The 2009 Practicum has begun! This marks our second week of classes. Most of last week was spent learning “the basics” – computer and Internet training, cross cultural studies and learning important Southern words/phrases, such as y’all. This fall, one of our American students, Katherine Harrison, will be writing about her experiences for our blog. Below is one of her reflections from last week, introducing herself and why she is participating in the Practicum. Katherine is a member of Brookhaven UMC (Brookhaven, Miss.) and was a member of their SIFAT mission team to Ecuador in July 2009. Katherine is also keeping a personal blog here.
When everything falls away and you find yourself alone with God, looking up and saying “Now what??”

Through more tears than I can count and a strange meandering path, God has brought me here to the SIFAT campus. I say He brought me here because I was unsure I would be able to attend. In fact, by the middle of last week, I had begun making plans not to attend and to continue on this spiritual journey at home (for the moment). But God and Kathy Bryson had other plans and the SIFAT door kept opening back up even though I was steady trying to close it.

I have an image of me leveraging my weight against a door to close it and there’s this big God-sized foot lodged in there to keep it open.

So here I am and I can honestly tell you I have no idea why or where it may lead. That’s not to say I am not focused or enthusiastic about being here. I am! I feel so blessed! I also feel a bit unworthy. I am not a community leader, a pastor, the head of some organization or a full-time missionary. These people are established and they know their place in God’s kingdom. They have specific missions to carry out. God may change those plans mid-stream, I know, but they at least have a stream. I don’t.