At the beginning of BayUP, I asked myself this question, “Why am I here?” Now that BayUP is over, I think I’ve found an answer. Although it’s not a clear-cut reason, I feel that there have been many things that God has opened my eyes to over the summer.
For the first few weeks I felt a lot of tension with this question. It wasn’t until we started to share our stories and be vulnerable with one another that I began to feel a sense of purpose and belonging. With each program day, I learned more about the people around me. They gave faces to the issues we were diving into: food justice, criminal justice, immigration, education, and human trafficking. Between my house and worksite, I learned to be more open about my thoughts and feelings, whether it was about things we learned or things that were simply on my mind.
Through the friends I’ve made this summer, God has shown me the importance of community and relationships. That until I myself take the risk to be vulnerable, how can I ask the same of others. I didn’t expect to learn about community and myself this summer. I thought I’d be moved only by the content of the program. But God chose to show me more than that, in addition to learning how to live differently in relation to how He sees justice; God has shown me how to live for Him in community with others.
I am sad that BayUP has ended, but what I learned is still with me, through my experiences and the people I got to know. I pray that God constantly reminds us all of the journeys we’ve had this summer, and how He is moving even when we can’t see it.