Standing in Witness
The overseas personnel who work on behalf of the United Church are supported by the Mission and Service Fund. Hear now about part of Sarah Beer’s work in Chiclayo, Peru.
[Jesus’ mother’s] story resonates with me as I reflect on the lived experiences of women in Peru. Thinking about Mary’s struggle as a young unmarried pregnant girl faced with judgment and ridicule, I witness her story in the lives of teenage girls in Peru. In the province of Lambayeque, 11 out of every 100 teenagers between 15 to 19 years of age are mothers. To compare with Canada, UNICEF reports 14 out of every 1,000 teenagers in the same age range of 15 to 19 gave birth from year 2000 to 2008.
The majority of young mothers are from low-income households and have not finished their primary or secondary education. Teenage girls are taking on the responsibilities of being a mother without the support of their partners, families, and communities. Many young mothers suffer from social stigma, exclusion, and lack of access to equal opportunities. I imagine the wisdom Mary would share with young women about her experience as a young mother.
I pray for Mary to be with us in spirit as a young mother and woman who understands what many young mothers around the world are going through…and to be with us in our struggle for justice and equality.
The United Church’s formation was based partly on the extraordinary mission work in our Methodist roots. Hearing Sarah’s witness is enlightening and motivating. Her witness is only possible with the generous support of our mission and service gifts.
Every gift to the church’s mission and service is used wisely and helps transform lives. Please continue to give generously.