Our reflection for the week comes from Selena Alamir, a Sophomore Spanish Major on a Pre-Med Track!
Lutheran Metropolitan Ministry
Which community partner will you be writing about? Briefly describe their mission and the population they serve.
This semester, I am serving at Lutheran Metropolitan Ministry, more commonly known as 2100 or the Men's Shelter of Cleveland. LMM seeks to support those that are oppressed, forgotten, and hurting by teaching them how to be empowered, valued, and healed. Their unwavering commitment to addressing chronic needs of those experiencing poverty and homelessness has been a key part of their mission for over 51 years. Each Monday, my crew and I head to the men's shelter and participate in one of their many programs called "Finding Voice" where we read and write poetry together. At every session, there are always new and familiar faces in attendance. The best part of sharing our poetry is learning about what each of us has gone through and recognizing that despite every hardship, we always overcome the barriers life presents us with.
What values, opinions, beliefs have changed as a result of your service-learning experience?
After spending this past summer working for the Northeast Ohio Coalition for the Homeless (NEOCH) and working with many of the men staying at 2100, I felt called to be the student liaison for this community partner. Each and every participant in the Finding Voice poetry sessions has an incredible amount of love and wisdom to share with the group. Through my weekly encounters with the men, I have learned how to love unconditionally, be a true advocate for justice, and speak my own truths even when the whole world tells me otherwise. Finding Voice is a safe space where all are welcome to unpack the burdens that weigh heavy on their hearts, minds, and souls. The love and support from this service cite energizes every session and has taught me how to always keep my head up and fight for what is right.
What new questions do you have that might help you keep learning and growing this semester?
One of my many priorities for this semester has been to grow in my spirituality and approach everything I do with an enlightened heart. I desire to be more awake and recognize the ways in which God presents himself through the people in my life. Personally, I feel closest to God when serving others. Although I used to never understand why injustice exists, this service site has taught me that God never created injustices such as poverty and homelessness--mankind did. At the start of this semester, I asked myself the following question: how has God been good to me? Talking with the men at LMM helped me realize the many blessings I take for granted, the privileges I am fortunate to have, and more opportunities to use my voice for good. Lastly, I ask myself and I ask you: how can you be the change you wish to see in the world?