Monday, March 21, 2011

getting the word out...


This past weekend I was at a Women's Seminar put on by the Child Development Foundation (CDF) that I do volunteer work with.  We were down in the town of Esperanza.  There were close to 100 women in attendance.  It was amazing.  The theme of the conference was Redeeming, Restoring and Rebuilding Broken Walls.  And the subjects covered were issues that survivors of Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children (CSEC)have to face after they are rescued.

The first night we learned about what CSEC is, where it is happening and the cultural factors that facilitate it here in Belize.  The second and final day focused on the effects that CSEC has on the victims and survivors.  There were talks on the Physical & Medical Effects, Social Effects, Psychological Effects, Spiritual Effects and a talk on the Effects on Society.  The presenter who was scheduled to talk on the Spiritual Effects became ill and I was asked to take over for her.  I was grateful not only for the opportunity to be of service but also for the two days notice I was given to prepare.

I was able to include a portion of my personal testimony about sexual abuse and healing along with teaching about who God is and how we can help others toward spiritual healing and wholeness.  Afterwards we had many women come forward to share their stories of sexual, physical and verbal abuse.  So many powerful stories were shared by the women for the first time.

After a time of small group interaction where they were given scenarios to work through and then the final speaker covered what we as women can do in our homes, churches, workplaces and communities to break the cycle of abuse.  We ended with a time of breaking into pairs to pray for one another.  Some of the women who were not comfortable praying aloud were given the option of having someone pray for them.  It truly was an incredible weekend for all of us involved.

There are other seminars CDF has scheduled...one coming up with be in Benque that will be completely in Spanish.  Oh, how I wish that my Spanish skills would allow me to sit in on that one and hear the hearts of the women in the Spanish speaking community.  One of women who will be presenting told me that she is taking Spanish lessons at the University of Belize. And she suggested that I look into free classes that are sponsored by the Venezuelan Embassy here in Belmopan.  I am thinking of contacting them this week and I think it would be good to have a Spanish tutor as well.  In Russia when I was learning the language I needed lots of live language practice to truly get it!

This coming week we will be presenting at Our Lady of Guadalupe Highschool and next week at Belmopan Comprehensive Highschool.  Please continue to keep the work CDF in your prayers... there is still much to do to eradicate the problem of sexual exploitation here in Belize.

5 comments:

  1. Hey, Friend. Thanks for spending a minute on my blog. It's so nice to have you in my mix. And a fellow Jazz lover too! Your blog is very nice, great photos and messages too. I hope you'll be able to overlook some of the bad language on mine. It's all in fun and what I REALLY Think... that's all I can promise. Take care, I'm following you.

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  2. So glad this is out of the closet now and there is help for those who need it. Healing takes time but it soooo helps if someone is holding your hand through it.
    Sandra

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  3. It truly sounds like it was a powerful and beneficial conference Alida. Bless you for sharing your experience, and for reaching out to help others in His Love.

    Have a Blessed Day!

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  4. WOW...sounds like it was a big success. Keep up the good work.

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  5. Wow. How awesome when we let God use our story for good! For what Satan meant for evil God intends for good. How brave and courageous you are my friend. I too have the physical abuse story and have just begun sharing that as well. So wonderful to feel acceptance and love for others who "get it." Sounds like y'all are making a difference right where you are!!:)

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