One ability I have crafted over the years is the art of listening. Sometimes this means having no word in edgewise during my conversations, but most times it means hearing the heart-cries of others and really addressing the things that matter. Unity cannot happen when there is more talking than listening - within a community, within society, within a soul. Over the years, I have been lucky enough to encounter different cultures and experiences. And while some of them have been abroad, I have learned so much just from listening to the voice of my community as well. Here’s a short compilation of voices that need to be heard. I hope you listen to them and are inspired to find your own.
When visiting Lima, Peru in the winter of 2016, I had the opportunity to listen to some stories from Wilma, a middle-aged Peruvian woman and school owner. After hearing that Wilma carved her school out of stone with nothing but a pickax and the help from orphans on the streets of Lima, Peru, I knew she had inconceivable perseverance and strength. Once a week of communion passed, Wilma asked me to sit with a translator and write her stories of hope and heartbreak in her city.
While some sit in a circle on faded patterned rugs, a few straggling students make their way into the English Camp main room to join discussion groups. A hum of Slovak dialects begins to rise as leaders invite their huddled campers to engage in conversation. Although many leaders feel anxious or inadequate to lead a discussion group, God is working in the student’s hearts and the leaders’ lives as well. One of the Slovak leaders who has experienced this movement of God is Katka.
OPT. Magazine, released in the spring of 2018, contains several features and interviews from the people of Anderson, Indiana. Kameron Robinson is the director of East Side Studios - an art studio in Anderson, Indiana that focuses on workshops, studios, and community engagement. In this interview, Kameron talks about loving the place you live in and what he hopes to see in his community. Here’s a sneak peek of Kameron’s interview in OPT. Magazine.