Mennonite World Conference member churches are being encouraged to establish an annual day of prayer during May focused on Latin American women.

The World Day of Prayer is an initiative of the Movement of Anabaptist Women Theologians in Latin America. Each year, women from a different country prepare a worship guide incorporating a meeting format, worship and teaching resources and background material for intercession.

“Our goal is that we may see relationships between men and women of the world transformed into equity and justice to build the kingdom of God,” said Rebeca Gonzalez of Mexico.

Developed by Mennonite women in Guatemala, the 2011 guide focuses on Guatemala, Argentina, Cuba and Hawaii and includes information about each country. It is available in English and Spanish online.

Women from Mexico prepared the 2010 materials, focused on Chile, Haiti, Colombia and Mexico.

“We gathered to pray for all women in Latin America, with emphasis on the issue of violence against women who are victims of physical, mental and psychological violence,” said Fabiana Ambesi of Argentina.

“We also prayed for our girls, boys and adolescents who are suffering abuse at home or at school, so common these days. We try to put ourselves in their place even without knowing them, clasping our hands and joining our voices, knowing that the Lord is the only one who can bring relief to these difficult situations.”

Noted Ofelia Garcia of Mexico, “It was very moving to hear voices united to intercede to God for the men and women of our beloved Latin America, and of course for all those who are victims of extreme violence and marginalization.”