Posted on January 13, 2023 An Encounter on the Way
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Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us,  fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of our faith. -Hebrews 12:1-2

I hope this note finds you well and experiencing God’s grace and peace in your daily life. A week from today I will be heading to Ecuador for the second time. Invited by Baptist Peace Fellowship friend, Eloy Alfaro and  RECONPAZ (Continental Network for Peace), I will join 10 others in a pilot project called Global View, a global immersion experiment for students, social change agents, and faith communities to learn from diverse community leaders in the Amazon and the Andes. In preparation, I have been preparing  my heart, head and hands through prayerful ponderings, challenging reading, and the creative process. Two books I’ve appreciated and recommend are: Restoring the Kinship Worldview: Indigenous Voices Introduce 28 Precepts for Rebalancing Life on Planet Earth  by Darcia Narváez and Wahinkpe Topa and Hospicing Modernity: Facing Humanity’s Wrongs and the Implications for Social Activism by Vanessa Machado de Oliveira. 

As part of the program, we will be offering gifts to our hosts as a tangible reminder of our gratitude. I figured I could make some original art to share. I have been exploring the idea of our cloud of witnesses and the people, places and processes that shape who we are and what we bring into every new encounter. Playing with layers of paint, photographic image transfers of the forest where my feet are currently local, and an ancient Celtic symbol that has become a metaphor of encounter for me, these images arrived. In response, I wrote a poem in Spanish, translated it into English and hope to have help translating it in conversation with our indigenous hosts into their heart language. I share these with you not as a show, but rather to ask for your solidarity, support and sacred curiosity of the wisdom and care that can be nurtured and

shared through these encounters. Thank you for being part of my great cloud of witnesses. Without you, I wouldn’t be me.

In gratitude and grace,


Encuentros en el Camino

Por M Baits

El encuentro en el camino conocido

Caminando acompañada

Rodeadas por ancestros antiguos y amigas nuevas

Sostenidas por la tierra santa, el viento respirado, y la compañía compartida


El encuentro en el camino desconocido

Descubriendo fortalezas escondidas

Acompañadas por aprendizaje y apapacho 

Sorprendidas por las memorias destapadas, la belleza regalada, y el alma tocada


Hagamos un camino nuevo

Tejiendo nuestras historias, cicatrices y celebraciones

Invitadas a aprender, imaginar y crear un paso a la vez

Animadas por los cantos, colores y conversaciones sobre la marcha

Encounters on the Way

By M Baits

The encounter on the known way

Walking accompanied

Surrounded by old ancestors and new friends

Sustained by holy ground, wind breathed in, and company shared


The encounter on the unknown way

Discovering hidden strengths

Accompanied by learning and soul’s embrace

Surprised by the memories revealed, the beauty gifted, and the soul touched


Let’s make a new way

Weaving our stories, scars and celebrations

Invited to learn, imagine and create one step at a time

Encouraged by the songs, colors and conversations along the way