By Ghinwa Akiki

Shining Light in Marginalized Communities 

Christians are inherently a people who gather and where faith thrives within the embrace of community. While believers belong to a local gathering of the saints, they are also part of the wider family of Christ. It is not a surprise that Jesus taught us to pray “our father” rather than “my” father.  

This is especially important for people groups who have newly become followers of Jesus to be connected to one another, to worship and fellowship together and share experiences and testimonies. Coming together not only fortifies one’s own personal journey of faith but also contributes to the growth and edification of others: “it is more blessed to give than to receive” which creates a shared sense of responsibility for each other.  

This is what happened with 63 woman who are new followers of Jesus who convened for a retreat away from the hustle and bustle of daily life. 

The conference commenced with words of wisdom from Thimar’s chaplain, who likened every woman present to a precious pearl, uniquely crafted by God to shine brightly in the world. The hall later brimmed with worshipful hearts and joyful voices as women sang praises to Jesus. 

Throughout the day, the attendees were treated to a series of empowering sessions led by Mrs. Celia Khater, a Christian clinical psychologist, who drew inspiration from biblical teachings, delving into themes of our identity and worth in Christ and how this is supposed to make us resilient.  

The retreat provided a safe space for women to share their struggles and seek guidance on navigating the challenges of life in a traditional society plagued by a severe economic crisis. From the pressures of societal expectations on women to the burden of motherhood in a technological rapidly changing world, participants found solidarity and support among their peers. Through open dialogue and mutual encouragement, they discovered the strength to overcome adversity and embrace their true potential in Jesus. Shifting their mindset to one where their true worth extends beyond domestic roles but is implemented in Christ made them realize how much of a positive impact they have on their families and communities.