It has been fun to be at Wesley Seminary for my Master of Divinity Education. All of the opportunities that allow me to be able to learn not only about the academic and theological, but also the practical part. I am continually intrigued by the opportunities Wesley has given me to learn about the profession I look to be a part of when I graduate.
One of the opportunities that are had in the Master of Divinity program is known as an Intercultural Immersion. An Intercultural Immersion is a trip that is taken into a particular culture. As the title says we are immersed with that culture and experience what it is like to be a part of that culture. This is most often a culture we are unfamiliar with and on some occasions we feel we may have experience with in our ministries.
The Immersion I will be participating in is called “Hidden Culture in Suburbia.” The Suburbia in question is that of the Route 1 corridor in Fairfax, Va. Fairfax county is one of the most wealthy counties in the entire United States and as such the amount of poverty is more hidden than it would be of that in the actual District of Columbia. It is not that they are not there it is just they are truly a hidden culture within a culture that is represented by the amount of wealthy people who reside. There are still homeless and impoverished people in Fairfax and as I have found out in my pre-trip readings there are many outlets that seek to help them.
Over the next two weeks I will be immersed in the culture in of homelessness in the Route 1 corridor of Fairfax County. According to my syllabus we will be helping out at a homeless shelter that is geared towards keeping people out of the cold. It is known as a “hypothermia shelter.” We will…
- be cooking and serving dinners as well as interacting with those who are residing at the shelter.
- be spending a couple nights at the shelter.
- be helping with other meals at other shelters.
- help out in English classes geared towards people needing to learn English to gain employment.
- helping out at food pantry’s and Capital Area Food Bank.
- help people with voter registration, finding housing, and finding employment.
All of this within the two weeks the immersion is taking place. Through all of this we will also be meeting many people who are in this culture, and we will be interacting and conversing with them. With the objective being learning more about who they are, and what ways there are to help and be involved in homeless ministries.
Throughout these two weeks I will look to document some of my experiences through my blog. Each night that I am able I will seek to reflect on my day personally in my own personal journal and through my blog to show everyone what homeless ministries are and what kind of help there is. Check back and see what is going on. I pray that my trip is filled with learning and growing experiences