Global Women Connecting Liaison Joins Women of Strength in Baja California, Mexico
Women's empowerment is manifested in many ways. Sometimes it's the simple hug of a friend or the advocacy of a co-worker. A shared desire to create positive impact with a community of international women jump-started my conversation with Amor Ministries' Gayla Congdon and Amy Mathis at the Christian Church/Churches of Christ International Conference On Missions (TheICOM.org) a few years ago. God's timing and an adequate number of travel points made it possible for my daughter, Johanna Keith and I to save the necessary funds to join a group of about 50 women of faith to build a home between Tecate and Tijuana, Mexico.
After arriving in San Diego, California, Johanna and I were met by 'Atomic Amy', a powerhouse of smiles and details about the 7-day adventure. We connected with other benevolent builders and were on our way across the Mexico - United States border. The border fence was clearly in view as we made our way along the highway, a reminder of division and conflict. I silently hoped our presence would be an act of unity.
Our nightly gatherings led by Gayla and daughter-in-law, April Congdon in the yellow circus tent explained the order for building structures and relationships. Jesus, The Firm Foundation and The Frame (our bodies) on the first day. A New Door & Windows (opening eyes and hearts) and The Roof (God's shelter in the storms of life) on day two. And The Exterior (God's image in us for others can see) on day three. We worked together, ate together, relaxed together, worshipped together. Three full days and two half days of living in community with God's provision and leadership. What a blessing!
Close to a third of us extended our time together first with a cooking school in La Cocina preparing authentic Mexican dishes. Later we toured Valle de Guadelupe. Surrounded by rugged mountains hosting lovely restaurants and wineries, this part of Mexico displayed stark contrasts to the impoverished areas we witnessed surrounding Amor's Hacienda Camp. Looking around a local market place,
I found myself thinking about my own privilege and limited sight. May God show me ways to serve when I'm close to home, too.
And yes, there were photos taken by this new group of friends to capture memories and serve as stepping stones toward the ways God will use our experience. You can find them here.
- Julia Keith