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IN THE DRIVER'S SEAT



As we have talked about many times before, employment with Abeja is about so much more than a job. Stable employment is vital, and with a steady income, the women can support their families. So we start with employment, based around Godly principles. Then we partner with the women to help equip them in order to reach their long-term goals. This looks like; spiritual support through Bible studies, educational support through English classes, and job skills training. One very important job skill is knowing how to drive a car. In Guatemala, it is still less common for women to have their driver's licenses. Since cars are still more of a luxury, many families do not own them. If a family does own a car, most of the time only one member of the family (the man) drives, and in general, women are not taught, similar to the way things were in the U.S. 70 years ago.


That being said, one of Lesbia's long-term goals is to learn how to drive a car. This will not only help her personally, as it is a valuable skill to have, but it will also help Abeja! One of Lesbia's goals is to be able to deliver bouquets to Abeja's clients. She has said many times one of her favorite parts of her work is to see the joy on people's faces when they receive a bouquet, and how it is a privilege to bless their homes.


A few weeks ago, Lesbia and I were debriefing and chatting after her first driving class. I asked her how she felt, and she said "I have never been in that seat before, being the one driving. I never thought I would be over there. I loved it, I felt peace, and it is exciting." This struck me and I looked at her and said, "Lesbia! Do you realize what you are saying? You are in the driver's seat!" It was such a beautiful and symbolic moment, as a woman who has suffered without a say in the direction of her life, she is taking concrete steps to be in the driver's seat. She is making choices to support the peace and wellbeing of her family and is realizing more and more her capacities for strength as she grows.


I have not been able to shake this interaction, and it makes me think of how God is our advocate, and he strengthens and empowers us to do what we previously thought we were incapable of doing.


"With your help I can advance against a troop; with my God I can scale a wall. As for God, his way is perfect: The LORD’s word is flawless; he shields all who take refuge in him." Psalm 18:29.

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