People of Purpose - People Making an Impact in Their Community and Abroad - Donna Partow

Writer Author  Filoiann Wiedenhoff
Christian Column : Interview  - Fiction  No

Christian Author Writer Filoiann: Welcome Donna and thank you so much for taking time out of your busy schedule to do this interview with me. Donna is a well known published author of several books such as; “Becoming the Woman God Wants Me to Be”, “Becoming the Woman I Want to Be” and “Becoming a Vessel God Can Use”, among many others. She also ministers abroad in foreign countries to share the love of Christ to women around the world. Donna truly is a woman and vessel God uses.

Donna: The most important thing about me is my passion to see God’s Kingdom advance upon the earth. It’s my consuming desire and stays with me most waking hours. I should probably develop a hobby or something! But I’m pretty much obsessive-compulsive on this one topic. I have such a burning desire to see Christians grasp the magnitude of the task before us—to take the light of the Gospel into every last dark corner of this planet. But I also hope they catch the vision for how beautiful, how marvelous a life lived entirely for God can be. I firmly believe the Christian life is either a great adventure or it is nothing at all. That informs how I live each day. I share that life with my husband, two daughters, a dog and a bird here in the vast desert of Arizona.

Filoiann: Donna, It is very clear by the number of women, my self included, who have been impacted by your ministry and ignited by your passion to be a vessel God can use. Please tell us how you personally became involved in your ministry and why?

Donna PartowDonna:  God met me as I was sitting all alone by a river bank in New Jersey (not far from New York City).  I was 19 years old but had already lived five years as an addict.  I had not only been a drug addict, but a drug dealer to support my habit.  I had been picked up by the police on several occasions.  I was just completely out of control.  Fortunately, some Christians began reaching out, telling me about God.  And as I sat there, the truth of what they’d been sharing finally penetrated by heart and I cried out to God. It would be impossible to exaggerate the power of that moment.  It changed my life forever. When I sat down by the river, I was powerless to break free from the addictions that controlled my life.  When I got up, I was free. That was 28 years ago.  Only God can do that.

The next day, alone again by that river, standing under a moonlit sky, I heard a voice inside me say, “Donna, I’m going to take you all over the world and I’m going to use you in a mighty way for my Kingdom.” From that moment forward, I have always been involved in ministry in some form or another. Whether teaching vacation Bible school here in the United States or going into bars to reach prostitutes in Thailand. I’ve now traveled on six continents and hope to make it to Antarctica someday. I don’t care if I have to preach to the penguins. Hey, St. Frances preached to animals!

Filoiann: Wow! That is an amazing testimony of God’s divine power and saving grace. This should be an inspiration to anyone who struggles with any addiction that God can change and transform us no matter where we are and what we are doing from the inside out and give us a new life and new purpose for His glory. Thank you for sharing this, I believe this will encourage many readers. Please explain what exactly your ministry, does for the community and what it hopes to accomplish?

Donna: The mission statement of Donna Partow International is basically this: “The church has all the easy places taken care of; what remains is the difficult task of taking God’s light to the hard places.” For me, that’s meant going into the heart of garbage cities in Lima, Peru taking the gospel to those who are so poor, no one in the 2,000 year history of the church thought it was worth the effort to reach out to them. Or into Garbage City outside Cairo, Egypt – home to two million people. Yes, two million people live among the garbage cast off by the 26 million people living in the largest Muslim city in the world. It’s meant going into the jungles of Papua New Guinea and onto the street corners of Latin America. It means going into prisons and working with the Salvation Army’s outreach to alcoholics, battered women and the homeless. Wherever there’s darkness, that’s where we need to take the light. That’s my motto: Taking the Light.

Filoiann: Can you share one particular example where your ministry, foundation or organization made a significant impact on an individual or group and how?

There are so many but one example is our Pieces4Peace project which operates in a Muslim country, teaching women and girls quilting skills. This is a tremendous opportunity to impact people who would otherwise have no opportunity to hear that God actually loves them and wants good things for their future. Some of the young girls helped by this project would otherwise be doomed to become the fourth or fifth wife of a man three times their age.

We also partner with Rahab House in Bangkok, in the heart of the sex-slave industry. Few people realize that there are 27 million people living in slavery today. That’s more slaves than at the height of the African slave trade. It is a devastating thing to see, up close and personal, but we must see it. We can’t keep looking the other way. My heart was completely crushed by what I saw, but I agree with Bob Pierce, the Founder of World Vision, who prayed: “Let my heart be broken by the things that break the heart of God.”

Filoiann: Donna what words of wisdom or advice would you like to impart to those who are reading this interview in regards to being a person of purpose?

Donna: People often talk about finding their purpose, but to me, there’s only one purpose and that’s God’s purpose and His purpose isn’t unclear or hard to discover. Before Jesus left the planet, he spelled out it out plainly: He said to them, "Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation.” - Mark 16:15 Penguins are part of creation, right? Now you can understand my purpose for Antarctica a little better. Just kidding, of course. Seriously, I don’t think God cares so much if you are a butcher, a baker or a tribal chief. How will you use your position and talent as a butcher, baker or tribal chief to advance HIS agenda. That’s the question.

Several years ago, I heard Bono (of U2 fame) deliver a message to American leaders at the National Prayer Breakfast. He said he had spent years asking God to bless his various endeavors, including his efforts to make the world a better place. Then finally, he heard God say, “Quit asking me to bless what you are doing. Join me in what I am doing because that is already blessed.”

So there’s the answer. Look to see what God is doing and get on board. God is moving all over the world and He is positioning his people to invade the final frontiers of darkness. Get on board. It’s a blessed ride. That’s my advice!

Filoiann: Amen, I’m a firm believer in getting under God’s anointing hand and see what He is doing and go there. What type of support does your ministry, foundation or organization rely on and how can people reach you if they would like more information?

Donna: Thus far, most of the funding, quite honestly, has come from my husband and me. But we would certainly love to expand our international outreach efforts and that will require far more funds than the two of us can supply. That’s why we formed Donna Partow International, so people can partner with us if they feel inclined to do so. They can check out our website at

Donna’s Last Words from a prior interview:
My passion is for people to catch the vision for life lived to the fullest--to convince them, on a heart level, that the Christian life is either the greatest adventure the world has ever known or it is nothing at all.

My goal is to create an atmosphere where God can work, so he can speak to each woman in a way that's so personal, so powerful, that even if she lives for 100 years, no one can ever take away the reality of that God-moment.

Lots of people can entertain, inform and even inspire people. So that's really not part of my mission. In reality, Americans don't need more entertainment, information or inspiration. What we need is transformation. What we need is changed lives: changed marriages, changed families, changed cities. That's something only God can do. Fortunately, He does it every day, all over the world. I've seen it with my own eyes. From the jungles of Panama and Papua New Guinea to schools and crowded steeet corners in Latin America. I've seen it, first-hand, in the lives of former prostitutes in Thailand and former terrorists in Northern Ireland. I've been with a team of teenagers that led 18,000 people to Christ in 10 days. I've also wept with a former Muslim--a man who had been tortured for his faith--as he sang to God on his knees in a cave in Turkey.

God does more than inform; he transforms. So my job, basically, is to stay out of God's way and let him do what he does best. This is my second time speaking at The Gathering in the Ozarks and I'm convinced God is bringing me back for a reason. I'll be coming to you just days after returning from Brazil, where one of the most powerful revivals in the world is currently taking place, where Christians routinely fill the sports stadiums for all night worship services. My prayer is that i can catch some of their fire and bring it to Arkansas with me!

And I would LOVE to bring some fire to New Zealand, too

Filoiann: Donna thank you again for blessing us with this interview, I believe your heart and your passion does ignite others into being that vessel for God. May God continue to bless your ministry here in the states and abroad for His g1ory.

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