Fall 2019 Ecuador has officially come to a close. Students have returned to the warm embrace of their families and friends and have begun the process of reintegrating back into the life that they left behind three months ago. They have also begun the process of finding ways to incorporate into their lives all that they learned about themselves in this transformative experience known as SST.
SST always has been and will continue to be a transformative experience. It provides a framework for self-reflection not frequently found in the classroom or in the busy patterns of life in North America. SST has a way of stripping away the familiar and causing us to look up and see life happening around us. It forces us to reflect on what stabilizes us and sustains us: family, friends, and faith. We are confronted with our attitudes and assumptions about what we have and what we expect in life and what our place is in this world.
One of the greatest gifts of SST is relationship. Relationships with host families, relationships formed on service assignments, relationships with fellow SST’ers, relationships with SST leaders. SST’ers also are forced to reflect on and appreciate the role of relationships in their lives back home. Human beings were designed for relationship, and what a beautiful reminder we are each given of that in this experience called SST.