It's been quite a few days since I have blogged and so much has happened.
Last Thursday afternoon I left with 20 classmates for the Faith and International evelopment Conference at Calvin College, in Grand Rapids, Michigan. It was a three day conference, and although I enjoyed myself, I certainly was ready to come home Saturday evening. The conference invited about 400 students and professionals with similar callings to contemplate difficult questions, and to encourage and challenge one another. The theme was Participation in the restoration of God’s creation (Man & Earth). I attended sessions on Human Trafficking, the Micah 6:8 challenge, peace-making, the UN's development goals, world relief, etc. The one topic that I wish would have really been discussed: balancing passion and reality.
I had an awesome awesome awesome interview with a filippino doctor with thirty years experience serving in 120 countries (50 extensively) across five continents with faith-based service in disaster relief, child survival, HIV and AIDS, disease control and community health. He talked alot about the importance of both language-learning and relationships - relationships with a mentor, with a mentee, and with a partner. I wasn't too interested in the medical stuff, but he had so much wisdom and experience that I wish I could have spent another three hours with him!
My favorite part of the conference was the time I spent with my classmates! A few of us have had classes together for two or three years, but haven't really gotten to know each other. This past weekend we did! We carpooled to save money, so we didn't have the everyone-in-a-bus experience, but it was fun. A few of us spent an evening in Target (a store I wish we had here in Marion!), and the following evening 10 of us went ice skating and met a homeless man named James there, then we used our $2 coupons at a local cafe, and finally, we spent about an 1.5 hours laughing at Taco Bell. It was so so so much fun!