Monday, July 7
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The Presbytery of Ohio Valley
Many young adults in the United States have opportunities for higher education. In Afghanistan, however, warfare has left thousands of young women widowed, many who are illiterate and have children to support. William Seo, army medic and member of Central Presbyterian Church in Terre Haute, was deployed to Afghanistan in 2009. Seeing that Afghan widows were “abandoned on the streets,” Seo collaborated with an Afghan doctor to found a women’s school in Jalalabad teaching reading, math, and hygiene—but also sewing and embroidery skills, so that the women could support themselves after graduation.
Central Presbyterian has supported Seo’s work by contributing funds and spreading news about the project locally. The cost of a new sewing machine for a graduate to start her business is $60. After seeing church member Joshua Powers demonstrate a sewing machine like those used in the Afghan school (see photo), the children of Central Presbyterian voted to use money from their Sunday offerings to purchase two machines. Additionally, the congregation commissioned a hand-embroidered tapestry from the school’s third class of students. It now hangs in the fellowship hall.
By January 2013 the school had graduated eight classes, and graduates report earning three times the average Afghan wage. The mission plans to start 10 more schools in 2013–14. “Women are knocking on the door of our school and asking to join the next class,” Seo says. “My heart aches to open more doors for them.”
Eighty congregations in southern and west central Indiana grace the Presbytery of Ohio Valley.
—Elder Amanda Davis, Central Presbyterian Church, Terre Haute
Let us join in prayer for:
Rev. Mihee Kim-Kort, member, PMA Board
Rev. Susan C. McGhee, executive presbyter
Rev. Lawrence Jackman, stated clerk
Elder M. Jean Brown, treasurer
Rhonda Seymour, administrative assistant for office support
Elder Stephanie Worden, administrative assistant for information technology
PC(USA) Agencies’ Staff
Jen Lenard-Benson, PMA
Ruth Leonard, PMA
Heather Leoncini, PMA
Let us pray
Loving God, thank you for opportunities to help young women in Afghanistan to gain an education. Continue to guide us to ways we can serve others both near and far. Amen.