Lectionary Selection: Mark 13:1-8
Prayers for Mexico:
Mother and Father God,
Today we pray for our brothers and sisters in Mexico as they work towards creating a country where girls can grow up to be who they want to be and do what they want to do. Please bring strength and compassion to the people who are fighting for girls’ rights.
Help us to challenge stereotypes and gender roles in our own communities and walk with those who need a little nudge to make changes. Guide our hands and our words so that we can make this world a better place for the girls of today and the generations of tomorrow.
We ask that you continue to guide our feet in the walk towards equality and justice, and that you open the hearts of the people who do not yet understand the plight of young girls around the world.
Dearest God, we thank you for wisdom and for the courage you have given us.
Mission Stewardship Moment from Mexico:
In honor of the Day of the Girl, October 11, Melel hosted a conference for girls and young women in San Cristóbal. Girls and young women from all over the country were invited to participate in a 3-day event focused on girls’ rights, culminating in a public demonstration and declaration about the state of girls and young people in Mexico. This event was historic—the first ever of its kind. Never in the history of Mexico has a group of girls come together from many different states with the intention of talking about their rights and let me tell you—it was as empowering for us adult companions as it was for the girl attendees.
At the event the attendees spent time discussing the different realities of girls in Mexico, and they found that all of them—from Sinaloa in the north, to Mexico City, to Oaxaca and Chiapas in the south—face the same dangers and difficulties in life. Most importantly, the conversation didn’t stop there. The girls initiated their own discussions about what they could do to change their worlds, to start to make an impact on the social climate and social situation for girls in Mexico and Latin America. They attended workshops and played games, sang songs, and wrote a declaration that was then broadcast live from the city center of San Cristóbal. These young women, the oldest of which was 17, spoke about the horrors they face on a daily basis and demanded that the people of Mexico begin to see girls differently—as people who are capable of making their own decisions and whose role in society should not be restricted to the home.
While the girls were in their workshops, us adults participated in our own. We wrote on small pieces of paper all the things that were said to us as children, sexist things people say, such as “why do you need to study if you’re just going to get married?” or “don’t wear dresses in public! You don’t want to provoke anyone!” or “Having children is part of your biology! It’s only a matter of time…” and so on. We then corrected them. On other pieces of paper, we wrote the ways we can change those phrases to be positive statements, for example “Go serve your brothers dinner—it’s your job to take care of them” became “go ask your brothers to set the table for dinner—we all have to share the work around here.” Sexist, degrading words became powerful and revolutionary. This is the legacy we pass on to future generations—words that are empowering and allow young girls and women to be who they want to be without the restrictions of gender stereotypes.
Through the workshops provided for the girls at the event and for their adult companions, the culture begins to change and step by step, we make the world a better place for girls to grow up in.
Prayer and Mission Moment by Cara McKinney
Mission Partners in Mexico:
More information on Mexico: https://www.globalministries.org/mexico
Global Ministries Mission Co-worker in Mexico:
Cara McKinney serves with Melel Xojobal in Mexico. Her appointment is made possible by your gifts to Disciples Mission Fund, Our Church’s Wider Mission, WOC, OGHS, and your special gifts.