Moravian Church in North America

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Moravian Church in North America
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South: Winston-Salem, N.C.

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UWD: Sewing the remnants together

032014sewingintroIn early 2012, Sr. Lorena Gray met with the Coordinator of the Unity Women’s Desk to discuss how the UWD might work with the women of Honduras. Although she did not immediately agree to be one of the Provincial Coordinators for Honduras, Lorena called Sr. Garner back a few days later with a list of ways that we could work together.

After securing some medical charts to help Sr. Lorena in teaching her healthcare classes and putting together some Healthcare Kits to give to the women who would come to the classes, Sr. Lorena returned to Honduras ready to organize the women there. The following is part of an article Sr. Lorena wrote for the UWD:

The Unity Women’s Desk has been an important source of support and inspiration for many Moravian Miskitu women in Gracias a Dios, Honduras. The UWD, through the leadership of the Rev. Patty Garner, Sr. Sallie Greenfield and many other Moravian women, is glorifying God’s name in different parts of the world, including among Miskitu Indian Moravian women.

We are just starting to get together in different villages in La Moskitia (Gracias a Dios) within the two recognized Moravian Church groups (“traditional” and “renewed”) in Honduras. There is still much to do, but for starters we are learning how to be witnesses to Christ by loving and respecting ourselves and others. We are trying to learn how to support each other and others as Christian women in our homes, our church and our communities, by first calling together women from both churches to plan our activities with prayer and praise to God.

Each church group has their leaders who work with the women, young and old, in their churches, in their neighborhoods and in their communities, by having Bible studies once a week to learn more about God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. We try to practice love by taking some small gifts to the person in whose home we have the Bible study each time. We are also trying to practice love by providing individual meals to the less fortunate who might be unable to find or fix food for themselves.

The Miskitu women are so happy to receive their special cloth bags (sewn by North American Moravian sisters) in which they keep and carry their notebooks, Bibles and supplies. They were able to receive health kits, after hearing a presentation on personal hygiene. We are so excited in the hope that there are Miskitu women who will not be left out from getting a good education, through the scholarships provided by the Unity Women’s Desk to the young students with the greatest needs, through provision of school supplies and uniforms, and through further opportunities as we are starting a sewing project with a few women who have been selected for this endeavor.

In May of 2013, when Sr. Garner called me on the phone and asked me if I was interested in getting in touch with a Moravian sister, Carol Brown of Bethania Moravian Church, who was willing to give away some cloth remnants, I gladly said, “Yes,” and met with her. Sure enough, she had many pieces of beautiful fabric ready to give away. She said, “Sister, you are welcome to take all you want because I am about to get rid of them.”

I packed as much as I could and sent them out to La Moskitia, Honduras, with my head full of ideas of how to put these remnants to good use for the Moravian Miskitu women in my village, who are in desperate need of being empowered so that they can become strong enough to fight against poverty, diseases, violence, injustice and death. These are women who for too long have been left behind with very little opportunity to stand up, succeed and survive.

We are forever grateful to our brothers and sisters in different parts of the world who, because of their love of Christ, are able to continue to love us and support us even though after 84 years of existence we still often seem to be “drinking milk like a child,” as the apostle Paul would say.

032014sewing2As you may know, in the Moravian church in Honduras we are going through rough and drastic changes as a Christian community and as a nation. Our misfortune is that the Miskitu Indians along with other ethnic groups, are isolated, almost abandoned by our government system. We are exploited by many. We are a people with limited educational opportunities. We are inexperienced, naïve, and weak when it comes to fighting for our rights; we are a nation that is overpowered by the strongest and we are exposed to suffer injustice and even loss of life, left perhaps only to cry and grieve for our losses. [These problems are related to lobster diving, HIV/AIDS, and the violence from the drug trafficking. See note at the end of the article.]

These are the moments in which you would think of turning to your ministers, your Moravian church leaders; but what would you do if the ones in whom you put your trust are the ones who have lost trust and faith in God? They become confused, and are unable to cope with the changes. They put their trust and hope in money and power and start dividing the Moravian Church.

In 1998, the Moravian Church in Honduras was divided by our church leaders making us weaker as a people or a culture. It is a struggle that has lasted more than fifteen years, and now is compounded by another drastic division starting in 2010.

In the midst of all these tragedies, the Miskitu Indian women are standing strong within their churches and their communities, nurturing, loving, working and taking care of their loved ones. Has anyone ever asked themselves how these women are surviving?…

But if we gather these leftover remnants and sew them together they can turn into a strong, beautiful quilt to serve others. Ezra 9:8 says “But now, for a brief moment, the Lord our God has been gracious in leaving us a remnant and giving us a firm place in his sanctuary, and so our God gives light to our eyes and a little relief in our bondage.”

The remnants of cloth donated by our dear North American sisters of the Bethania quilting group can be used by Miskitu women to make lovely and needed items. In the same way, these Miskitu women are remnants that have been cast aside but are longing to be sewn into the fabric of our worldwide unity in order to serve their God-given purpose to serve others for God’s glory.
This article has been edited for The Moravian Magazine; however, the complete article will be included in the Interprovincial Women’s Mission Study this fall, entitled, Women in Mission: Making a Difference in Our World.

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The Unity Women’s Desk has been an important source of support and inspiration for many Moravian Miskitu women in Gracias a Dios, Honduras. The UWD, through the leadership of the Rev. Patty Garner, Sr. Sallie Greenfield and many other Moravian women, is glorifying God’s name in different parts of the world, including among Miskitu Indian Moravian women.

We are just starting to get together in different villages in La Moskitia (Gracias a Dios) within the two recognized Moravian Church groups (“traditional” and “renewed”) in Honduras. There is still much to do, but for starters we are learning how to be witnesses to Christ by loving and respecting ourselves and others. We are trying to learn how to support each other and others as Christian women in our homes, our church and our communities, by first calling together women from both churches to plan our activities with prayer and praise to God.

Each church group has their leaders who work with the women, young and old, in their churches, in their neighborhoods and in their communities, by having Bible studies once a week to learn more about God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. We try to practice love by taking some small gifts to the person in whose home we have the Bible study each time. We are also trying to practice love by providing individual meals to the less fortunate who might be unable to find or fix food for themselves.

The Miskitu women are so happy to receive their special cloth bags (sewn by North American Moravian sisters) in which they keep and carry their notebooks, Bibles and supplies. They were able to receive health kits, after hearing a presentation on personal hygiene. We are so excited in the hope that there are Miskitu women who will not be left out from getting a good education, through the scholarships provided by the Unity Women’s Desk to the young students with the greatest needs, through provision of school supplies and uniforms, and through further opportunities as we are starting a sewing project with a few women who have been selected for this endeavor.

In May of 2013, when Sr. Garner called me on the phone and asked me if I was interested in getting in touch with a Moravian sister, Carol Brown of Bethania Moravian Church, who was willing to give away some cloth remnants, I gladly said, “Yes,” and met with her. Sure enough, she had many pieces of beautiful fabric ready to give away. She said, “Sister, you are welcome to take all you want because I am about to get rid of them.”

I packed as much as I could and sent them out to La Moskitia, Honduras, with my head full of ideas of how to put these remnants to good use for the Moravian Miskitu women in my village, who are in desperate need of being empowered so that they can become strong enough to fight against poverty, diseases, violence, injustice and death. These are women who for too long have been left behind with very little opportunity to stand up, succeed and survive.

We are forever grateful to our brothers and sisters in different parts of the world who, because of their love of Christ, are able to continue to love us and support us even though after 84 years of existence we still often seem to be “drinking milk like a child,” as the apostle Paul would say.

032014sewing2As you may know, in the Moravian church in Honduras we are going through rough and drastic changes as a Christian community and as a nation. Our misfortune is that the Miskitu Indians along with other ethnic groups, are isolated, almost abandoned by our government system. We are exploited by many. We are a people with limited educational opportunities. We are inexperienced, naïve, and weak when it comes to fighting for our rights; we are a nation that is overpowered by the strongest and we are exposed to suffer injustice and even loss of life, left perhaps only to cry and grieve for our losses. [These problems are related to lobster diving, HIV/AIDS, and the violence from the drug trafficking. See note at the end of the article.]

These are the moments in which you would think of turning to your ministers, your Moravian church leaders; but what would you do if the ones in whom you put your trust are the ones who have lost trust and faith in God? They become confused, and are unable to cope with the changes. They put their trust and hope in money and power and start dividing the Moravian Church.

In 1998, the Moravian Church in Honduras was divided by our church leaders making us weaker as a people or a culture. It is a struggle that has lasted more than fifteen years, and now is compounded by another drastic division starting in 2010.

In the midst of all these tragedies, the Miskitu Indian women are standing strong within their churches and their communities, nurturing, loving, working and taking care of their loved ones. Has anyone ever asked themselves how these women are surviving?…

But if we gather these leftover remnants and sew them together they can turn into a strong, beautiful quilt to serve others. Ezra 9:8 says “But now, for a brief moment, the Lord our God has been gracious in leaving us a remnant and giving us a firm place in his sanctuary, and so our God gives light to our eyes and a little relief in our bondage.”

The remnants of cloth donated by our dear North American sisters of the Bethania quilting group can be used by Miskitu women to make lovely and needed items. In the same way, these Miskitu women are remnants that have been cast aside but are longing to be sewn into the fabric of our worldwide unity in order to serve their God-given purpose to serve others for God’s glory.

This article has been edited for The Moravian Magazine; however, the complete article will be included in the Interprovincial Women’s Mission Study this fall, entitled, Women in Mission: Making a Difference in Our World.

 

 

From the March 2014 Moravian Magazine

Moravian Daily Texts

11/20/2017

Monday, November 20 — Psalm 129
Daniel 6:19–7:22; 3 John

You must neither add anything to what I command you nor take away anything from it, but keep the commandments of the Lord your God. Deuteronomy 4:2

Jesus said to them, “My mother and my brothers are those who hear the word of God and do it.” Luke 8:21

Lord, it is so easy to interpret your holy word with our own biases and miss the point you were trying to make. Guide our hearts and minds to understand your calling for us and to act on that calling. Amen.

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