When most people think of Ensenada, they think fun in the sun. But the 27 members of the Paonia Friends Church who drove 1,200 miles one way to the Baja in June weren’t there to suntan or shop in trendy stores. Their goal was one of service and of helping the poor living in the shadows of the popular destination resort, where cruise ships dock and the warm waters of Baja California beckon.
“The Scripture calls us to take care of the poor, and these families are dirt poor,” said Friends pastor Gaylen Kinser.
Working long hours, the volunteers built a modest house from the ground up for a multi-generational family displaced by the country’s violent drug cartel, and renovated a home damaged by fire in January occupied by the family still living there. Working side by side with the families, they did it all in four and a half days.
Erin Williams is living the life she always dreamed of, and she relishes it even more because of the hard work that went into preparing for retirement in the mountains she loves.
Her days are filled with art, nature, kayaking and a fulfilling volunteer role with The Creamery Arts Center, a non-profit organization she values, and that in turn values her contribution. Erin coordinates both shows and volunteers for The Creamery and prepares press releases for local media.
Since her studio is in a remote location, she also shows her artwork at The Creamery. In addition to original artwork, she sells note cards and 8x10-inch prints featuring her creations. She also does commissions.
When you walk into a room filled with motorcycle people — think leather chaps and tattoos — about the last thing you’d expect to hear is Robert’s Rules of Order being followed. But that’s exactly what you would walk into at the monthly meeting of Gospel Spokes #574.
Members of Gospel Spokes are used to getting looks of confusion, quickly followed by looks of delight on people’s faces as they try to realign the conception of “motorcycle group” with “Christian missionaries.”
“My favorite reaction is the look of confusion,” says member Will Hunter. “I mean, look at Bill. He doesn’t look like an average churchgoer, but when he starts to pray...” Will fades off with a grin. Bill “Sage” Hickox, decked out in leather chaps, heavily tattooed, with gages in his ears and a bandana tied around his head, grins back.
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