August 31, 2010

Dear world of lovely blog readers,

We all knew that one day this time would come… and here we are. On my penultimate day of work in the Lutheran Center I find myself experiencing a mix of emotion. I am sad to leave the beautiful people and relationships that have become so near to my heart in these past twelve months. I am simultaneously excited to begin a new journey, and embark on a new chapter in the wild and intricate story that I get to call life.

As I prepare for my departure from Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service, the city of Baltimore, and the United States for a little while, I reflect on the incredible opportunity I have been given. This past year I have gotten to spend time entering into space with people while sharing and listening stories. I have visited homes, offices, churches, coffee shops, and convention centers; I have met migrants, refugees, asylum seekers, social workers, church members, ESL volunteers, congress people, and senators. I have raised my voice for Comprehensive Immigration Reform, and have sat listening as many of my new friends have allowed me to interview them with a video camera.

Through this past year I have experienced welcome in radical ways, and have been invited  into welcome by some absolutely beautiful souls.

It is with humility and reverence that I reflect on this past year, and think of the many brilliant and vibrant people who I have met.

As the saying once again holds true, it is indeed the case that all good things must come to an end, and my friends, it looks like this will be the end of my blogging times with you. However, an exciting new endeavor for this blog will be the new Mennonite Volunteer that you will get to meet!

Melissa Gingerich from Goshen, Indiana has come to spend a year of service with Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service. I will let her introduce herself to you a little more thoroughly, but, I urge you to continue reading as Melissa discovers and defines welcome for herself as a newcomer to the city of Baltimore.

Without further ado, I bid you farewell, and thank you dearly for walking this journey with me.

“Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?” – Mary Oliver

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