Star Profile June 2014
Sister Rissa Singson Kawpeng: Beautiful in God’s Eyes
Living in a God’s way is her wisdom. Rissa Singson Kawpeng, or more known as sister Rissa, is a mother of two children, a preacher and editor-in-chief of the Philippines’ most widely read inspirational publications –Kerygma.She was once a stand-up comedian in Philippinesand an actress.
In her young age, as a fifth daughter out of six children, she waited for a man to be her husband. She became more impatient at her waiting time when her older sisters got married. Sister Rissaeven questioned to herself, “What’s wrong with me?” But then she finally found the one she’s been dreaming of.
In her free time, she swims 3 times a week for exercise. From the first impression, she looks so energetic and alive. Her character, her talents, her successful career and her journey to marriage life willdefinitely inspire us. Let’s see how a woman can have a happier lifethrough her perspectives.
Q: What is your definition of a real woman? What is your biggest challenge in the journey of becoming real woman?
A:A real woman is someone who celebrates her femininity and rejoices in how God has uniquelycreated her. I think the biggest challenge we face is to love ourselves and accept ourselves regardless the worldly messages and influences that media bombards us every day. We have to learn to see the beauty God has put in each of us and honor it in ourselves.
Q: Is there any experience that has influenced your journey in developing Godly woman character?
A:I grew up in a small Bible sharing group with five other full-time servants of the Lord. We named our group Feminine Company, inspired by the passage from 1 Peter 3:3-4. "Your adornment should not be an external one: braiding the hair, wearing gold jewelry, or dressing in fine clothes, 4 but rather the hidden character of the heart, expressed in the imperishable beauty of a gentle and calm disposition, which is precious in the sight of God.”
For many years, I didn’t wear makeup or jewelry, trusting the Lord to let His beauty shine through me. Keeping such principle during my youthhas allowed me to focus more on developing inner beauty instead of vanity that the world usually promotes.
Q: Magazine and media nowadays talks about being an independent woman. In what extend do you agree and disagree towards this issue?
A:I believe every woman has to be independent, whole in herself and not relying on anyone to complete her and make her happy. The only dependence we should have is on The Lord.
Q:Society often defines how woman should look like and should behave. Thus we are conditioned to follow mainstream role model with attractive physical appearance to make guy’s jaw drops. Therefore girls are forced to fit into the society’s definition of being pretty according what most people concept of pretty. For example one should go outside their home wearing make-up, dress up nicely, moreover to the extent of performing plastic surgery. What would be your comment to this situation and what is your advice to stay truly beautiful?
A:I`ve written a book entitled "Discover Your Inner Beauty Queen." There, I talked about true beauty that comes from the inner disposition of our hearts and not from external means. Yes, of course, we need to be presentable and beautiful. But we should not stop there. Because what`s really more important and lasting is the beauty that comes from a calm and gentle disposition, which is beautiful in God`s eyes (1 Peter 3:3-4).
Q: It’s impossible to respect value and admire great leadership if you can’t identify what makes a leader great. So what are the qualities you consider women should have as a leader both at home and in the workplace?
A:I think the most important quality of a leader, whether man or woman, is integrity. The best way to lead is by example, and you can`t do this if what you preach is different from what you practice.
Q: How can you be an editor for Kerygma books? Do you have a mentor to teach you how?
A:When I was young,I had a mentor. She was my editor-in-chief and she happened to also be a teacher. So she taught me how to edit. But I also took a magazine writing course in the United States and took other short courses now and then to expand my knowledge.
Q: Who’s your role model and why?
A:Aside from Mother Mary who`s the hands-down best role model of all, I`d say it`s my mom. She led me to Jesus. By her life and examples, she taught me to love Him and serve Him with my all.
Q: You are a mother of 2 kids, a wife, an editor and servant of Lord. How do you manage your time being in multiple roles? How can you serve whole heartedly without getting burnt out/ restless?
A:I don’t like complicating things. I’ve accepted that I can’t have as much things on my plate as I used to when I was still single. So I’ve learned to say “no”to many things and not to overload my schedule so I’ll have time for the things that matter. That means prioritizing my family time. At the end of the day, my most important roles are not being preacher or worship leader or seminar speaker; it’s being a wife and a mom.
Journalist: Joan / English Translation: Joan / Editor: Siska / Erica