When we bid Fellows Nate and Christian goodbye in March we didn’t now how long it would be until we would be together again. 2 weeks? That seemed unlikely. Maybe 4 weeks. Certainly by mid April we could get the band back together and put a bow on our year. And yet, as I type this it seems like there is no knowing when we can regroup.

So we adapt. Like many of you, we are employing technology to fill in for in person gatherings. We are so grateful for the technology that allows us to link Pennsylvania, North Carolina, South Carolina, Texas, Florida, Massachusetts, and Thailand together. It really is a miracle. And yet, we are left hungry for more. As amazing as it is to see each other and hear each others voice, our screen time is missing something.

We have always seen the true gift of Agape Year to be the gift of community. There is something special about physical presence, touch, smell, and taste. God didn’t tell us about himself and invite us into relationship in two dimensions. Instead he became incarnate and lived a fully human life. Our take on discipleship has always been centered on living an embodied faith in community with fellow sojourners. We ache for the day when we can again gather around our kitchen table, pass the salt and pepper, hold hands for grace, and walk the way of a disciple together.

Pre-Agape Year I worked as a manager for Trader Joe’s. So when the lockdown hit Pennsylvania and grocery store employees became frontline workers I sensed God calling me to step back in. For the past two weeks I’ve been working part-time at my old store, stocking shelves with needed food and sharing encouragement with customers and fellow employees. No one talks about anything other than COVID-19. Anxiety and uncertainty are rampant. People are hungry for a smile, for encouragement, and to know that the world is not without hope.

After my first week my boss told me that my return had been a big moral boost to the crew. The fact that I came in during a time of fear was reassuring. I thank God for this short term opportunity to be salt and light in an unexpected way in these unprecedented times.

  • for safety as Nate serves short term on the frontlines at Trader Joe’s
  • for Henry, Annie, George, and Jack as they weather isolation at home with limited field trips!
  • for patience, trust and peace for Erika as she continues mentoring our Fellows while managing school for Henry
  • for our Fellows as they navigate the uncertainty of the impact of COVID on their college futures
  • for our support in these uncertain economic times