A Letter from Eliane Menezes, serving in Guatemala
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Serving in God’s ministry is something I regard as an honor. As we participate in God’s purpose for the world, we give God glory in whatever we do alongside our brothers and sisters. Accepting God’s call on our lives helps us to understand that God has equipped us to participate in God’s work and has called us to do so. We will combine our unique skills to serve God’s ministry.
We are saved to serve one another in love, so serving one another is an act of love. Romans 12:10 instructs us, “Love each other with genuine affection and take delight in honoring each other.” In order to be able to call ourselves disciples of Christ, we work continuously to find means to encourage, inspire and support others as they serve God’s ministry.
On its journey, the National Union of Presbyterian Women of Guatemala (UNMP) gathered at the Ebenezer Presbyterian Church, in the municipality of La Blanca, San Marcos for its national convention in February. The UNMP would normally hold its plenary every two years, but the UNMP board of directors had to wait until it was safe to hold this plenary because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
With the theme “Moving Forward with Hope, Jeremiah 29:11-13,” this was a very dynamic two-day event where the Presbyterian women of Guatemala had the opportunity to come together once again and participate in this noteworthy moment of the UNMP.
The women had the opportunity to participate in workshops, devotionals and two worship services, along with chances for self-reflection on how to serve women’s ministry more effectively.
In this assembly, four new members of the board of directors of the UNMP were elected with a vote of about 130 women. This is how the board of directors is composed: moderator Elvira Monterroso, vice moderator Gladys de Suchí, minutes secretary Alejandra Molina, correspondence secretary Kelly Ochoa, treasure Claudia Diaz, members at large, Maria Roselia Gomez, Evelia Jiménez, Reyna Sosa and Olvi de Talé.
It is important to emphasize that the board of directors is dedicated to putting the UNMP work plan for 2023 into action, thus it is essential to keep working to empower women so they can exercise their leadership roles in their churches and communities with more assurance. One of the workshop objectives is to train Bible school instructors and pay particular attention to family mental health, particularly in these trying times.
I’m pleased to share with all of you that the UNMP is making great efforts to support women through its programs and inspire them to pursue their educational goals. Along with the 20 students enrolled in their theological studies, the UNMP scholarship program, whose fund is entirely sponsored by donations, is now supporting seven Q’eqchi women studying at the basic level. We praise God for giving women theology students the opportunity to graduate in 2022. Two students received certificates in theological studies, while one has completed an associate degree.
It is crucial to note that these UNMP scholarship programs are only possible because those who value education understand that education is one of the most impactful ways for women in Guatemala to pursue a dignified life for themselves, their families and increased opportunities to engage in their church and community lives.
The UNMP is striving to implement the new women’s literacy program in places where women are in great need of education. In order to help women achieve their goal of learning to read and write, the UNMP has made an effort to carry out this worthwhile project in more vulnerable areas. A new class was just launched in San Juan Ixcoy, Huahuatenango, with the help of the local Q’Anjobal Presbyterian Women group. The UNMP is hoping to start additional classes soon in other areas.
I want to express my sincere gratitude to everyone who is joining me on this journey of faith. It’s challenging for me to put into words how grateful I am for all of your support. Therefore, I want to thank God for each of you and urge that we stick together as we continue to carry out God’s will in this special mission.
May God bless you all immensely,
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