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