Silvia Regina Lima de Silva: Tear Down Walls
by Erik Alsgaard
Silvia Regina de Lima Silva leads the Bible study on Isaiah during morning worship at the 2006 United Methodist Women's Assembly in Anaheim, California. Credit: Mike DuBose/UMNS, May 5, 2006
"We are living in difficult times," Silvia Regina Lima de Silva said during the first Bible study session of Assembly. "We live in times of war and fabricating war; we live in times where walls are becoming visible between the rich in the North in and the poor in the South."
Using text from Isaiah 58:6-12, Ms. Lima de Silva led the call for Assembly goers to live a life of solidarity, full of compassion and caring.
Coining a new word - femicide - Ms. Lima e Silva decried the violence faced by women around the world.
"This term must be introduced to the vocabulary of people and brought to the attention of media," she said.
Ms. Lima de Silva described two walls being built in the world to illustrate the distance that people put between themselves and true caring and compassion.
The first wall is the one being built between the United States and Mexico.
The second wall - between Palestine and Israel - speaks of intolerance at a cost of $1 million per kilometer.
"The challenge of the Isaiah text is the call to eliminate the barriers; to tear down the walls," she said.
"Come, let us rise," she said. She then urged participants to push away indifference, to push away the walls that separate, to open a new path.
"See the face of the other, because it is there that we will see the face of God," she said.
Ms. Lima de Silva is a Brazilian living in Costa Rica. She is a professor at the Universidad Biblical Latino Americana.