Runa Simi seeks to value women and treat them with the love, respect and dignity that Jesus did. Historically in the Quechua culture women have been looked down on, been discriminated against and been treated poorly. Runa Simi seeks to empower women to recognize their status and children of God and to live fully into their gifts and abilities.
Runa Simi wants to help them find their potential as part of God’s kingdom. It is the Quechua woman who maintains the mother tongue or heart language, and women are the ones that transmit culture. Even so, the Quechua woman is often deficient in her education because she doesn’t speak Spanish. While the Quechua language internationally is becoming more prestigious, in Peru it is still synonymous with poverty and the Quechua women are the poorest within the poor of the country.
The women’s ministry overlaps with the Literacy program as they do trainings throughout the year in different towns to teach women and some men how to read using bible based materials. New readers who complete the course and demonstrate their skill in reading receive a Bible.
One of resources that Runa Simi uses for women’s ministry is the “Women of the Bible” course. The course consists of 24 short lessons covering important women of the Bible such as Ruth, Sarah and Esther. Each lesson has pictures, words to learn, and small activities that go along with the reading. The Women of the Bible course has been found to be very effective in training the Quechua women. The entire training can take between 1 and 2 years as the women attend sessions throughout the year.
Runa Simi also holds women’s conferences throughout the year at the Chosica center and towns in the mountains. During these conferences women come from near and far to study the Bible, learn new truths about God, and apply practical advice to their lives. They gain new understanding of their value, taking that knowledge back to their families and communities. Through the women’s ministry whole families and communities are changed and restored.
Runa Simi desires that Quechua and indigenous women from all native communities be able to worship God and be agents of spiritual change within their families and communities.