It's All About Women

My trip with Fairfax was a whirlwind tour.  With six women, Victor and one van, it feels like in a week we traveled around the world and back.  We started in Guatemala City and traveled seven hours to Huehuetenango before going to Xela and then Veinte de Octubre, Jenís aldea (tiny village).  The best part of this whole trip was the time we spent with the women of the Presbiterial (the Womenís Society).  I hadnít realized until this trip that most of my year had been spent with men.  Not intentionally, but because the leadership of the church in Guatemala is still predominantly men. 

It was really inspiring to spend time with women who are struggling for the same things that women in the 50ís, 60ís and 70ís struggled with in the United States.  Not to say that women in the US arenít still struggling, because we all know the glass ceiling is still a reality but we have come a long way.  In the Guatemalan Presbyterian Church, there are currently only two ordained female pastors and a handful of elders. 

The women we worked with this week are leaders without titles, totally committed yet unrecognized. They travel for hours just to get to a meeting that will last 2 hours so they can turn around and ride a bus for 3 hours to return home.  They study the women of the bible and wonder if they will be able to share these stories of leadership, power and grace with their husbands or if it will cause problems.  They go to meetings and leave feeling downtrodden, wondering if what they are doing is right.  And yet they continue. They know their struggles are not just their own but that of their grandchildren.  They remind themselves of this so that it doesnít all seem pointless.  They inspire poetry and love and admiration in people with more education and more privilege than they will probably ever see.

And they do it with such grace and poise.  They do it because they have to.  They do it for all women around the world who are oppressed even if they donít know it.  And that is what made this week special for me because I got to share it with them.

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