The South Asian Christian Youth Network (SACYN) is a network of young leaders from South Asia with a mission to build connections. AsiaCMS partners to inspire, prepare and strengthen young Christian adults to cross bridges to encounter and share their faith and lives with others, across boundaries and borders. Since 2002, SACYN has facilitated various training, conferences and exposure visits to equip its leaders and in October 2017, SACYN organised a Leadership Training and Core Group meeting in Negombo, Sri Lanka. The theme for this 14th SACYN gathering was ‘Tides that We Swim Against: Leadership in Difficult Times’ and it brought together 34 young adult leaders from nine countries within South Asia. These are two voices of SACYN leaders, sharing on the impact of the gathering…
“Bold. Brave. Brilliant” by Wanda Christy
Over my few days attending SACYN 2017, I met a few of the boldest and bravest women. I was very honoured to be friends with women who were a true testimony to what they believe in, not only through their work, such as doing prison ministry and as a mental health awareness activist, but also as role models to youths, especially women.
These women are living examples that age, culture and most importantly, gender are not barriers to doing ministry. As girls in Sri Lanka, we face a lot of sexism and gender-based discrimination, violence and abuse on a daily basis and sadly, in certain parts of the country, these are not addressed and are even completely covered up.
In places where awareness and prevention is preached, it is not practiced and unfortunately when women do speak up, we are either shushed, ignored or laughed at.
Meeting these wonderful women at SACYN, including our female resource people, hearing their stories, seeing how they are the absolute bosses of their lives and how they are sharing the Gospel through their work and lives, are truly inspiring for me as a young woman who is just stepping into the waters.
So, thank you for just being so bold, brave and badass. May God bless you all and your ministry!
“A Reflection on the Exposure Visits” by Prasansa Suba
“The road to hell is paved with good intentions.” I can’t tell for sure if the Sri Lankan government in 1977 had good intentions but it definitely seemed a good initiative when it announced employment opportunities for 100,000 women to address the problem of unemployment that plagued many youths in the country.
Despite making a good step, the government failed to give the best to its citizens, as it failed to take its laborers’ welfare concerning health and safety, and other benefits into consideration. Later, when the laborers stood against this, the government silenced voices of the laborers, subjugated them, treated them inhumanely and made them work for their benefits.
As we look back at the country’s history, we can see the struggle of their laborers, which never made its way to victory. I actually appreciate the Sri Lankan government for coming up with this strategy to tackle the problem of unemployment but had it been more sensitive to its citizens and thought more thoroughly from the perspective of its workers, then its history would not have been tainted by violence and blood.
The exposure visit through this SACYN gathering made me realize the importance of preparation before making a step. Most of the times, we just step hastily and cause unforeseen damages to others, even when our intentions are good. If we follow the simple rule to just STOP and THINK, we can prevent a lot of problems.