponsored children gain their Thai citizenship, allowing them to have access to health care and education. It was thrilling to see how our two organizations are working together to impact the lives of these children.
6) What would you like to see happen for women in the future?
I grew up with Godly parents who encouraged me to faithfully follow wherever God leads me. Throughout my life, I also had men and women in the marketplace and ministry recognize my leadership gifts and invest in me. I would love for all girls and women to have this same foundation—having confidence in the fact that God uniquely created them to serve Him and bless this world, while having a diverse community to encourage and equip them along the way.
7) If you could have a coffee chat with any woman, dead or alive, who would it be and why?
I would have to say Amy Carmichael, a missionary who was initially held back because of her chronic illness, but went on to establish a ministry for underprivileged children in India. God used her humility and heart for children to not only impact those around her, but to influence and shape many who came after her. Her story reminds me that God doesn’t call the equipped, in our human sense of the word, but he equips those he calls.
8) What’s your favourite inspiring quote?
"The place God calls you to is the place where your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet.” -Frederick Buechner
9) What advice do you have for the women in our audience who want to make a difference in the world?
Remember that the mission is God's, and we are merely called to join Him in advancing His Kingdom of justice and compassion. Do not seek out personal significance in your desire to make a difference, but seek God's guidance in where your gifts could be best used to serve Him. Then faithfully follow with all of your heart, soul, and mind!