When I was younger, I always thought I was going to be a Physical Therapist. I was going to study Health and Exercise Science, get my Doctorate, and then be a PT for the rest of my life, helping people of all ages recover from injuries, like my PT had helped me. However, I also felt like I needed (and wanted) to study peace or conflict resolution. Being raised in the Church of the Brethren provided me with a passion for peace, and as I grow up that passion burns brighter.
Fast forward to this past summer in Colorado, I had a change of heart. I spent a few days with Seminary professors before National Youth Conference exploring my call. During Exploring Your Call, we explored ways we know it is God’s will for what we are pursuing. One that especially applies to me is the compelling of the Holy Spirit, or nudges from God. Over the past few years, the word “peace” has been etched in my heart, and during that week I recognized that this is where I was being ‘nudged’. During NYC, events such as watching a video about the Nigeria situation and sending a postcard to the Secretary of State led me to feel called to Peace ministry even more. Who knows where God will lead me with that tidbit, and plans may change. But for now I feel as though I understand what I am called to be and do.
Since I had a change of plans right before my senior year of high school, after I already explored my intended career through previous job shadowing, and finished my college search, I had to essentially start over… but not really. I was already set on going to Bridgewater College for whatever major, so I did not have to go on any more campus tours. However, I was interested in witnessing the tasks of COB’s Office of Public Witness. Since Nate Hosler’s job interested me from his work with Christian Citizenship Seminar (CCS), I thought it would be appropriate to see more of what he does on a daily basis through a job shadowing experience.
I quickly learned that he Office of Public Witness is a small, but mighty office that works on a large variety of topics. The three stay up-to-date with current events that are affecting their more pressing issues, like Nigeria and drones. Also, they are working to implement a more intentional “Going to the Garden” initiative with the denomination advocating for food security.
After the initial time spent in the office, Nate, Bryan, and I went to a meeting at the U.S. State Department Office of International Religious Freedom to inform staff about the atrocities Brethren are facing in Nigeria. This was similar to Congressional visits I have done during CCS. Then, we went to an event at the Wilson Center on resilience and peacebuilding. Events like these are helpful to make connections with other people who are working on similar issues and to become informed about different and up and coming issues.
This visit reiterated that I was called to peace ministry. My plans are to study political science or global studies and minor in peace studies. After learning more about the government and going to the other events, I know I am headed in the right direction. Thanks to Christian Citizenship Seminar, Exploring Your Call, and National Youth Conference, I have been able to accept my call.