Dear NBA XPLOR...
Kim Guy | May 26, 2016
Dear NBA XPLOR,
I cannot believe it is all going to be over in a month. As much time as I have spent trying to figure out what I am going to do next, I want time to slow down. Honestly, I think I am in denial that my time with NBA XPLOR is coming to an end.
If you would have told me, two years ago, that I would have fallen in love with the Hiram-Mantua, Ohio, area, I would have said you were crazy. There is no other place where you can experience the “Hiram Hi,” the sheer beauty that comes when the snow covers the ground and you see the reflection of the unexplainable sunrises and sunsets. The connection and love that you immediately experience when you walk into Mantua Center Christian Church by being showered with hugs. Or the help with cleaning up the coffee that you knock over 10 minutes before the service, due to being so nervous about being the guest preacher at Hilltop Christian Church. By the day my time at Hiram-Mantua was done, I didn’t want to leave. I tried to hold back the tears, but I couldn’t.
I was nervous about what my time in St. Louis would bring. Let me tell you, St. Louis is quite different then Hiram-Mantua, but you probably already knew that. Something that is similar is the people on the XPLOR team devote a lot of time and prayer and energy to us, the XPLOR Residents. So I guess this is a shout-out to the two best XPLOR teams: Hiram-Mantua and St. Louis. You rock!
These last two years have brought me a lot of firsts:
- My first time to tap maple trees, collect sap, and bottle maple syrup.
- My first time participating in a non-violent protest.
- My first time relying on public transportation to get to and from work.
- My first time making it to the top of an indoor rock climbing wall.
- My first time walking a 5k and a 20k.
- My first time teaching a poetry class.
- My first time attending a prayer vigil for a teen who was shot and killed due to police brutality.
There are many more, but the biggest one has been committing and learning how to live in intentional community.
NBA XPLOR, I will be forever grateful for the time spent on discerning God’s call for one’s vocation. I have learned that I will have many calls that come in many different shapes and sizes. I thought and prayed a lot about attending seminary and pursuing full-time congregational ministry.
But now that I have spent time working with kids, I have felt God’s call time after time. I am excited to see how God uses my gifts as a teacher in the future.
XPLOR, it has not been easy. It has been hard. I have cried tears of pain and tears of joy. Even though our time is coming to an end, I know that it is not a good-bye. But it is until next time. I wish you well.
With God’s Love,
NBA XPLOR Resident 2014-2016
NBA XPLOR is a 10-month service residency opportunity for young adults ages 21-30, with the purpose of empowering young adults to discern and develop a “heart for care” as they live together in simple community, engage in direct service and justice work, engage in leadership development, and discern their vocational calls to honor the various communities they are called to serve. Learn more and apply at nbacares.org/xplor.