By Keeyon Carter
This past spring Prairie Lakes Waterloo offered a class that focused on God’s desire to reconcile all things unto Himself. The “Beyond Diversity” class offered a fresh and clear vision for reconciliation as God's mission and a journey toward transformation in Christ. Reconciliation is not reserved for experts, but it's at the core of God's mission and an everyday call of the Christian life.
Each week we discussed a chapter out of the book, Reconciling All Things. Our discussion focused on what it means to live faithfully in a world that is divided racially and socioeconomically. "Beyond Diversity" provided participants a safe place to ask questions and wrestle with the reality of the many divides in our world. God graciously worked among us as many stereotypes were lifted and a greater understanding of one another other took place.
On the last day of "Beyond Diversity" participants were able to share what they learned on this journey. One participant shared that she feels more confident going to students that don’t look like her at the school cafeteria. Another participant said that this class came at a perfect time, because she is going to live in Central America and that she feels better equipped to see people that don’t look like her with reconciled eyes. The same story is true for another student, as she packs up to teach in a city and that is diverse.
Participants of the class had stories of how God worked in their lives and opened their eyes. One of the participants of the class is a salesman. For his job he travels to different houses in Black Hawk County. He said that before this class he used to dread whenever he saw a 50703 address that he was required to visit. His entire life growing up in Waterloo he had carried a fear of the East side of Waterloo. He somehow believed the “bad people” lived there. But since he completed "Beyond Diversity" class the fear is completely gone. He was able to see the deception that is portrayed through the media and how that affects how we view the world around us. This participant shared with us “There is brokenness in all areas. Through 'Beyond Diversity' I was able to understand that the fear that I had about the east was based on stereotypes and lies. I’m am now free and I am able to go to individuals homes in 50703 with confidence, not fear. I believe that everyone should take this class.”
God is working and transforming lives and ultimately revealing His plan reconcile all things unto Himself. Participants have numerous stories of how God has transformed their hearts and has reshaped how they view others around them and what their role is in the journey of reconciliation in our community. We invite you to join Prairie Lakes Waterloo in praying for our community and that we continue to walk in obedience in our role to reconcile all things unto Him.