Myself and the other 76 other YAGM volunteers descended upon the Windy City on Tuesday, August 14th, to start a week of bonding, learning, and just some general shenanigans.
I myself have just returned from an Amazing Race style scavenger hunt to find a Ethiopian restaurant in uptown Chicago. My beautiful cohort and I explored the Chicago Transit Authority services and made our way with some picture clues to find our dinner location. The food was good, the company was better, and we ended the night in Millennium Park with the BEAN!
This week has been looooonng! There has been so much information and anticipation thrown at us. We have had deep conversations about race, inter-religious relations, cross-cultural communication, and so much more. We have felt tension and been forced to step outside of our comfort zones in the most compassionate ways possible.
I have been musing on the purpose of spaces like this, as I am known to do. On the surface, it can feel like an insufficient use of the limited time that we have left stateside. Why be here sitting in a really cold room having conversations with folks that I won’t spend much time with this year about conversations that I save for my closest companions when I could be at home chillin with my puppies for 8 extra days. Here is what my midnight musings have brought: I think we are all called to missionaries in our own communities. We will need this training to start conversations with our loved ones about what it means to be conscious global citizens. I also think spaces like these lend themselves to conversations that will have life altering effects. We are change agents in training and I am grateful for the guidance.
Look forward to some more in depth musings about some of the tougher conversations we have!