Who is That Girl I See…?

IMG_7490She sure as heck is NOT the same one who left on this crazy summer adventure traveling around to 7 different church camps, three months ago! The spark that was in my heart to do and be better, and teach people about my passion for human rights has been fanned and is now a full on fire. In order to explain this journey a bit better, I have The Steps to Making A Great Fire:

1. Gather tinder and kindling.

  • My kindling started in college. I was an International Relations major, with a focus on social and cultural issues and Latin America. Much of what I learned and studied in school was about peace and justice issues. I chose these focuses because I felt that this was an untapped area and one that was particularly interesting and necessary to go deeper in. I learned about justice mechanisms for gross human rights violations and the kinds of problems indigenous people suffer through. I learned about the oppressive governments, the wars, and the strife that this part of the world encountered. I learned about international organizations, and what bodies like the United Nations are doing to address human rights issues. I learned about the people who wanted to see their world changed, so they worked towards making that happen. These topics inspired me and influenced my choice to apply for the Disciples Peace Fellowship Intern Program.

2.     Start small. Get it lit.

  • These topics supported me through college and I always knew that this is where my heart was, I just didn’t know how to get that spark glowing more brightly and put my training into action. Enter Training Week in Indianapolis at the Disciples Center… Whoa. This week was amazing! We met with and talked to some inspirational Disciples who are doing work both nationally and internationally, with the mission of working towards “wholeness in a fragmented world”. The Peace Interns were given the tools to be able to talk about Peace and Justice issues that can be found around the world and relate them to how the General Church is helping to combat those issues. We learned how to be the change within our communities, our regions, and the world. Through the church, I am able to put my passions and interests into practice. I am able to go places and work with people, talk about and be the one who brings up issues of change for the topics I am most passionate about.

3.     Let it breath, fan the flames.

  • I learned to teach and to explain human rights issues and I learned to discuss with high school students what I really means to stand in solidarity of an issue and advocate for causes that are bigger than ourselves. This experience will be an invaluable resource for the rest of my life! Because of this internship, I now have the confidence to speak about my passions and to explain the importance of making the necessary changes to combat human rights issues. The only question is… What’s next? I have been exposed to so many amazing organizations, missions, groups, schools, and people that I have no idea what my future holds anymore. I used to have a plan for the next 5 years, but yeah, that’s been shattered and replaced with so many other opportunities to actually make a difference in our world! I have so many options and there is not one potential path that would set me back! Everything I have been exposed to this summer has helped me to form my idea of what the future will look like, not only for myself but what the world will look like because of people like me who have a passion for making change and actually doing it.

4.     Congratulations, you’ve started a fire!

  • I cannot believe that my summer is over already. I would do the Peace Internship program again in a heartbeat, which is a testament to the success of the program and I would love for other driven candidates to have this experience!IMG_7229
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