On Sabbath, August 23, the Lima Drive SDA Church in Lexington, Kentucky joined the North American Division in observing End-It-Now Sabbath. End-It-Now is a global campaign launched in 2009 by a partnership between the Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) and the Department of Women’s Ministries of the Seventh-Day Adventist Church where the 4th Sabbath of August has been dedicated as “Abuse Prevention Day”. The mission of the End-It-Now campaign is for communities to raise awareness and advocate for the end of violence against women and girls locally and globally. Violence against women and girls impacts individuals from all walks of life – the poor and rich; young and old; Christians and non-Christians; all cultures – across all settings.
The End-It-Now websites notes that approximately one in three of the world’s women experience gender-related violence in her lifetime, with rates reaching 70 percent in some countries. Abuse ranges from emotional and verbal abuse to sexual assault and murder. Because of the high incidence and devastation of domestic violence and abuse the Lima Drive church has begun to mobilize its members and community to take a stand against violence towards women and girls.
The day began with a stirring message during the eleven o’clock worship service by Jonathan Smith (the Pastor of the Lima Drive church) based on the narrative found in Judges 19:22-30 where the great wickedness of the men of Gibeah who — as a result of a hospitable man sacrificing a concubine to protect his houseguest — violently beat, raped and killed the man’s concubine, and subsequently the anguished and distressed man divided her body into twelve pieces, sending them to each tribe of Israel, with the hope that such a (most likely common) atrocity […]