Trauma-healing workshops are continuing to support Kekchi women to pursue dignity in Guatemala.
Five Kekchi Mennonite Church women leaders, along with Mennonite Mission Network worker Deb Byler, facilitated their fifth workshop July 27-28 in San Pedro Carchá. Another workshop is scheduled later this year to reach more of the women in the Kekchi church’s 135 congregations.
An exercise during the July workshop allowed the 19 participants to release their pain and receive God’s healing and hope.
Byler said the general sense in Kekchi culture is that females don’t need to be educated and should only work in the home, take care of the children and cook.
“They are sometimes seen as having no potential beyond that and are considered less intelligent than men,” she said. “They are sometimes beaten, and stories of physical abuse come up sometimes in workshops. Fathers don’t generally value girls as much as boys.”
Participants found a sense of God’s love and presence, which replaced lies they had heard about their worthlessness.
“We learned that we women were created in the image of God,” said participant Olivia Chiquin Xol.
Sister Care leaders Rhoda Keener and Carolyn Holderread Heggen will lead a Mennonite Women Sister Care retreat in February to prepare Kekchi women to train others to use the materials in the Kekchi language to lead more workshops.
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