If the mind of man was able to create a "culture of war," it should be able to create a "culture of peace." -Albert Einstein
Our most recent class at the seminary has Cassie and I teaching a course entitled "The Culture of Peace." We were given the title of the course and nothing more to guide us in the development of it. With this amount of freedom we were able to develop a course that we are both extremely happy with and one we believe is beneficial for our students. After creating a theological basis for why peace is important we have been addressing various topical issues in order to assess the ways in which our students can work towards peace on various levels in their personal lives, work, communities and congregations. The topics that we are addressing in the class include violence, trauma, religious conflicts, human rights, immigration, gender issues, family violence, creation care, forgiveness and healing. Thus far the class has been challenging because we are dealing with emotionally charged topics, however we have also seen our students grow and have already experienced the fruit that comes through difficult conversation.
(front gate of the seminary)
Furthermore, we have continued teaching the same students that we had in our last class. With this continuity we have been able to continue to build upon the relationships that we began during our first course this year. Many students and their families have visited our home and we have also gotten to know their homes, communities and churches. Through this process we have built relationships with one another in a way that allows for us to more comfortably and with trust, speak into one another's lives through the topics of conversation introduced throughout the course.
(two of our students that we are blessed to call friends)
Last Saturday was “Day of the Teacher” here in Nicaragua. Our students surprised us with a celebratory lunch after class. They prepared our favorite Nicaraguan food, quesillos which is basically a tortilla with lots of cheese and onions. They also blessed us with several gifts - what generosity!
(our special class celebration of Day of the Teacher)
Our teaching experience here in Managua has really provided to us life and encouragement to keep on going. On the days where we wonder why we are here, so far from our family and friends, we often find ourselves reflecting back to the amazing things that are happening in the classroom and even more importantly outside of the classroom with our students. We feel very honored to be in the place that we are – sharing, learning and engaging with these amazing individuals.
And a few more photos….we recently had a friend come and visit and she did a great job at taking pictures of the “normal things” that we often don’t take pictures of.
(class preparation at home)
(hanging out in our office)
(this is the lovely garden view that we enjoy from our office)
(a few of our students)
Si la mente del hombre fue capaz de crear una “cultura de guerra,” debería ser capaz de crear una “cultura de paz.” -Albert Einstein
And a bit off subject, but since this post is getting long I thought I would include an amazing Fourth of July reflection that we came across yesterday, one that really resonated with us.