Parishes get involved in our campaign

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The church choir at the service in Frutigen. Photo Alexandra Flury-Schölch/Mission 21

In a full church, the Bernese parish of Frutigen celebrated a festive service for Mission 21's fall campaign on Sunday, October 2. A verse from Psalm 121: "I lift up my eyes to the mountains; from where does help come to me?" connected the mountain world in Frutigen with Hong Kong and Indonesia in an unexpected way.

On the way to another, new world

The church choir under the direction of Georg Bircher sang songs based on poems by Maria Lauber in a premiere performance. Local priest Colette Elisabeth Staub traced the path of the poetess: a Frutigen woman, who grew up in simple, rural circumstances, set out at the beginning of the 20th century for the city of Bern to attend the teacher training seminar. She accepted this educational opportunity and challenge, but the path into a world that was so new and different for her was not easy; doubts, strangeness, longing accompanied her.

Parallels despite spatial and temporal distance

Pastor Alexandra Flury-Schölch of Mission 21 told comparatively about Eni (name changed), who also grew up in a simple, rural environment in Indonesia and set out in a completely different context about 100 years after Maria Lauber to try her luck in Hong Kong and secure the family's existence.

The amazing parallels between two women's biographies, despite the distance in time and space and the cultural differences, highlighted the sense of commitment to empowering young girls and women worldwide.

The mountain view in Psalm 121 also connected different worlds. It gave strength to Maria Lauber with her view from "faraway Bern" to the mountains at home, and it also encourages Pastor Ira Imelda, director at the Durebang Center women's shelter in Indonesia. Eni found a temporary home in this women's shelter, which is supported by Mission 21 and its partners. The psalm encourages and strengthens women to pick themselves up again and find a way out of violent structures towards more self-determination.

More services with guests from Indonesia

We are pleased that the support of disadvantaged girls and women in Indonesia is arousing interest in Swiss parishes. On the opening weekend of the campaign, September 11, we were able to report on the persistent work of our partner churches and organizations in Indonesia in three parishes.

Guests from Indonesia were present at the service in the Johanneskirche in Zurich. Pastor Mery Kolimon from the island of Timor gave a first-hand account of how important it is for girls to have access to education.

Poverty and patriarchal thinking are the main reasons why girls are married off at an early age or sent abroad as migrant workers. As migrant women, they are often exploited or abused. Mission 21's partner church in West Timor therefore persuades and supports families to also give girls access to schooling and vocational training and thus to a self-determined future.

Participation is still possible!

The 2022 campaign runs until November 27. Church congregations still have the opportunity to hold an event or worship service with Mission 21 guests on the theme. You can also organize solidarity actions or the sale of Christmas cards and solidarity chocolate. Get in touch with us! And support the educational work for girls under the motto "Thanks to education we determine our own future".

Text: Alexandra Flury-Schölch and Christoph Rácz, Mission 21
► Information on the 2022 campaign and opportunities to get involved
► Help for girls and women affected by violence in Southeast Asia

Hope thanks to your support

Mission 21
Protestant Mission Basel

PO Box 270
Missionsstrasse 21
4009 Basel, Switzerland
Tel.: +41 (0)61 260 21 20
info@mission-21.org

Donation account Switzerland:
IBAN: CH58 0900 0000 4072 6233 2
Tax exemption number:
CHE-105.706.527

Donation account Germany:
Savings Bank Lörrach-Rheinfelden
Swift BIC: SKLODE66
BLZ: 683 500 48
IBAN: DE39 6835 0048 0001 0323 33
Account No. : 1032333

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