Written by Plant With Purpose on June 6, 2011 in General
By Kate Nare
In early May, myself and Plant With Purpose’s Board Chair, Cathi Lundy, led the first-ever all women’s trip to see our programs in Oaxaca. The ten of us, who nicknamed ourselves the “Oaxaca Wahines”, traveled to six different communities to meet with women’s groups to pray with them, love them, exchange ideas, and witness their revolving funds and loan group meetings. In a short time span we were able to see God’s spirit at work as the women showed us their gardens, which provide nutritious food for their families and extra to sell; their fuel-efficient stoves, which use 60% less wood and have improved their families’ health; their revolving funds and loan groups, which allow the women to save their money and acquire loans to fund their occupations; and much more.
One woman named Eliasar, who we met in Monteflor, had a particularly touching story of how Plant With Purpose’s partnership had helped completely transform their community: “Our entire community has greatly benefited from our relationship with Plant With Purpose. I can remember when our babies would die because of malnutrition, and we would have to walk two hours to Oaxaca City to find food, supplies, and work. Plant With Purpose taught us how to do things ourselves and showed us a way to solve our problems. Now we grow squash, radishes, lettuce, onions, and other vegetables in our garden to feed our families and sell in the local market. Our children are healthy and we’re able to send them to school. We have experienced a lot of benefit from our relationship with Plant With Purpose.”
After the trip some of the women wanted to do more and stay connected with the communities. One team member, Julie Virjee, used her creativity to make gifts tags out of recycled paper. Julie, pictured here, sold them at a home boutique to donate all the proceeds to Plant With Purpose.
Other women are generously sponsoring a village in Oaxaca and planting trees (a great need in Oaxaca, which is one of the most deforested places on earth!)
The Sunday after they returned from Oaxaca, the women shared their experience with the congregation at the River Church in Palos Verdes. After the service, they had church members write words of encouragement in Spanish Bibles and spiritual books, which were then sent down to the community center in Loma Chimedia to be used in their library.
In what little time we had in the communities in Oaxaca we were able to get a glimpse of their daily life and the hardships they have overcome with Plant With Purpose’s partnership. These women were empowered, strong, and beautiful and it was a blessing to meet them, pray with them, and share in their lives.
Plant With Purpose’s next Vision Trip to Oaxaca is scheduled for October 19 – 24, 2011. If you are interested in participating in this or any other Vision Trip, please contact Doug Satre at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (800) 633-5319.