Every year, Christian women around the world set aside a day to meet together and pray. Each year, the theme is set by the women of a different country and this year it is the women of Papua New Guinea who have prepared the prayer service. Their theme is Unity.
Papua New Guinea has the most diverse indigenous population in the world, with more than 800 different languages. They have a saying, "For each village another culture". But all the women of Papua New Guinea use the bilum, a traditional string bag. The bilum comes in different styles, colours, shapes and sizes according to the village, but it is used universally for carrying babies and market produce and as a cradle for small babies. So, the women of Papua New Guinea have chosen the bilum as a symbol of Christian unity for today's worldwide prayer service.
Here is their invitation to prayer:
In Papua New Guinea we are many and we are diverse. Our 800 languages represent the many cultures and traditions. Our rugged landscape can isolate us from one another but the love of God empowers us to embrace each other and to embrace you, our brothers and sisters around the world. We greet you with these words "Yum planti manmeri tasol long Kraist yumi stap wanpela bodi tasol" meaning "In Christ we are many yet one body."
You can find out more about Women's World Day of Prayer here. If you can't get to a local gathering, you could download the resources and join in at home.