Friday, January 18, 2008

A Day Ten Reflection: Final Thoughts by JOSH ELLIS

Overwhelmed. There's no better word to describe how I feel right now.
Overwhelmed by stats. Overwhelmed by saddening stories. Overwhelmed by
the busyness of life. Most of all though, I'm overwhelmed by how much
can be done versus how little is being done.

I've been constantly asking myself over the past two weeks why nobody is
doing anything. Why has our government been so weak in its response? Why
aren't there more high schools partnering with organizations like World
Vision or at least giving to organizations? As I went along in the
thought process, I realized I didn't have nearly as much passion before
the class as I do now. Then I thought back further and realized I didn't
have any passion at all before coming to Wheaton Academy.

I thought about how I had no idea how bad the world was before coming to
WA, and I realized that's why there isn't a response. It's so normal at
WA to see the newest promotional video from World Vision, or to sit
during an hour long movie on Slim, and I often forget that's not the
normal thing to do. I'm not so sure whether Congress and the President
can use the ignorance excuse, but I doubt the average high-school (even
Christian ones) educates their students on the issues of poverty and the
injustices that plague our world. I know my church definitely doesn't
educate our congregation enough.

Why don't they? How can so many Christians just not know? Is our
American shell or bubble too thick? Has it just never been brought up?
Why aren't there sermons on helping the poor when there are plenty on
giving to the church?

I can't answer these questions. I wish I could, and it would be
interesting to ask pastors or other Christian leaders what is going on.
I've wondered a few times while watching the various movies whether
playing them at my church instead of having a worship service one Sunday
would do anything. Would they (either a church or a high-school) be as
affected by the stories, or is it an acquired passion? I would love to
see the reaction of my congregation, or even just my youth group to Glue
Boys or Invisible Children.

Well, if the reason nobody is doing anything is because nobody knows,
how do we tell them? I'm not sure. I liked what Tony was saying about
relationships, and I'm definitely going to try to bring this up with my
youth pastor over the weekend (winter retreat!). This is part of the
reason why I've been spending so much time outside of class getting
things done on the website.

I sat and thought about how to end this for a good 10 minutes. I
considered the possibility of presenting some perfect way to tell the
world about AIDS, poverty, injustice, hunger, and water issues, but I
don't think there is one. The only way to spread this in a lasting way
is one person or community at a time. I really believe it's important
(though not necessary) to have a relationship with someone in order for
them to be influenced by your ideas and passions. As I've been writing
this, I've realized that I'm contributing to the problem of ignorance
that bugs me so much, and after being saturated with information over
the past two weeks, that needs to change.

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