The Trip Is Not Over

We set out to the Gulf Coast with a primary goal that exists now and in the future – to somehow integrate our experience into our practice, vocation, dreams and mission. These experiences affected senses of being, person and relationships in incalculable ways. This is day four after returning to New York City. I have slept; I have bathed; I have not yet put everything away. Yesterday, the students at Union met to process the experience and to begin to integrate the experience into our work. We met for a six hour period that seemed to be barely a blink of an eye as compared to the eternity of the eight days traveling. How will we fulfill our objective of effectively communicating, sharing or unveiling the realities that are present everywhere - including here - but which have been made so inescapable by the hurricane’s power in the Gulf Coast region? How, when several of us do not yet feel that we have a coherent story to tell of what we witnessed, experienced and breathed, will we ground ourselves in our current location working towards what we know to be right? Yesterday brought forward a plethora of ideas for what we can do individually and communally, both now and into the future. We are receiving requests for engagement with local communities and churches. They want to hear and relate with us. They will be transformed in the process. We can publish; we can educate; we can worship; we can build, nurture and expand the relationships that will lead us into the future. We will do each of these things in some way and at some time. This process of activity is the part of the trip that we are now embarked upon. I have not returned home to the place I was; I have returned home to a place full of opportunity for development, change and hope. It is a strange place full of people I do not yet know well or at all. But just as I did on the road in Georgia, Florida, Mississippi and Louisiana, I will set out each day with a willingness to be challenged so that I will more effectively and more meaningfully work to dismantle the systems that we are seeing cause so much destruction and pain in our world.

Hannah Hofheinz

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