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Columbia-Willamette Women of Vision

April 2023 Enews

Loving Like Christ Loved

Last year around Easter, I shared an aha moment with you. I had the of course! reaction when I realized that while enjoying chocolate Easter eggs and spring flowers is fine, I wanted to put more focus on Christ as the Pascal lamb. This year I’m having a more oooh moment, an I understand that better now kind of moment.

 

Two verses read as part of our Maundy Thursday Scriptures were John 13:34-35. “A new commandment I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

 

The time Jesus spent with his disciples at the Last Supper is very familiar to us. But some questions entered my thoughts as I reflected on it that led to my oooh moment: What does it really mean to love just as Christ loved his followers? What does that kind of love look like? Who is it we are to love? Is it possible to love like Christ loved? 


Answers began to emerge: 


It looks like fellowship. 

It looks like new priorities. 

It looks like lives transformed. 


Images of two disciples came to mind, those of Peter and Mary Magdalene. Jesus called Peter from fishing in the Sea of Galilee to come follow him. Peter’s story changed from that of a fisherman to one of a man who preached boldly, healed, led the early church…he found new fellowship, set new priorities and was transformed. 


Mary Magdalene was healed of seven demons and in Luke 8, we read that she was part of a group of women "who were contributing from their own resources to support Jesus and his disciples" (Luke 8:2-3). Then we see her among the first to recognize Jesus on Easter morning and being directed by Jesus to boldly witness to Peter and the others that he was risen. Her life was transformed!

What about today? An answer can be seen in our Women of Vision Chapter. We show to the world that we are Christ followers as we come together in fellowship to learn more about the needs in the world and God’s love for the world. Not only that, when we support World Vision’s Emergency Response Fund, Kenya Big Dream Project and the Central America Christian Discipleship Project we are following the new commandment to love one another as Christ loves us. 


Girls are freed from the harms of FGM; children and parents are freed from generational family violence. Lives are being transformed. This oooh moment continues to challenge me to expand my understanding of what sharing Christ’s love can mean for the world and for me.

 

Easter blessings as you continue to celebrate the transforming love of Christ in you and in the world,

 

Ruth Nottingham

CWWOV Chapter Co-Chair




Christian Discipleship Program Changes Families, Children, and Gang Members

World Vision has reached 10.2 million people around the world through their Christian Discipleship program. In February, a group of eight Women of Vision from three chapters (including myself) traveled with World Vision to Honduras to learn about the Christian Discipleship program and how it is changing lives and giving hope.


The program consists of two core classes for parents and guardians titled “Raising Children With Tenderness” and "Celebrating Families." The program is designed to stop generational violence which occurs in the home, including harsh punishment such as beatings for children often for minor infractions. Also, activities in partnership with the local churches help children learn about the love Jesus has for each of them.  

The Manzano family (above) includes Dennis, Kiera, Cassie (who was in college and not present), Stephen, Enoch, and Esther. They shared their story with us of leaving generational violence behind and becoming a family raising their children with tenderness. 


Kiera told us her story of growing up. The oldest of four children, she was raised by a single mom. Though she was only five, she was expected to care for her younger siblings. Before she turned six years old her mother died. The children then went to live with their grandmother and aunt. Kiera was again expected to care for the younger children and help with household duties. Finally at the age of eight years old she was allowed to go to school. After school she would sell cigarettes, candy, and chips on the street, getting home very late, often around 11 p.m. 


The days were long but Kiera still did well in school and completed primary school with high marks. She wanted to continue with high school, but her grandmother and aunt said no. They told her she needed to find a husband. Kiera rebelled! But she was beaten. Kiera had had enough and left home. Fortunately, she was taken in by a kind woman. Kiera helped with the woman’s children, worked part time in a grocery store, and went to school at night. At night school Kiera met Dennis, and while attending night school they had their first child, Cassie. They both finished high school and got married. 


Sadly, while raising Cassie and Stephen, Kiera and Dennis continued with the generational violence they had experienced growing up. Then their church started to participate in the World Vision Christian Discipleship program. Both Kiera and Dennis were reluctant to become involved, but they finally joined the program. Now they are leaders sharing their story and encouraging neighbors to participate. 


Stephen is a youth leader for one of World Vision's Peace Clubs, and Cassie is now training in hopes of joining the staff of World Vision Honduras. Thankfully, Enoch and Esther did not experience generational violence. The cycle of violence was broken. The family is now a loving whole family with Jesus Christ at the center. 


The community is improving too. Many children come to the Christian Discipleship program activities, along with the Peace Clubs, including children of gang members. Gang members are also sending their children to church. There is less violence on the streets, with no gun shootings in the six months prior to our February visit. The hope in the community is tangible.


Jeremiah 29-11 says "For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not calamity, plans to give you a future and a hope."


And God's plans are always good.


Lynne Sears

Honduras Vision Trip Team Member

Children enjoy play, food, and learning about Jesus' love for them.

New friends

Can you find our Vision Trip Team in this photo? Hint: we're wearing orange vests!

Prayer Requests
Pray for an end to ongoing conflicts like those in Ukraine and Syria
Pray for refugees who are fleeing danger, leaving so much behind
Pray for the Raising with Tenderness classes in Central America to end a culture of violence
Pray for the families in Kenya, especially the girls, to have a brighter future without FGM and child marriage
Calendar

Share the Light Gala

April 16, 2023 at 5:30 p.m.

Multnomah Athletic Club

Registration has closed, but we can add your name to a waiting list in case someone drops out. Contact Sandy Grubb: sandygrubb@comcast.net or 503-330-8977.


Walk4Water

April 29, 2023

Click here to learn more and register.


Women of Vision in Action

Serving at Shepherd's Door

May 1, 2023

Click here to learn more and register.


Summer Book Groups

Watch your email for announcements of books and dates for our summer reading.


About Us


Women of Vision is a volunteer ministry of World Vision that cultivates dynamic partnerships resulting in significant investments of time, talent, and treasure in support of World Vision’s work, facilitating transformational impact in the lives of the poor and our supporters in the name of Christ. Please partner with us! Click here to learn what that means and update your commitment for this new year (or for the first time).


The Columbia-Willamette Chapter of Women of Vision supports World Vision's work in Kenya, Central America, and areas around the globe struck by disasters. We also volunteer at many local organizations to help the disadvantaged in our own community. Please read about this work on our website.


World Vision is a Christian humanitarian organization dedicated to working with children, families, and their communities worldwide to reach their full potential by tackling the causes of poverty and injustice.


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