The Paw Print

Intentionality in community

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After spending a week in another country with my class, I have a lot of feelings. I learned so much in such a short amount of time about people I’ve known since fourth grade. But what I kept thinking about was, “why didn’t I have this conversation earlier?” Most of these people I have spent close to eight hours a day with for years. At KCC, there is a great opportunity to be so much more intentional with our classmates, but I don’t see that happening. In Costa Rica I learned that intentionality is a key to building relationships and why it is so important.

For me, coming to school everyday is kind of a chore. I wake up annoyed that my alarm decided to disturb my precious sleep time, and then remembering I have to be at school soon only makes it worse. Usually when I get to school, I get my books, go to class, and repeat that for the next seven hours, maybe speaking a few words with my friends here and there. When the bell rings, I quickly grab my stuff and race out the door, only a ten minute drive from my warm bed. Now that my class has returned from our trip, coming to school doesn’t seem quite as bad, which is the reason I feel so excited to learn to be more intentional with the people in my community.

Something I noticed while I was in Costa Rica with my class was the quick friendships that formed with the people we partnered with in Costa Rica. By the end of the first day of ministry, I noticed people laughing and talking with our translators, giving each other nicknames, and an all-around feeling of joy. There was something so special about all of us being together in that setting; I saw so many people who I thought to be shy, branching out and being intentional with the people who weren’t apart of our class. It’s interesting how when put in a new place and setting, people step out of their comfort zone, and find themselves connecting with new people they maybe haven’t before.

As well as seeing a thirst for community with the people in Costa Rica, I noticed the community in my class growing in a way I had never seen before. Being split into three groups was a great way for us to connect with people we don’t get the chance to at school. I noticed myself learning a lot about people I have been going to school with for years but hadn’t really talked to before.

Though I’m so happy about the friendships I made and grew in Costa Rica, I feel more encouraged to strengthen my intentionality skills with the people I see everyday. Without building community at school, there is no way for us to grow as a school, and I think it would probably make the 6:30 wake up call a little more bearable. Though sometimes, life can get a little monotonous, I think that building a stronger community and good intentionality can help ease the bore of everyday life, and give us a desire for connecting with people.

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Intentionality in community