lauantai 5. elokuuta 2017

Etiopiassa on ahkeroitu valistustyön parissa koko kevät

Seuraavassa on Bezuneshin ja hänen miehensä Tesfayen raportteja kevään kuluessa pidetyistä silpomisen vastaisista valistustilaisuuksista. Alkuvuoden Bezunesh toipui kotona tyttövauvan synnytyksestä Tesfayen hoitaessa valistamistyön, mutta loppukeväästä hänkin on päässyt taas mukaan.

Bezunesh ja Tesfaye valistavat ihmisiä paitsi silpomisen haitoista naisen terveydelle ja vaikutuksista parisuhteeseen, he kertovat uskonnollisissa yhteisöissä pitämissään tilaisuuksissa ennen kaikkea siitä, miten Raamatusta tai uskonnosta ylipäätään ei löydy perusteita tämän vahingoittavan perinteen harjoittamiseen. Muutos lähtee ihmisistä, ja kun he saavat asioista riittävästi tietoa, muutos on mahdollinen!

Tammikuu 2017

Topic: Theological Reasons against FGM

My teaching place is Fun to Lemach Bible school for graduation class. There were 15 learners who included unmarried girls and married and unmarried boys. They came from different evangelical churches. All learners are key persons in their society: leaders, evangelists and teachers.
My teaching topic focused on theological reasons against FGM. I gave my learners information on to how they can protect their children and others from this harmful practice according to the word of God.

For instance, my teaching is as follows. It focuses on theological reasons against this traditional practice with emphasis on the life of women:

In Old Testament circumcision was a physical expression of faith which distinguished those who belonged to the Lord from those who did not. God instructed Abraham to circumcise every male connected with him including slave born in his house who was not his offspring. This suggests that circumcision was not meant to be understood as a sign of racial purity. It was a necessary mark to physically indicate God's people. It involved both the confirmation and taking possession of the covenant. It also functioned as God's indispensable branding of his people without which a male would be cut off from the people of God. But in the New Testament it has no function for the physical expression of faith which distinguished believers.

Generally in NT circumcision has no spiritual value. As a Christian we are freed from the bondage of OT law. Jesus has undergone the law of circumcision through His death on behalf of us, saved us and freed us, and abolished the law of circumcision forever.

After, this strong teaching my learners’ response was very positive and they gave their stand in word. They said that if God is willing they will start to teach their community in the church and outside of the church. They will also try to stop this practice harming girls’ lives. As they said what we do without God's word will become a sin. 

Following picture shows my learners:

As you know Bezunesh is staying at home with our newborn baby girl but she helps me by advising how I could reach the people by teaching women and male. I’m going to teach January 20- 21 in Luga congregation for 2 days continuously. Please take Bezunesh’s greetings to our partners in Finland. I wish the best all of you in Finland. Thank you a lot.

Helmikuu 2017

Last time my teaching focused on the historical background of FGM. My teaching area was a new community in Kambata that was in Luga KHC for youth group and church leaders. They are married and unmarried also circumcised and uncircumcised. There were over 50 people and they were they were key persons in the church which means they could influence others by teaching and advising. I was teaching for 3 days (from Friday up to Sunday worship time).

I taught them about the historical background of FGM with four subtopics: how it is applied in our society, where it began, who were affected for the first time and how we can act against this practice within our community as Christians. I gave strong explanations for the questions.

FGM started in Egypt and it is exercised in Ethiopia as well as among Kambata people as an order of Christianity including spiritual factors. But it is not God’s commandment and the spiritual factors. It is human’s traditional practice. Our grandfathers accepted it as a true practice of Christianity and they applied it on the lives of their girls.

So, what is our stand as Christians? Because we believe in God and we are safe from any kind of bondage through Jesus Christ what He has done for us on the cross by giving His life. So why are we struggling with this that is not according to God’s word. We must start to act against this kind of practice as church leaders and as people of 21st century. For youths.

Today we are educated people, we have understanding for God’s truth. Body was created by God. Circumcision is not important for male nor female. God’s word does not encourage us to apply this practice.

After this strong teaching them response for me as the following:

My learners were very approving and they needed this kind of teaching. Also the church leaders said they hadn’t heard before this kind of teaching dressing FGM according to the word of God. It was amazing for them to hear the rejection of FGM when teaching God’s word. Before they understood it as God’s commandment like he gives the commandment to Abraham in OT time. But there is no reference in NT to practice this kind of harmful traditional practice on the lives girls. For a long time they have been losing many beautiful women when they have been giving birth. They said they are sorry for what has happened since they have been lacking knowledge about FGM.

I concluded my teaching by saying FGM is not a good practice for women because it is a dangerous. It has killed many women and girls. I will also come back again to continue my teaching and what the Bible says about this tradition. 

The following picture shows my learners:

I’d also like to let you know that I get a good opportunity to teach in another new area in the end of this month. Bezunesh and new girl baby are very fine.

Huhtikuu 2017

The report was done by Tesfaye but now Bezunesh is also continuing her teaching in different area. Our listeners are very interested in hearing us. They are even inviting us again and again back to teach. We are not teaching in the same place but in different places and evangelical churches. Also we have another teaching place in Kambata community at the end of this month.

Topic: What are women’s challenges in their living? There are many kinds of women’s challenges, but our intention is to teach about Female Genital Mutilation. We focus on its effects on many women’s lives, and especially girls’ lives.

Sub Topics:
* What does Female Genital Mutilation mean?
* The types of FGM is there?
* What are the harmful effects of FGM?

The teaching place where around Shamba KHC area, it includes different evangelist Church.

I started my teaching by telling about the many challenges FGM causes on women and that FGM is very dangerous and many women have lost their lives through it. FGM affects women’s lives in different ways that means in their marriage, when they give birth, in sexual intercourse and so on.
There were more than 60 learners, both female and male, they were married and unmarried and they came from different Evangelical Churches. This teaching time was very good, because I could reach many people through them because they were key persons in their churches (leaders, choir singers, Sunday School teachers, coordinators of youth groups and women sectors). I gave this training for 2 days. 

For instance my teaching goes as follows: The definition of FGM includes partial or total removal of the female genitalia or other injuries caused to the female genital organs. It is considered as traditional practice. There are different types of FGM. The 1st is Clitoridectomy, this is the removal of clitoris with the prepuce or without excising part or the entire clitoris. The 2nd type is Excision: it is the removal of the clitoris together with partial or total excision of the labia minor or without the labia minors. The 3rd one is Infibulations that means stitching of vagina by creating a seal covering which is formed by cutting and repositioning the inner and sometimes outer labia with or without removal of clitoris.

So how did it all become to harm the lives of women? Depending on the procedure of FGM all or most of female sexual external parts are removed in the process of mutilation. As a result it causes immediate and long term health complications on the circumcised female. The immediate complications happen usually within ten days from the operation, like severe pain and shock, hemorrhage, urinary retention, infection, injury to neighboring organs etc. The long term consequences include urinary and reproductive tract infection caused by obstructed flow of urine and menstrual blood, various forms of scarring and infertility. The first sexual intercourse will often be extremely painful for excised women since there is a need to open the labia majors to allow their partner to access into the vagina. It may sometimes require second cut performed by the partner with a knife and this can cause other complications. As a result vulva is not functioning the way it should be.

So is there any kind of evidence in the Bible for this practice? According to our Bible there isn’t any kind of biblical reasons to practice FGM. As Christians what we do against the word of God is a sin. What is our justification to do this kind of harmful practice in our community? As followers of Jesus Christ we need to stop this kind of practice. We have lost many women because of this practice. So why do we make again these mistakes on the lives of our girls. One day God asks us what we have done on the earth. I conclude my teaching in this strong Specking (2cor.5:10).

Toukokuu 2017

* Why do we care about women’s body, is female genital mutilation a sin?
* What does the Bible say about female genital mutilation?
* Is there any kind of evidence in OT and NT?

This time we taught two days in the Bonosah area in evangelical churches for more than 50 boys and girls. The place is about 39 km from Damboya town. It’s a very remote village area. But they are Christian and practiced FGM.

There were over 50 learners and they are very key persons. We can reach many more people in their churches through them. In this case we were very happy because we were successful in our teaching.

We started our teaching discussing the topic of why we should take care of our body. As Christian we must take care of our body because it was created by God and he gave his only son for the sake of salvation.

After that we tried to show the truth of God for His word by using OT &NT texts. We search the references from the Old and New Testament and we could not find any evidence from it.
Last we said that in the Bible there is no any evidence to practice FGM. It is a sin. So we must try to stop this practice from the lives of our girls.

After this conclusion our learners’ response was very positive and impressed. They responded to our teaching with tears and were confessing their sin by deciding to teach the people in the church by base of God’s word. We have a plan teaching them again. The next picture shows our learners.