A New Season in Little Rock

Hello, friends!

Erik, Dani, Kait and I are in the midst of settling into a new season of our lives; the four of us will be serving as (Y)oung (A)dult (V)olunteers in Little Rock, Arkansas, living at Ferncliff Camp and Conference Center a few miles outside of the city. Dani and Erik will work with the Presbyterian Disaster Assistance, providing long-term recovery support in communities that have impacted by a disaster. Kait and I will work in the garden, developing some of Ferncliff’s sustainability initiatives. We’re also living in community with two camp interns- Kelsey and Dorothy. Though they live in a cottage a few hundred yards away from the YAV house, the six of us will be sharing our lives in intentional community for the year.

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A few months ago, I never would’ve believed you if you’d tried to tell me I’d soon live in Little Rock, Arkansas. Crazy how quickly life can change. We’re still orienting ourselves to what life here might look like in the coming year, and I’m nothing but excited for the opportunities ahead.

The title of the blog comes from a prayer often attributed to Oscar Romero, an archbishop in El Salvador who became a martyr for denouncing the injustices carried out by the Salvadoran government. I hope to live into this prayer throughout the year:

It helps now and then to step back and take a long view.
The Kingdom is not only beyond our efforts,
it is beyond our vision.

We accomplish in our lifetime only a fraction
of the magnificent enterprise that is God’s work.
Nothing we do is complete, which is another way of
saying that the kingdom always lies beyond us.
No statement says all that could be said.
No prayer fully expresses our faith. No confession
brings perfection, no pastoral visit brings wholeness.
No program accomplishes the Church’s mission.
No set of goals and objectives include everything.

This is what we are about. We plant the seeds that one
day will grow. We water the seeds already planted
knowing that they hold future promise.
We lay foundations that will need further development.
We provide yeast that produces effects
far beyond our capabilities.

We cannot do everything, and there is a sense of
liberation in realizing this.
This enables us to do something, and to do it very well.
It may be incomplete, but it is a beginning,
a step along the way, an opportunity for the Lord’s
grace to enter and do the rest.
We may never see the end results, but that is the
difference between the master builder and the worker.

We are workers, not master builders, ministers, not
messiahs. We are prophets of a future not our own.

Peace,

Emily

PS. If you’d like to support me financially, here’s how: https://www.presbyterianmission.org/ministries/yav/emily-wilkes/. I’d love your support in whatever way works best for you, whether that’s financially or just thinking about me from time to time. I appreciate all your love and support!

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