Many aboriginal women in Canada live their days in constant fear. These women know that thousands like them have gone missing or are victims of brutal murders. This disturbing truth has led Shannon Perez to start a month-long prayer campaign for these women throughout February.
Perez is a justice and reconciliation mobilizer for the Christian Reformed Church’s Canadian Aboriginal Ministry Committee and is a member of Good News (Christian Reformed) Fellowship of Winnipeg, Man. “The prayer campaign itself is encouraging reconciliation through prayer. Prayer is a foundation of our faith,” said Perez.
Prayer campaign participants learned the tragic stories of some of the women by downloading a prayer guide or following daily prayer requests on the Canadian Aboriginal Ministry Committee Facebook page. Participants studied the story of the Good Samaritan and applied the seven sacred teachings of the aboriginal culture—love, honesty, humility, wisdom, respect, courage, and truth—to the parable. “Within this, the Scripture passage spoke to me about the missing and murdered Aboriginal women,” said Perez. “There were similarities to the injured man robbed and the women.”
Bert Adema of the CRC’s Indian Christian Metis Christian Fellowship created artwork that depicted each sacred teaching as a specific prayer focus.
“I am an Aboriginal woman, and my mom is an Aboriginal woman,” Perez said. “These women and girls are daughters of Christ our Lord and need to be treated as such.”
The prayer campaign is one tool the committee is using to create awareness and educational opportunities with congregations so judgments and prejudices will be wiped away. “It is our hope that this can be a resource that can be used over and over again,” said Perez.