Sue has begun a new assignment in Costa Rica after having served in Cuba.
She writes: In April I had a golden opportunity to visit a ministry in Costa Rica called Pastoral Care for Women. I was interested in this ministry because it uses the Bible to help women in a male-dominated culture realize their worth in Christ; not for what they do but for who they are in Christ.
At the beginning of one of the classes the students were asked to share with us visitors what they had learned from the class so far. I´d like to share Cecilia´s testimony with you.
"I am so thankful for my friend Yahaira who brought me here and paid my way. I have learned so much, especially that I have value in God´s eyes and to believe in my own worth.
"My partner of 25 years (and the father of my children) always taunted me, saying that he would never marry me because I was fat or because I was ugly. Just last week his divorce papers came through. (Hidden meaning: Probably Cecilia is a woman he “kept on the side” while also having a wife, not uncommon in Latin America.) He came to see me and offered marriage, saying that he would provide everything that I needed. But he put two conditions on the proposal: I can´t come to this class anymore and I must stay at home (i.e. give up my job, not attend church).
"Because of what I learned in this course, I won´t marry him and I don´t want him as a partner."
Cecilia´s testimony shows that she has learned her worth in God´s eyes, and also recognizes that she was living with a verbally abusive man. If she married him, the cycle of abuse would begin again because he was already trying to isolate her from her support circles. She decided to stop this cycle in her life. That takes courage – and encouragement from classmates, friends and church family.
At the end of the class, Cecilia handed out a paper flower to each person there. The Bible verse attached to mine quotes Psalm 66:9 “God has preserved our lives and kept our feet from slipping.” Materially she is poor, but now wants to share her God-given hope and creativity with others. Cecilia is only one example of women changed as a result of this ministry.
I feel blessed to have been invited to participate in this ministry in Costa Rica. I am blessed to see God bring healing and new life to these women and I am blessed to be one of God´s partners in this ministry. I see that my gifts in teaching, in working with biblical applications to daily life, in editing and writing fit very well into the future plans of this ministry.
• Pray for Sue as she begins this new ministry and for the women she will be working with to bring the realization of their worth in Christ.