Most amazing was the simple human desire to learn about each other. I meet a lot of people in my life, and I am often disappointed when a real connection is not made. Maybe because I do not follow professional sports or watch popular TV shows, I am not that easy to connect with. But D and S made a deep connection with me in just a few short hours together and we speak different languages!
I think we really connected when I asked S , "Why are you studying journalism?" This opened up a dialogue about the need to empower women in society and how developing a strong voice for women in the news media would allow for change in male dominant structures. She also spends time with homeless people and finds them to be amazing teachers. So great!
D is studying finance and hopes to combine his passion for music with training in finance. He is still dreaming about how that would work - perhaps developing a music school, maybe helping musicians make a living, and definitely using the language of music to spread a message of hope and love and peace:). He and S are both leaders in the worship group at the new Presbyterian Church they founded in 2011! This has a big impact on the lives both of them are leading.
I was a little hesitant at first to tell them what I wanted to do with my Masters of divinity degree, but after hearing their totally honest and inspiring hopes for the future, I decide to explain myself. I want to bring people from different faith traditions together to learn about each other respectfully and take action together to promote peace and justice in their community. Both D and S were excited about this concept and could relate to the need to be open to change and open to learning from/with the other.
This is all very inspiring to me as I come to Apartadó - a regional hub on the Pacific coast where I will be returning between home stays with human rights activists/pastors in the Urabá region. There is so much life in this country. Life dreaming about a more beautiful future. I hope I find this kind of life even in places that have experienced so much death.