Eighteen InterVarsity Christian Fellowship students from St. Mary’s College of Maryland left their campus on March 12th to come to Southeast D.C. for their spring break to learn and to study about the injustices that are alive and prevalent in our cities and in our world! Like most of their peers, although these 18 students are in much need of sleep, vacation, time to catch up with school work, and senior projects , they have chosen to be here in Southeast D.C. By the end of the week, they will have spent their money, their time, and their energy to engage in theses difficult issues of poverty, racism, classism, and many more. What would compel anyone to do such thing? Well, I guess you will have to ask them when they come back to campus!
In the next five days, these students will learn about the different ways the world has responded to issues of injustice, they will meet men and women from the Anacostia community who will challenge them how their realities of injustices demand from us beyond theoretical debates and discussions into a practical, individual, and communal responses that ought to cost us something and challenge our way of life. They will study the Bible, history of its misuses, and correct methods of its application. Ultimately, our students will learn God’s hope and inivitation to a transformed living in the midst of much hopelessness and despair. The truth is, the more we learn about the infinit sins of this world, the quicker we are to realize how finite we are as humans. The invitation will be to pledge and align our allegiance to an infinite God who has been pleading with all of humanity to be reconciled to God who is good and just.
This week, there will be many painful discussions, tears will overwhelm the faces of many of our students, dreams will be dreamt about a world that one day will be while trying wrap our minds with the realities of today, prayers will be uplifted to God for help and guidance, and many will leave physically and emotionally tired. But they will be spiritually renewed! There is something freeing and humbling about knowing the creator of this world has already began the work of justice and restoration way before we even cared to do so and God’s dreams surpass all of our passions and desires for a better world! Yes, they still will spend late nights trying to do school work and yes, they will be physically exhausted! But based on pervious experiences, they will find a more wholistic rest! They will have hope! And yes, they will go back to their school and they will interfere with the status quo of old ways, they will speak of a God who has more passion and zeal than any advocacy group or a student organization, and they will speak up for those oppressed on and off campus. Why? Because they serve a King who cares about all of His subjects equally. They serve a King who HATES any misuse or abuse of power! They serve a King who teaches us to make all of life not about us but about our neighbor!
I am appealing to all of you who follow Jesus to pray for these students. Pray for health, pray for willingness to take risks, pray for safety, and pray we all humble ourselves and learn new things from Jesus. We serve a God of peace and a God of justice!
Thank you Office of Student Affairs of St. Mary’s College of Maryland for supporting our students to attend this trip. Thank you to all who are praying for us throughout this week. Day one went well and we are eager to see what God will teach us on this day of March 13th.
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