Global Community/ Local Service: An Asbury Service Learning Entrée

Global Community Development Mondays: Journal Entry 2.

Monday- June 14th, 2010: Garage Sale

Our next phase in the transformation of the garage included a garage sale to 1. get rid of a number of items that we could no longer use, and 2. make a few dollars in the mean time that will go toward the refurbishing of the garage.

We started with an all-day prep on Friday.  10 volunteers showed up throughout the day, though one intercultural moment particularly caught my eye.  We rented a dumpster (now just about full) for the weekend.  At one point we had four men carrying a monster of an air conditioner long dead to the dumpster.  Two hands belonged to a Kenyan, two to a Zimbabwean, two to a Ugandan, and two to an African American.  As we continue to search for beloved community, I saw a sparkle in that moment and watched the community grow closer as they participated in something as simple yet profound as a shared mission to clean up a garage.

The next day brought about 40 community members to Cox’s in search for treasures and furniture’s we were selling.  We made, in total, $111.00.  Though not our goal of $200, there were a few elements of the day simply priceless.  The sale itself brought together our local community and our global Asbury Community.  Not only were the patrons given a chance to mingle with folks from Korea, Kenya, and Singapore, but the event allowed for peoples from all social classes to connect.  We ate lunch after with the totality of our volunteers (about 8 in total), and again every social class (except of course the wildly rich) were present.  As I will continue to testify, the energy at Cox’s has the power to divide our community and the power to bring us together.  It also contains the most intercultural potential I’ve seen on campus.

One conversation stood out to me the most.   There was a North American, Kenyan, and African American standing together helping oversee a portion of the sale.  Their conversation started in small talk but led to a robust discussion on initiation rites and manhood.  The two North American men lamented about the lack of initiation rites in the US while the Kenyan man reflected on his 2 month wilderness passage and how it laid out the expectations for manhood very clearly.  Though it was just one conversation, it represents hundreds of conversations I’ve heard over the course of five years.  While we can have these conversations over lunch or as we walk together, I have witnessed these intercultural interchanges as a usual circumstance when our global community finds herself in shared local missions.

The Mission Continues: every Monday, including tonight (October 4th) 3.30-5.30pm,   at the Global Community Development Center, next to Cluckers.