Where Are the Women?

I think it was spring of 1999. As the young adults director of our church, I had recruited a small team of volunteers to serve on a short-term mission trip. We would work for the Minneapolis-to-Chicago AIDS Ride, assisting 1,000 riders on their five-day, 500-mile trek to raise money for AIDS research. This wasn't our church's standard mission trip, so there was certainly some skepticism about it from the rest of the church.

Apparently, the skepticism was mutual. The volunteer coordinators in Chicago had never encountered a batch of evangelicals looking to serve their cause. And they weren't exactly sure what to do with us. They sent two representatives on a road trip to meet with our motley band at our church in suburban Detroit after one of our Sunday services. Neither were churchgoers, and both were skeptical of Christians. They represented a community that felt marginalized by religious people. The goal of the visit: to get a sense of our style, our heart, and yes, our motives. ...

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