This past week, Kim was able to serve together with women from around Ecuador as well as volunteers from the U.S. and Germany to serve Ecuadorian and Venezuelan women. After two years of not being able to do women’s caravans, the pink coats (these have been a symbol of the women’s caravans for their bright fuchsia color) returned to action.
The Women Ministries of Ecuador who have been helping lead these caravans from the beginning served together and although all of us were new for the most part serving together, there was so much beauty that came from it. All of us came with a posture of learning and knowing that this was the first caravan after the pandemic, which meant there would be learning to do. I believe it was positive all around from those that served and those being taken care of, we all brought something to the table, as many of the women being cared for were part of the churches and communities we were in. The majority helped making meals or with set-up of the caravan making it a beautiful display of service and volunteerism together. The communities served were Oyacachi, a community on the border of the highlands and the Amazon region, Puntiachill, in Cayambe, and two communities in Quito, Lucha de los pobres and Comite del Pueblo.
A highlight for me (Kim) as a provider was hearing two different times from different women how they were being cared for. One lady, at least 60, said as I was checking her ears “this is the first time anyone has ever looked in my ears”. Another women told one of our providers that she had never been cared for or listened to the way we were listening and caring for her.
At the beginning of the week before the caravan started, I talked with the volunteers about coming in to the week with a healthy attitude. That all of us were coming in to this week from different places. Some completely drained from caring for people in the States, on the frontlines of Covid. Some emotionally and spiritually drained from grief and trauma. Others exhausted on all fronts. The encouragement was that all of us were coming out of our complex situations in to a new one. In to a space of serving vulnerable underserved women who carry many of these same weights on their shoulders and that we needed to fill up, to be able to pour out. I read Psalm 42, speaking to myself as well as others to be in a space to pour out completely.
42 As the deer desires rivers of water, so my soul desires You, O God. 2 My soul is thirsty for God, for the living God. When will I come and meet with God? 3 My tears have been my food day and night, while men say to me all day long, “Where is your God?” 4 These things I remember, and I pour out my soul within me. For I used to go with many people and lead them to the house of God, with the voice of thankful joy, among the many happy people.
5 Why are you sad, O my soul? Why have you become troubled within me? Hope in God, for I will praise Him again for His help of being near me. 6 O my God, my soul is troubled within me. So I remember You from the land of the Jordan and the tops of Hermon, from Mount Mizar. 7 Sea calls to sea at the sound of Your waterfalls. All Your waves have rolled over me. 8 The Lord will send His loving-kindness in the day. And His song will be with me in the night, a prayer to the God of my life.
9 I will say to God my Rock, “Why have You forgotten me? Why do I have sorrow because those who hate me come against me with power?” 10 As a breaking of my bones, those who hate me speak sharp words to me. All day long they say to me, “Where is your God?” 11 Why are you sad, O my soul? Why have you become troubled within me? Hope in God, for I will yet praise Him, my help and my God.