Orientation has begun! And with this week rolling conversation have started of deep faith and welcomed discomfort. Connections are made fast here. YAGMs do not waste time finding out a person’s favorite color or movie. Instead, the conversation seems to immediately jump to expressing our hopes of what this year could possibly bring, our deepest fears of the unknown grace, and how we can shake the foundation of the church for a positive change. Deep. Stuff.
I have to admit, saying the final goodbyes were hard. Something I had long been dreading and was maybe deliriously thinking would never actually have to happen. There were tears before the airport. Tears at the airport. Tears through security. At the gate. However, I wish that those who were tearful along with me, but had to stay behind, could have been able to somehow experience and see the community I was immediately welcomed into the moment I arrived in Chicago. It was very comforting to be surrounded by peers who also just had to make some hard goodbyes, but understood and deeply knew they were on the right journey as well.
Vulnerability is a key theme this week, as we discuss and question the meaning of becoming a servant for Jesus. This morning’s discussion focused around the idea of accompaniment, in which the values of solidarity, interdependence, and mutuality connect a community together. As I try to grasp about the idea of being labeled as a missionary, I can really hold on to these key ingredients of building relationships wherever I may wonder.
As for now, I just want to keep listening. Every YAGM has a story to tell, which to me means a new story to learn from. May we always keep our eyes to serve… our hands to learn. Come walk with us, the journey is long.