Becoming a Leader

Jun 7, 2018

Steph Duff

Maria finished her prayer with the group of women and whispered, “Amen.” They opened their eyes and gave small smiles as they said their goodbyes. “Thank you for coming,” Maria called out. “See you next week!”

Maria Jimenez, one of the moms in the Strong Families Program in Cancun, has been inviting women in her community into her home to share what she is learning. “Maria recently learned how to read and has been duplicating the classes she receives at the Community Center in Tres Reyes for women she lives near,” explained Ximena Zarate, Back2Back staff. “She’s teaching Bible classes and sharing helpful parenting tips she’s learned.”

Maria is a part of the Mom’s Market hosted at the community center for visiting mission teams; she makes homemade candies. She’s been saving money for the last couple years and was recently able to purchase a motor bike. “She taught herself how to drive it, and she’s now able to increase her income because she can deliver her handmade candies and she’s able to drive herself to the store for supplies when she needs them,” explained Ximena.

Maria’s newfound confidence allows her to role model for the other moms in the Strong Families Program. “She is constantly encouraging the others to become more independent and to try selling their handmade goods outside of the community center, too,” shared Ximena. Maria regularly reminds the other moms the importance of showing up for classes and to participate in the resources being offered to them. As part of the Strong Families Program, Maria is coming to understand the value she brings to every table she sits at, every conversation she takes part in, and every relationship of which she’s a part. She wants each and every mom learning alongside her to know their own value the same. Back2Back Cancun applauds each of the moms in the program and is encouraged by all the ways they fight to show up for their families, for each other, and for themselves.

Steph Duff is a writer, daughter, sister, and really loud laugher. By day she lends her voice on behalf of orphaned and vulnerable children with Back2Back Ministries. By night she is readily found with her nose in a book and spending time with her dachshund, Addy. At all hours, she can be found consuming copious amounts of coffee. She feels most herself in the heat of India and prefers her mugs big, her books long, and her words intentional.

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