For and with children – prayer and action in a marginalized area at a moving ecumenical ceremony. Sixty-seven children attended, and around 30 adults, with support from members of CLAI-Mexico. The celebration of the Day of Prayer and Action for Children called for by GNRC took place at Chimalhuacán, in the State of Mexico, on Saturday, November 27 (*) at the Pentecostal Church called “Ephesians 2:22.” There was participation by members of the Pentecostal, Baptist, Presbyterian, Catholic and Reformed churches.
It was noteworthy that the activity was carried out in a very poor area. Many of the children that came are neighbors in the vicinity of these residential areas, and were invited to the celebration by the brethren from the participating churches. This zone is near the city dump, and is called Bordo de Xochiaca. It is a marginal zone—semi-rural and semi-urban—whose population is composed of migrants, who come mainly from the native-American regions of the country.
Having a full day of refreshments, recreational activities, take-home handcrafts (scarves, tortilla-totes, towels) and candy was an exciting festival for these children.
What is more important to note is that they felt happy because they felt appreciated, that they could have friends, and that there are adults who are concerned about them, and that we prayed together for their well-being.
Central to the event were reflections on values. Starting time was 10:00 in the morning, with a warm welcome for all those attending. Next, it was time for games, activities and contests. The children enjoyed spending time together this way. Later, guided by Professor Marcela Franco, the children reflected on values such as: respect, tolerance, friendship, honesty, gratitude, etc. Then, they were divided into age groups in order to have a group reflection on the difficulties of having an ongoing practice of values these days of extreme violence that the country is experiencing.
The children agreed in paying more attention to their day-to-day behavior, and to remind their parents about the importance of making a habit out of practicing these values.
Also, handcrafts were made and snacks were shared. A slide show on values was presented to strengthen the lessons gained on that day. The GNRC Latin-American Prayer was read in unison.
The day ended with a prayer by Bro. David Macías, and blessings were shared by all, sharing hugs and wishing each other peace and safe journeys home, as a token of friendship.
Handcrafts and candy were distributed at the end.
(*) The Day celebration was scheduled on the same day, November 20, at Morelia. However, because of the situation of insecurity that area is experiencing due to organized crime, it became necessary to relocate and reprogram the time and place of the celebration.
This report was presented by
Professor Marcela Franco Martinez,
National Coordinator, CLAI-Mexico.