One of the first things I noticed on arriving to Argentina was the negative attitude of women concerning marriage or relationships with men in general. Often when it was mentioned that I have a boyfriend comments such as, "oh, be careful," "you may change your mind," or "take it from me, men in marriage are different than you think" were made. When asking Beth about this, I began to learn a lot more about the ministry of Corazones Abiertos (Open Hearts).
Corazones Abiertos is one of the ministries I'm working with on my stay here. Prior to coming, I wasn't sure what it was. But over the past 1.5 weeks Beth & Pablo have been filling me in.
Here in Argentina ~95% of women have been abused in some way over the course of their lives. Many men have experienced abuse as well. The ministry of Corazones Abiertos was started in order to help address the damage that abuse has caused in these people's lives. In small groups of 5 or 6, people lay out their life stories of abuse & learn what steps are necessary to take in order to be freed from the pain, low selfworth & self-esteem, unforgiveness, & so on, that they experience as a result. They learn who God says they are & what that means for their lives.
Beth & Pablo were quick to give me loads of reading material, ranging from a small pamphlet titled, "The Church: A Safe Place for the Wounded" to a book titled, The Wounded Heart, hope for adult victims of childhood sexual abuse. They have made to be very good but intense reads so far. In July I will get the opportunity to participate in a group. Pray I will be able to gain a lot of ground with Spanish prior to it. I would love to be able to follow everything & to contribute as well.
The past couple days have been busy. I spent the majority of today at Beth's friends house Mirian. I got an Argentine cooking lesson & ate food & drank Mate until I about exploded. Mirian & her sister happen to be 2 of the most difficult people to understand. They speak very quickly & don't pronounce their words very clearly. It can be frustrating but today it was just hilarious when Mirian's sister decided to simply resort to communicating through hand motions only. We all got a good laugh out of it.
Prayer Request: Here in Mendoza there are narrow but deep ditches called acequias which channel water coming down from the mountains to water the city. Yesterday Pablo mis-stepped & fell into one. He cut his leg right below his knee & had to get 7 stitches. Now he has become very sick. Today he had a 104 fever. Pray he recovers quickly!! & that if what he has is contageous it does not spread to any one else.
Love you all!
~ Michaela Rae
Note to self: when you're missing home, eat a bowl of fuit loops.