Just a disclaimer-in this post I’m going to talk about my relationship with God. It will also include semi-political language. It’s not going to be very funny. Get over it. Or leave a comment and start a dialogue. Or email me.
Yesterday, we listened to several talks about life on the Reservation and the extraordinary amount of hurt that afflicts this community. Every single family has been negatively affected by alcohol or drugs in a powerful way. This then leads to shame, abuse, neglect and a multitude of other pains, which are compounded by 80% unemployment. The recent “solutions” to this problem have been hand-outs, or programs that merely provide hand-outs.
Fr. Hatcher, the president of the St. Francis Mission, wants to create and develop leadership among the Native People. He has told us we are not here to help. This leads me to question the real reasons I am here, but perhaps I will share those findings later. After imparting to us the seemingly insurmountable problems that torment this community, Fr. Hatcher then told us “These people prayed for help and God sent you.” This might be the most terrifying sentence anyone has ever told me. Not only does it have the potential to sound disgustingly egotistical, it includes a horrifying responsibility. If you pray, please pray for me. If you don’t, please think really good thoughts for me. If you don’t believe in any of that, donate (Oops, snuck a little humor in there). But the more I think about this, the more I believe this is why I am here. Yesterday, people repeatedly told me that there are no mistakes. I was meant to be here. A constant prayer in my life has been for God to show me His will and help me to accomplish it. And now, I am here. I’m still struggling with why I’m here (but not in the sense that I don’t want to be, just more of what is my main purpose), as well as the fact of why Fr. Hatcher wanted to start a JVC community here. However, I think I have somewhat figured this out.
I need to stop thinking of this as “service.” Any service that this year entails stems from the fact that I’m doing it for very little money and was very choosy about the agency to whom I offered my services (Ok, well I let JVC be very choosy, but I chose JVC). Right now, I just have a job for a year. And while I’m working, as is for everywhere and anywhere I go for the rest of my life, I’d like to do some good. Maybe I’ll educate some kid who may some day run the whole church. Who knows.
I know I haven’t started work yet, but sometimes I get the feeling that I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be. I just hope and pray that I’m strong and patient enough to live up the challenge, and know when to put it in God’s hands.
Thanks for reading all this. Maybe it’s a little too personal for the internets, but if you’re following my adventures, I thought you’d maybe also like to know what I’m concerned about in all this. We’ll see where all this optimism is in 6-12 months.