we are often either deaf or indifferent to the realities of our society, or without hope in our contexts
In a recent blog, Alejandra Ortiz, staff worker with Compa Mexico, reflects on what it meant to her when she felt called by God to the university in her own context, living on the border between Mexico and the United States.
‘Many times it is “easy” to be in the university and ignore situations around us that affect others. Ignoring our reality not only happens with non-Christian students, but also with the church and Christian youth. We are often either deaf or indifferent to the realities of our society, or without hope in our contexts.
‘People on the Mexican border live in a context of violence that is directly linked to drug trafficking, poverty, inequality and corruption. Those who have access to higher education seek it for upward social mobility and to suffer less than their parents; they are not thinking how to use their education to help others.
‘Issues like immigration, poor wages, and poverty are also linked to things like the North American Free Trade Agreement and other policies. Our sin, our selfishness, is not only present within our neighbourhoods, but amidst national and international institutions and governments which deeply affect the lives of people, including university students in Mexico, around a shared border.
‘As I have travelled around Mexico, I have seen fearless students, called by God to be his disciples and ambassadors. I have seen students taking God's word as their source in life. I have seen students asking hard questions about their faith and the reality they are living. They are being moved by God's Spirit to engage, to get their feet wet with hard issues. Students in law, psychology, business, economics, sociology, history... they are asking how they can serve with their careers. Many of them, transformed by the gospel in their daily decisions, are being intentional with their life projects, to bring glory to God.
‘What are the challenges we face as we intentionally seek to bring glory to God?
- to resist indifference, to not ignore the issues that affect our neighbours near and far, to not accept the status quo, either in our individual lives or the life of the church;
- to ‘love out’ our hope in the midst of hopelessness, not running away from our difficulties, but drawing close to those who suffer;
- to let others see our pain, and how in the midst of it we are learning to trust God;
- to rediscover God’s heart in the complex realities of violence, oppression, injustice and corruption
- to have a prophetic voice that denounces the injustice of our systems, but to love those who harm us;
- to see God, to follow him, to consider what it means to have the privilege to attend university and how we will use this for his kingdom purposes.
'He cares, he sees, he calls us to act, speak, go.'