International Day of Women
We had never really celebrated the March 8 International Day of Women before. But last Friday, the Iglesia Cenral in San Luis Potosi of the Discipulos de Christo in San Luis Potosi had planned a worship service and dinner afterword (a potluck) to commemorate this UN sponsored event. Kate was invited to talk about women in the USA and Mexico. In particular, the similarities and differences, opportunities and challenges of women in the two countries.
The worship service was amazing! All of the speakers (a poetess read her poem written for the occasion, a magnificent sermon drawing on the witness of women in the Bible, and the testimony by Kate) were thoughtful, meaningful and dynamic. The music was beautiful and the prayers were moving. A Power Point presentation titled “Mujeres en Mexico” prepared by one of the women in the church featured women of the congregation; it was incredible! After the service, the potluck dinner fed so many and it all tasted so very good!
Below is the text of the “Testimony” by Kate in both English and Spanish. Kate wrote the piece and then her good friend Marisela Sierra Silva helped her translate it into Spanish. Kate practiced and practiced reading the speech in Espanol, and she did a pretty good job! Here it is:
“Women are the backbone of the church. That appears to be true no matter where the church is located-city, state or country! In the town of my birth, Atchison, Kansas, the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) was built before 1920 and the women of the church sold baked goods (bake sales) to provide funds for the new church. Pastor Domingo Guerrero, the Superintendent of the Congregation Churches of Mexico tells how the church at Los Mochis was built thanks to tamales-made by the women of course.
Women in all of North America support the projects of the church through sales of food, crafts, blessing boxes. It is the work of the women in the church that helps to keep the church active and solvent. (Not that the men don’t help in this, but today is Women’s Day, the day that we celebrate the women!) In this way, the women are very much the same in Canada, USA and Mexico. Loving God, family and church are great strengths of women in the world.
One of the differences I see between women in North America is that education is stressed more heavily in the USA and Canada. This does not mean that the women there are smarter, because they are not. It means that the expectation is that women will finish high school before marriage. In Mexico, this is the hope, that women will be educated through preparatory school, but this is not what always happens. When I was growing up in Kansas, I was led to believe that I could become anyone I wanted to be. If I wanted to be a doctor, a teacher, a minister, then all I had to do was to work hard to make it happen. I was recently quite pleased to hear that a little girl in San Luis Potosi who had just turned 10 wants to be a veterinarian! I hope that wish comes true for her and I hope that many more children will dream big and see their dreams come true as well!
Women in Mexico are among the hardest working people in the world! No matter the education level of the woman, she is very likely to own her own business! I walk down the street in Soledad de Graciano Sanchez and see store after store and restaurant after restaurant being run by women. Not only do they help support their families in this manner, but they work at home as well.
I love how so many women are entering seminary in order to become ministers in Mexico. When I attended seminary in the US in
the 1990s, women were beginning to outnumber the men there. Unfortunately, even though women were being ordained and licensed by the church, there were barriers when it came to a woman actually working as the pastor in a church. But those barriers are being overcome daily. I see the same difficulties here for women in ministry. Some churches simply do not want a female pastor. This is very sad, because I believe that women make wonderful pastors. I am encouraged by the number of women pastors in the Disciples of Christ churches in Mexico. Women have so much to bring to ministry! Look at the women participating in this service today! They organize the services in their churches and preach the word of God with meaning and gusto!
I am thankful to be a woman who is serving the Church in Mexico. I will support the ministry of women in the church and beyond. Glory be to God!
LAS MUJERES SON LA COLUMNA DE LA IGLESIA. ESA ES UNA VERDAD, NO IMPORTA EN DONDE ESTÉ LA IGLESIA, EN QUÉ CIUDAD, ESTADO O PAIS. EN EL PUEBLO DONDE YO NACÍ, ATCHISON, KANSAS, LA IGLESIA DISCÍPULOS DE CRISTO SE FUNDÓ ANTES DE MIL NOVECIENTOS VEINTE . Y LAS MUJERES DE LA IGLESIA VENDÍAN PASTELES Y GALLETAS PARA PROVEER FONDOS PARA LA NUEVA IGLESIA. EL PASTOR DOMINGO GUERRERO, SUPERITENDENTE DE LAS IGLESIAS CONGREGACIONALES DE MEXICO, ME CUENTA QUE, COMO LA IGLESIA DE LOS MOCHIS FUÉ CONSTRUIDA VENDIENDO TAMALES HECHOS POR LAS MUJERES DE ESA IGLESIA.
LAS MUJERES DE TODA AMÉRICA DEL NORTE PROVEEN PARA LOS PROYECTOS DE LA IGLESIA A TRAVÉS DE LA VENTA DE COMIDA, ARTESANÍAS Y ALCANCÍAS DE BENDICIONES. ES EL TRABAJO DE LAS MUJERES EN LA IGLESIA QUE AYUDA A LA IGLESIA A CONTINUAR ACTIVA Y SOLVENTE. (NO QUE LOS HOMBRES NO AYUDEN EN ESTO, PERO HOY ESTAMOS CELEBRANDO EL DIA DE LA MUJER.) DE ESTA MANERA, LAS MUJERES SON MUY SIMILARES EN CANADÁ, LOS ESTADOS UNIDOS Y MÉXICO. UN DIOS AMOROSO, LA FAMILIA Y LA IGLESIA SON LA MAYOR FUERZA DE LAS MUJERES EN EL MUNDO.
UNA DE LAS DIFERENCIAS QUE YO VEO, ENTRE LAS MUJERES DE NORTE AMERICA ES QUE LA EDUCACIÓN SE ACENTÚA CON MAS FUERZA EN LOS ESTADOS UNIDOS Y CANADÁ. ESTO NO SIGNIFICA QUE LAS MUJERES AHÍ SEAN MAS INTELIGENTES, PORQUE NO LO SON. SIGNIFICA QUE LAS EXPECTATIVAS SON, QUE LAS MUJERES DEBEN DE TERMINAR LA PREPARATORIA ANTES DE CASARSE. EN MÉXICO, ESTO ES SOLO UNA ESPERANZA QUE LAS MUJERES TERMINEN SU PREPARATORIA, AUNQUE ESTO NO ES SIEMPRE LO QUE PASA..
CUANDO ESTABA CRECIENDO EN KANSAS, ME HICIERON CREER QUE PODÍA LLEGAR A SER CUALQUIER COSA QUE YO QUISIERA. SI YO QUERÍA SER UNA DOCTORA, UNA MAESTRA O UNA PASTORA, SOLO TENÍA QUE TRABAJAR MUY DURO PARA LLEGAR A SERLO. RECIENTEMENTE SUPE CON MUCHA ALEGRIA QUE UNA NIÑA EN SAN LUIS QUE ACABA DE CUMPLIR 10 AÑOS, QUIERE SER VETERINARIA. OJALÁ ESE DESEO SE LE CUMPLA. Y ESPERO QUE MUCHAS OTRAS NIÑAS SUEÑEN EN COSAS GRANDES Y VEAN QUE SE HAGAN REALIDAD SUS SUEÑOS.
LAS MUJERES EN MEXICO ESTAN ENTRE LAS MUJERES MAS TRABAJADORAS DEL MUNDO. SIN IMPORTAR EL NIVEL DE EDUCACION DE LA MUJER, ES MUY PROBABLE QUE SEA DUEÑA DE SU PROPIO NEGOCIO. YOCAMINO POR LAS CALLES DE SOLEDAD DE GRACIANO SANCHEZ, Y VEO TIENDA TRAS TIENDA Y RESTAURANTE TRAS RESTAURANTE QUE SON REGENTEADOS POR MUJERES. NO SOLAMENTE AYUDAN A MANTENER A SUS FAMILIAS DE ESTE MODO SINO QUE TAMBIEN TRABAJAN EN SUS CASAS.
ME ENCANTA VER QUE MUCHAS MUJERES ESTAN ENTRANDO A ESTUDIAR EN LOS SEMINARIOS AQUÍ EN MEXICO. CUANDO FUÍ AL SEMINARIO EN LOS ESTADOS UNIDOS EN LOS 90 S, LAS MUJERES YA ERAN MAYORÍA SOBRE LOS HOMBRES. DESAFORTUNADAMENTE AUNQUE LAS MUJERES ESTABAN SIENDO ORDENADAS EN LOS SEMINARIOS, HABIAN BARRERAS CUANDO HABÍA PUESTOS DISPONIBLES EN LAS IGLESIAS. AUNQUE ESAS BARRERAS ESTAN SIENDO DESTRUIDAS
ACTUALMENTE. YO VEO LAS MISMAS DIFICULTADES AQUÍ EN MEXICO PARA AQUELLAS MUJERES QUE QUIEREN SER PASTORAS. ALGUNAS IGLESIAS REALMENTE NO QUIEREN TENER MUJERES PASTORAS. ESTO ES MUY TRISTE PORQUE CREO QUE LAS MUJERES PUEDEN LLEGAR A SER UNAS MAGNÍFICAS PASTORAS. ME ALIENTA VER EL NÚMERO DE MUJERES PASTORAS EN LA IGLESIA DISCIPULOS DE CRISTO EN MEXICO. LAS MUJERES TIENEN TANTO QUE DAR AL MINISTERIO DE LA IGLESIA. NADA MAS MIREN A LAS MUJERES PARTICIPANDO EN EL SERVICIO DE ESTA NOCHE. ELLAS ORGANIZARON EL SERVICIO EN SUS IGLESIAS Y PREDICARON LA PALABRA DE DIOS CON SIGNIFICADO Y ENTUSIASMO.
ESTOY AGRADECIDA DE SER UNA MUJER QUE ESTA SIRVIENDO A LA IGLESIA DE DIOS EN MEXICO Y YO APOYO EL MINISTERIO DE LAS MUJERES EN LA IGLESIA . GLORIA SEA DADA A NUESTRO DIOS.