Saturday, March 6, 2010

World Day of Prayer 2010

This year it was held at St. John's Lutheran Church at Hughson and Wilson.

Ninety-two guests attended this yearly event. Although the Mayor and the Alderman were invited personally, they did not attend. I spoke to Mayor Fred myself in person on Thursday afternoon and he said that he was just too busy.

It was a little disappointing that our city officials did not attend, as they had done so in the past when it was at City Hall, I do understand, though, that the pressure of business can interfere with worthwhile events such as the World Day of Prayer.

However, it is interesting to note that 92 people plus all those who participated in this event, are also voters!

Under the leadership of Kathe K. and the help of a gorgeous day outside, the event went off without a hitch. We, on the Committee who run this event, are used to working with each other each year. Ten downtown churches band together to provide food and participate in the programme. This event happens all through Canada and I believe also in the United States. It started in 1922.

This year, the programme was written by the women of Cameroon. The republic of Cameroon is located in the centre of Africa above the equator at the extreme end of the Gulf of Guinea. The total surface is 475,440 square kilometres, which is slightly larger than California in the U.S.A. The two official languages are French and English with a dominance of the French language. The national currency is the Franc CFA, which is the common currency among 14 countries in Central and West Africa.

Although in its constitution equal rights between the sexes are promoted, the actual reality is not seen by the women as it is traditionally a patriarchal society. In plain terms, this means that girl children are not valued as highly as boy children.

The girl child helps her Mom in all her activities such as commercial enterprises, farming, child care and nursing the sick. If the girl is lucky, she may go to school but on top of all that, she is still responsible to work around the home and help her mother in all things. The prognosis for girls can be quite disturbing - poor performance in school, high drop-out rates, juvenile delinquency, child exploitation, prostitution, early marriages, unwanted pregnancies among other things. Alas, it is like that in many developing nations to this day.

In the Cameroons, girls are considered a waste of resources as she will only benefit her husband in the future.

Having edited an African woman's book a few years back, I know from her what life is like for the African woman. We, in North America, are very blessed to live here with all our modern conveniences and our "rights".

Pastor Jacob Koch, who had been a missionary in the Cameroons, was invited by Kathe K. to be the guest speaker and he proved to be a dynamic speaker.

I particularly found it interesting to note that his wife was not valued in that society until she had a child and then she was given the recognition she deserved. However, she would then be known as the mother of whatever the child's name was. I have seen that in the Arabic culture as well. Although I do have children, I would prefer to be known by my proper name, not mother of ....... Mind you, I can remember here in Canada in my youth, married women would be called Mrs. Jack and his last name, so what is the difference here? That was in my parent's generation and it was the normal way of introducing people.

After the service, guests were invited downstairs for a buffet type of meal. Once again, the Hospitality Committee of the E.L.W. (women's group) did an excellent job.

Any left over food was taken over to The Living Rock across the street which is a ministry for youth having difficulty.

Most unfortunately, I did not take any pictures of this event to share with those of you who regularly read my blog.

Thanks for reading, and next year, if you have the time to spare, check out your local area for the World Day of Prayer. It is in many different cities across the nation.

No comments: