Valarie Englert, Senior Pastor
The people called Methodist just rock. Truly.
I received further confirmation of this as a few from our group met with Honduran women Wednesday morning.
The planner of this special discussion and sharing group was Rev. Andrea Rocha Soares, a United Methodist Brazilian pastor and UMW regional missionary for Latin America.
Two of us joined Andrea as she met with women’s ministry leaders from several congregations in and near Danli, about two hours east southeast of Tegucigalpa.
We listened as these women shared:
– about what they love about being a woman, and what they love about ministry in their communities.
– about their challenges as women in ministry – both as laity and clergy. (There were two female pastors in the group.)
– heart-breaking stories of community members who have migrated away from Honduras, and about the social and economic crisis that exists in Honduras now.
– about the hardship associated with a year and half long drought, causing food and water shortages.
As the meeting drew to a close, Pastor Andrea asked these dear women what they would like for women in the US to know. One by one, they offered these words of assurance and encouragement:
‘We are woman that are strong; entrepreneurial; who want to step up and go further.’
‘We are persistent, and we fight and serve the Lord and the people around us who are in need.’
‘We are beautiful women and hard workers.’
‘We have learned to step up and we look around to see what the needs are and that has helped us to be able to go further.’
‘Even though there are stumbling blocks and difficulties, we try.’
“And what might women in the US learn from you?” Pastor Andrea asked.
‘How to be united’ was the reply. ‘When we’re in unity, we can learn a lot together.’
Unity makes us stronger, yes. But the wisdom I received today from this fellow Honduran United Methodist is that when we are united, we can learn more together: more about Jesus Christ and how he works in and though us; more about each other; more about communities far and near, and how we can look out and around, and see where we can join with others in relationship, and thus learn more.
Jesus Christ prayed to God that his disciples ‘be one, as you and I are one.’
May it be so.