Thursday, November 26, 2015

Jerusha and Wes Neal write from Fiji

Please be in prayer with us over the next Sixteen Days...

Wednesday, November 25th, is the beginning of "Sixteen Days of Activism Against Domestic Violence in Fiji."  Domestic violence is a problem all over the world, but the numbers in the Pacific are grave.  2 out of 3 women in Fiji have experienced gender-based violence in their lifetimes - and 25% of women are currently living in an abusive home.  Wes's work around trauma-healing and Jerusha's advocacy work around "Break the Silence Sunday" address this issue in our community.  But we address it as well in our classrooms.  Helping students have fresh eyes for texts that have often been used to justify violence is important work.

This year, through a partnership with the ecumenical advocacy group Christian Talanoa Network, Wes and Jerusha were able to invite Mrs. Barbara Kemper to Fiji.  Mrs. Kemper is a trained psychotherapist and former missionary to Brazil who is a specialist in a technique called "bibliodrama."  She will begin lecturing at Candler School of Theology next fall.  Mrs. Kemper led three 3-hour workshops for our students and student spouses around the texts of Tamar (2 Sam. 13) and the widow and oil (2 Kings 4).  The workshops encouraged deep reflection, discussion and commitments for the future.  We are so grateful for how God is at work.  Over the next 2 weeks, Mrs. Kemper will continue these workshops at 4 local churches (with translation into local dialects provided.)  Please keep this season of learning in your prayers.

As a gift to you, we are attaching a booklet of daily prayers put together by the Christian Talanoa Network and the House of Sarah (a woman's counseling center) - so that you can better pray with us throughout the 16 days.  You will see that the last prayer in the collection was written by Wes.

As you gather for your Thanksgiving feasts, keep the women of the world in your hearts.  Thank God for their resilience, their voices and their hope!

We are proud to be your missionaries,

Wes and Jerusha Neal

The prayer guide accompanying this year's emphasis can be downloaded here!

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