Words of support: Sisters and Brothers in Christ
In September we asked you to help support Pacific women in the fight against inequality and violence. And you responded, donating over $58,000 so far, and sending beautiful words of encouragement for your Pacific sisters!
Throughout the year we’ve been heartened to see more men attending workshops that address equality, hear more stories of changes in family and community life and a gradual take up of biblical messages around the equality of women and girls.
If you want to inspire your congregation with a real-life story of change, watch Pastor Nipi’s testimony from Vanuatu at www.unitingworld.org.au/pacificwomen
“I never knew what gender balance was or what it meant in relation to the Bible,” Pastor Nipi said. “At first I thought – what is this ‘gender balance’ they are talking about? We never believed men and women could be equal. But as I made my studies and we talked, I realised there is something there for me to learn! It has infected me! I like it!”
Thank you for the $58,000 you’ve given so far for this project. Your gifts will:
- Pay trainers for workshops for advocates against violence against women
- Help develop and distribute Bible study material to be used in difficult to reach places in Fiji, Vanuatu, Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands
We continue to need funding to provide places for women and men to attend training for anti-violence advocacy in Kiribati and Tuvalu, where our work is just beginning and critically needed. In these communities, women are still unable to practice leadership even if they are trained for the positions, and the issue of domestic violence desperately needs to be addressed. If you’re still planning to give, we’d gratefully receive your gift for this work at www.unitingworld.org/pacificwomen
Here are a few of the messages of support we’ve been delighted to pass on to our friends in the Pacific:
Dear Sisters in the Pacific, I encourage you to remember John 10:10 “I have come that you may have life, and have it abundantly.” Please believe and discuss the biblical understanding that men and women are equal. I am sorry that earlier church teaching has disempowered women. I encourage you all to follow your dreams, to claim equality with all people, to take up any opportunities for learning and employment, to know that you are not alone. Women in Australia support and pray for you.
Keep going. Stay strong. I admire your bravery
– Aasha (11yrs)
I look forward to receiving news about how my friends in the Pacific Islands are going. I was very excited to read the account of Past Lima Tura and activities in Timor Leste. I like to show the photos to my grandkids. One of my favourite verses is Philippians 4:19. It says “My God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus.”
Hello my sisters in Christ, I encourage you to continue to make the gospel of Jesus Christ known, sharing His love and His power to transform lives. There is no male or female in Christ so do not think yourselves inferior in any way, for you were created in His image to give Him glory. Your brother in Christ.
Thank you everyone who sent messages!
*Header Photo: Uniting Church in Australia President Dr Deidre Palmer with emerging leaders of the Presbyterian Church in Vanuatu