It really feels like life is going at hyper speed these last few months, every time I sit down to write it seems another thing pops up that needs to be done. Well that being said, it’s now 2017 and the end of 2016 needs to be summed up and explained a bit, then I’ll let you know more about the forecast for 2017.
2016! Wow what a year. If you had told me that I would be sitting in an airport in London heading back to Norway; then shortly leaving for Bulgaria and Greece afterwards I would have given you a strange look and walked away slowly. However, as crazy as it seems, I am beyond blessed and frankly need a better vocabulary to describe the feelings of sheer joy that I have being where I am and doing what I’m doing. 2016 has taught me many things, but the most important thing I have found that God really is good, and He is good all the time.
Let me explain a bit. Lecture phase of DTS is over, we have been put through the wringer for three months of examining ourselves. Learning about not only who we really are, but who God is and what He intended for us individually and our world. We focused our energies on learning how to apply His love and His principles to our hurting world, and let me tell you it’s been amazing.
At the University of Washington which I graduated this past spring, I studied International Studies, and Comparative Religion, my area of focus was in Latin America. I studied some of the worst things man has done to each other, genocides, rapes, gang violence, drug cartels, corrupt governments, etc. I’m not going to lie, my faith was shaken, I was looking at a world that was so messed up and asking the age old question, how can a good God allow all this? I didn’t understand, and it made me question a lot of what I believed in. I was angry, confused, and frankly lost hope. All I wanted to do was help people, and stop the suffering, but the more I studied the more hopeless it seemed. I could not understand how people could be so terrible to each other and how a good God could let innocents suffer like that.
Thankfully when I exited university, my Mom encouraged me to take a DTS, which I reluctantly did. I can say now with certainty even though it’s only half done, it has been the best decision of my life. I got answers to the questions that had shaken my faith from the past four years, and came to rest on firmer ground. I definitely think, I am better for having gone through all of it. I have studied the depravity of humankind and understand our capacity for evil and how a truly loving God still acts and works in our lives.
Free will: two words when put together have the capacity for the greatest good and the worst evil. Work with me now because I’m still wrapping my own head around this concept as well, but to me it comes down to this; if we can’t choose whether or not to love God, is it really love? Is it really love, if we’re just forced to worship and do what He says? I mean it’s good for us, and the world would be a lot better of a place if we had just listened but we didn’t. God loved us so much that He gave us the choice to choose Him or not, no strings attached. However, we are free to choose, but not free of the consequences of our choice. If we choose to be greedy, then we will hurt others, if we choose to lie, we will hurt others, you get the picture. When we choose to disobey God, we separated ourselves from Him and just look at our world, we are suffering the consequences.
So what does that have anything to do with what I’m doing now? As a justice school, I’m back at it again studying the injustices of our world, the horrible things that people do to each other. In particular in the next few months we will be working with ministries that are reaching out to prostitutes, refugees, and other groups (orphanages, Roma communities). Looking again into the depths of human trafficking, girls forced to sell themselves to live, people fleeing from war torn countries, people who are discriminated against, and those who are left alone in this world. There’s a huge difference this time though, this time I have hope, a hope that I can share with all of them. A hope that I know will make an impact on them because it is based in the most beautiful thing known to man, love. Ephesians 3:19 “And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fullness of God”. He is my hope, and the reason I will continue to fight to bring love to all of those people who are suffering.
So there is your quick sum up of the past few months, and my plans for the future all in one. Thanks for sticking with me and supporting me in this adventure! I’m really excited to go and put all I have learned into practice!
If you have any questions for me or encouragement, my email is in my info page, feel free to drop me a line anytime you like!