The Good News

 What is the Good News:

The Good News of the victory of...” The Good News was an announcement that “something had happened (or was happen- ing) and as a result of which the world would become a different place.”74

"You must be careful to not put American ideas into their heads".“What do you mean by American ideas?”He answered: “Women are on top and in control”.I answered, “Teaching women how to keep themselves safe from violence, knowing their worth and how Jesus sees them is the Gospel, it’s why Christ came, it’s not an American invention”.The conversation naturally changed into submission; his point: the Bible does not teach about gender equality. Many scriptures were used out of context to make this point, from Genesis to Paul’s letters. At this point of the conversation, he was getting annoyed by our responses and my blood was also beginning to boil, especially after spending the week with a group of 120 Haitian women whose stories of one sided submission have proven to be dangerous not only for their lives but as one woman said, “It destroyed our family.”I usually try to steer clear from these types of conversations, where the purpose is not to have intelligent and contextually sound debate and all can walk away more informed, but this was more of a debate about why I should not interrupt culturally accepted interpretations of ancient scriptures to groups who have accepted those ancient interpretations. I was beyond disappointed and discouraged by the arguments presented in this conversation to indicate that women should not have thoughts and exist independently from their husbands, even in the case of violence. One pastor in the conversation agreed with me that violence and abuse against women is against the Gospel but then he added “We have to be careful because some women call everything abuse”. I almost fell off of my chair thinking there’s no hope.I came home feeling broken and unsure of how to continue working with women in light of so much push back. Unfortunately the above interaction is not the only push back we’ve received over the years working with women; oftentimes the women are the ones pushing back. The conversations are always heated and controversial for them. You can see the tension on their faces between what is and how things should be; they cannot fathom a new narrative. Many resolve with hopelessness by saying “There’s nothing we can do.”The one glimpse of hope is that these women keep coming back. Last year, we had 50 women in our conference in Haiti and this year we had 120 women. And next year the hope is to have pastors join the conversation to answer the question: How do we keep women safe from violence while using the Gospel as our foundation?So we move forward in helping women find life through Jesus Christ.