Less than two miles from the location of the Tulsa Race Riot of 1921, fifteen students learned about reconciliation and community development during a three-day immersion trip last weekend.
Students stayed at John 3:16 Mission in Tulsa, Okla., an organization that operates by principles created by the Christian Community Development Association. Three of the most important Christian Community Development Association principles are living amongst the people being ministered to, helping communities get the resources they need, and reconciling people to God and each other.
Students led youth groups, shared stories with homeless people over dinner at the shelter, learned about the Christian Community Development Association community development principles and visited Reconciliation Park, which commemorates the Race Riot.
Arline Mejia recalled passing by a man huddled under a bridge just after she had been complaining about the cold. “It was emotionally overwhelming,” she said.
“In other circumstances, I would never have noticed him,” Mejia said, but explained that her experience at the shelter changed her. “I was able to get to know people in a situation similar to his.”