The beds in one of the dormitories at the MILAGRO Women's Education Center
The dormitory in the back yard of the ILAG Lutheran Center in Guatemala City is almost complete. The finishing touches are being added, and the rooms are being furnished. There are no closets yet, nor are there appliances in the kitchen. But there are beds. When I saw this photo on Facebook of these new beds, I smiled. This is a reality now. Ten young women will now live at the Women's Center, sleep in these new beds, and they will have a chance to flourish.
Why are we in the Saint Paul Area Synod supporting this project with so much enthusiasm? Why have we chosen the Women's Center as the focus of our 2018 Guatemala Gala fundraiser
Because this is a real opportunity to offer choices to girls and young women, the population often neglected in rural Guatemala. The hope is that these students will be able to develop the talents God has given them, then enter into adulthood better prepared for economic stability and a stronger family life.
I believe that the words written by the Pastoral Team of the Iglesia Luterana Agustina de Guatemala state it best:
Centro Educativo MILAGRO
In prayerful reflection of the wisdom and guidance of God, the ILAG presents the mission and vision to support the work of the MILAGRO (MIRACLE) Women's Education Center at the Augustinian Lutheran Center of Guatemala in Guatemala City.
Transforming future leaders, empowering women today.
Rural women will attend the MILAGRO Women's Education Center to continue their education and develop a wide range of skills vital to a future of improved daily living. Utilizing these skills, the women will be empowered to return to their communities to start a sustainable business, to serve as leaders and examples to be followed in their churches, community and family; they will serve as teachers for future generations of young women and girls.
To break the cycle of poverty in the rural areas of Guatemala where ILAG has a presence, bringing about changes in young women between 12 and 20 years of age. The young women selected will be active members of the Augustinian Lutheran Church of Guatemala and will have the opportunity to: develop their leadership skills, learn a trade that could provide them with an income to be economically independent, develop their self-esteem, learn to express their needs, know their civil rights as Guatemalan women, and be able to control their bodies as their property and nobody else's.
Chair, Guatemala Task Force