Gustavus Trip Participant
Second Monday of Spring semester. It’s snowing, and for some reason I think that’s significant. Mondays are going to be pretty easy for me this semester (sorry to those of you who actually have normal schedules), but this morning was rather…stressful. For my Ethics of Development class today, we read an article on US aid (from USAID, of course)to Nepal for health/medical care in 2002 or so that focused on abortion—do the Nepalese agree to the terms nixing abortion (legally) to get the full $400k+ or disagree and take the $200k+ cut? While the answer was pretty straight forward to me in theory (i.e. on the Moodle discussion forum), in practice (class) I was shakin’ in my boots to say a word to an audience of nonbelievers, albeit “good” and intelligent people. But I did. Mostly because my professor asked me point blank to voice the opinions I had stated on the forum (which my classmates failed to read because of some sort of as-of-yet-unidentified computer/internet error), but still I spoke, and even though no one chastised me for my opinions, it was probably the single most terrifying thing I’ve done in a long time. That might surprise you, but I think it’s true.
So how does this relate? Well, as you might imagine, I felt extremely convicted. Why was it so hard to share in an environment that was genuinely not hostile? I had made most of it up in my head. I mean, the silence as I spoke was deafening (and awkward, for me at least), but it was civil. That’s when I realized that I can do this. That all the things I want and need to say will get said, but only if I take the initiative. In Rwanda, I think I learned this when I spoke in tongues for the first time (and may or may not have said “I want to speak” in two different languages that did not immediately register in my brain). I want to speak, I can speak, I should speak, I will speak. Rwanda changed me, and I know that greater things are yet to come, greater things are still to be done—on this campus, in this country, on this Earth.
As for me, I will serve the Lord.