I am a Christian in the Peace Corps. Some people have questioned, almost accusingly, how I can serve in the Peace Corps. PC has a policy against PCVs actively proselytizing during their service, and some people believe I would do better as a missionary. I’ve been blogging over at “Growing in Faith” for a few months now, which is about my journey of faith, through Peace Corps and eventually beyond. But I’ve noticed a steady number of referrals to my blog from searches of “Christian in Peace Corps”, and a handful of people have reached out to me through email about this topic.
The main question seems to be “How do you serve in Peace Corps as a Christian?”
To me, the real question is “How do you serve in Peace Corps WITHOUT God?” I honestly don’t know how atheist/agnostic/etc PCVs make it through, and the vast majority of PCVs don’t identify with any faith. I have no clue how they make it through two years.
Without God, I would not have survived my service. I’ve needed His strength, understanding, compassion, love, grace, and mercy more times than I could count. There have been days when I’ve collapsed on my bed, sobbing, and have been wrapped in His love. There have been times when I’ve been afraid, and He’s held me and protected me. There have been times when the aching loneliness has become overwhelming, and He reminded me of His ever-lasting love.
I’ve ran out of strength. I’ve questioned. I’ve despaired. I’ve given up. But through it all, He’s been right there with me, providing me with the strength and love I needed.
There have been times when I’ve been filled with joy and gratitude, tears of happiness clouding my eyes. And I’ve praised Him for His awesome blessings. There have been times where I’ve clearly seen His plan for my life, and I’ve been humbled by His plans.
How do I serve in the Peace Corps as a Christian? Happily, joyfully, relying on Him, learning to trust His plan, and forging a deeper relationship with the God of the universe. I can’t imagine serving in such a tough job without the help of God. I don’t know how my fellow PCVs make it through the loneliness, desperation, exhaustion, frustrations, and endless battles that is Peace Corps. And I don’t know how they recognize the little blessings God gives us each day, which helps me through the hardest days. What fulfills them, I don’t know. But knowing I am obeying God in staying here is immensely fulfilling for me.
Peace Corps hasn’t been detrimental to my faith, nor do I feel stifled by Peace Corps’ policies. It has been a journey of saying yes to God’s will and learning to trust in Him. Peace Corps has allowed me to have more faith and empathy. It has opened my eyes to the suffering in our world, and how desperately help is needed. And it is preparing me to someday, somewhere, serve as a missionary, sharing His Good News.
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