Marie making friends in Haiti - "bonjou zanmi mwen!"
The Justice and Mercy Engineering Society (JAMES) is concerned with combating poverty and injustice both locally and internationally. Our understanding of poverty is that its source is relational: broken relationships with the environment, with each other, with our creator, and even with ourselves. We hold the biblical perspective that people are made in the image of God and are therefore worthy of love, respect, and dignity. When the conditions of poverty violate that inherent dignity - when the dignity due every person is withheld - an injustice has occurred. JAMES provides training in solar electricity systems to help combat this injustice and also organizes activities and events that bring attention to these issues both in Waco, Texas, and the world.
The purpose of JAMES is to help Christian humanitarian engineers develop their vocations as ministers of reconciliation in a world of poverty, injustice, and suffering. Through word, deed, and design, we share the gospel of Christ in a way that is reciprocal and relationship-focused so that we might transform others as we, ourselves, are transformed.
A word from Development Coordinator Marie Smith:
Hello! I am a Denver girl who found herself down in Waco when I came to Baylor to pursue a Christian education. I have yet to adjust to the Texas heat and bugs, but Waco has taken a special place in my heart. This year I will be a senior in Mechanical Engineering at Baylor (Sic’ Em). I love flowers, bad puns, my chocolate labs, pretending to care about sports, and talking to strangers on airplanes.
Now God has always given me an itch to do something to help the least of these. Upon coming to college I got plugged into great organizations like Engineers with a Mission, The Wells Project (a program of Living Water International), and a special needs program; which gave me a heart for advocacy work.
But what is a person bent on advocacy doing working in the engineering field? I can advocate for the voiceless using the vocabulary and skillset of an engineer. I want to serve with a smile on my face, a calculator in my left hand and a megaphone in my right. It has been amazing to come on to the JAMES team as the Development Coordinator. It is rare to find an organization with a mission which so beautifully matches God’s calling on my life–and even rarer to have the opportunity to work for such an organization.