Violence against women has been one of the most prevalent social issues in the Philippines. Despite government efforts to address the concern, the number of victims is ever increasing. Similarly, there is a growing need to reach out and help the victims to heal their wounds from the trauma of violence they experienced. With this dilemma on the rise, hope and healing can still be found through prayer.
This year, the Trauma Healing Program was brought to the Philippines to reach out to those suffering emotional and spiritual wounds from abuse, harassment, conflict, and calamities. The Women’s World Day of Prayer was also conducted this March to enjoin the Filipino women in prayer and action for peace and justice. It carried the theme “Am I being unfair to you?” inspired by the story about equality in Matthew 20:1-16. Women from different denominations come together to be part of this project.
At the start of March, gatherings were held in several locations around the Philippines. One of these was held in the summer capital of the Philippines, Baguio City.
Fifty-one strong women of faith convened at the United Church of Christ in the Philippines, Burnham Park on March 3, 2017 for the celebration of the Women’s World Day of Prayer in Baguio. The group was formed by representatives from the Episcopal Church, Church of Epiphany, United Methodist Church, Church of Saint Philip, Roman Catholic Church, and UCCP among others.
The Women’s World Day of Prayer in Baguio was made even more meaningful with the dramatized version of the story in Matthew 20:1-16. This was followed by an inspiring meditation delivered by Rev. Florence Mariano-Bugtong.
The day was filled with intercessory prayers for all wounded women and those seeking for economic justice. Together, the participants devoted their time to intercede for the ills of society and for righteousness and justice to prevail. In one accord they also sang songs of solidarity and supplication.
As a representation of their commitment to reaching out to fellow women, the group planted seeds in a plant box at the altar. It reflects sowing and planting the liberating seed of the Spirit. They also recited a prayer in unison as a seal to their commitment.
“Indeed the celebration was a meaningful and encouraging one. It empowers the women of today for greater service and significance in the society, infusing the sense of international connection through prayer and fellowship,” PBS representative Esmie Dizon shared.
Services for the Women’s World Day of Prayer were also conducted in Manila, Iloilo, Baguio, Romblon, Cagayan De Oro, North Cotabato, and Romblon. Since the initial equipping session of the Trauma Healing Workshop last year, the number of participants has now grown to over a hundred.
Support this program by praying for all the participants to be equipped with the Word of God and for more women to find hope and healing through the Trauma Healing Program.