Teaching the Ladies

The pastor’s wife and I have been taking turns teaching the ladies at church on a Thursday morning, and I like to snap a quick shot when I get a chance.  As I mentioned in an earlier post, most people don’t like having their picture Ladies meetingtaken unless it is a group photo, posed for a purpose, so many of our photos are awkward.   It is really a challenge to teach these women, all of whom are in difficult marriages and who face poverty and disease as a matter of course.  In their culture, they are treated as less than men, to varying degrees.  Some live in horrible circumstances, degraded and abused by their husbands. Others run their own small business while their alcoholic husbands terrorize them and their children.  Some have a relatively stable home life, which involves all the expected duties of carrying water, cooking from scratch over a fire, washing all the clothes by hand, and living mostly outdoors (miserable in the rainy season when everyone huddles in the tiny mud houses).  How do you teach a theology of love and concern for others to those who do not experience love and concern?  How do you teach women to show their children they love them when daily life is so difficult and consistent and loving discipline is simply not practiced in their culture?  How do you teach them that God deems them worth of respect when they are treated as objects and servants by the men around them?  When we speak of romance or godly desire, I see their mouths twist in bitterness.  When we speak of children lost, some of them are freshly grieving a lost child.  It has been a challenge to know what to say and so we return again and again to the same scriptures:  God has created them, man and woman.  You have a Creator, you have a Father, you have a Savior.  He who is Hope personified.  – C