16 Days of Activism - Day 14
Written by Hellen Rios-Carrillo, Regional Representative for the Caribbean and Coordinator for Gender Justice, Evangelical Lutheran Church of America (ELCA)
The ELCA through its AMMPARO strategy supports the work of churches and organizations in LAC and USA to accompany migrant groups in their journeys. These churches that are part of the AMMPARO network have a Gender component in their service and recognize women and children are the most vulnerable groups that experience all the types of violence in their journey. The churches open spaces to attend to their needs in an integral way.
Churches must follow the liberating call to accompany migrants and give special attention to women, who in their resilience, leave behind their emotional and physical burdens to demand attention for themselves and their children. This reminds me of the text from Matthew 15, and the experience of the Syrophoenician woman, a foreign woman, a migrant of a different ethnicity. When she meets Jesus she asks healing for her daughter, they enter a dialogue in which the ministry of Jesus is confronted by a system with fractures. Jesus is challenged by this nameless woman, this woman who travels to another territory for her sick daughter, who with faith and without resources cries out for the intervention of Jesus. It is through this dialogue, through the strength of this woman's VOICE that God's Grace shows the humanity of Jesus, who questions himself: “Who is my service for? Just for my people? Or for anyone who believes?” Jesus shows his humanity to a woman who was not welcome, who does not belong to that context, to a migrant in search of hope. Jesus frees her daughter from her burdens. That is what we should be doing, with our actions and with service, recognizing the bonds and differences and bringing liberating actions to these groups, with special care to migrant women.
Mother God, we pray for the brothers and sisters who continue to serve your people with dignity and respect. We pray for migrants, especially women and girls, that their lives will be respected, that their dignity will not be trampled under, that the inclusive minister of Jesus will continue to permeate the contexts to which they approach, with the faith that you accompany us all. Amen.