November 25, International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women
November 29, International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People
November 30, Day of Remembrance for all Victims of Chemical Warfare
I met Christina when she came as a guest to an Out of the Cold dinner. She entered alone, sat alone, did not speak to anyone, and left alone. After several months, she began to open up and speak to one or two women. They invited her to an occasional women’s event at church. There, she gradually told her story. Christina lives alone, is recovering from a violent, abusive relationship, and still finds it hard to interact with men. However, she has joined a Bible Study group that includes women and some gentle, caring men, and she is slowly learning to speak about her faith.
I met Cecilia when I visited her remote village in Malawi. She became a widow when her husband died of HIV/AIDS. She carries the virus herself and, for three years, she has been living with breast cancer. Four of her children have died and she supports the remaining four by picking up whatever work she can. She is deeply committed to serving her community as deputy to the Chief of the village, who is also a woman. She is a member of her church’s Mvano, or women’s guild, and she wears her uniform proudly. Last but not least, Cecilia can dance! When she dances, in Mvano or in worship, her faith is plain for all to see.
Dear God, we lift up all of the Christinas and Cecilias of the world. May they have a safe, warm, accepting place in what can be a cold, unwelcoming world. May we show them that they are loved and cared for in the community of God’s family. Amen.
Cathy Reid, London, ON.