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International Volunteer drives truck

What privilege looks like when you’ve got a truck to drive

#JVReflects explores the intersection of faith and justice from the perspective of JESUIT VOLUNTEERS serving as long-term volunteers both domestically and internationally. Read Hannah’s reflections on the privilege that mobility like driving a truck can provide for a Jesuit Volunteer like Hannah while serving as an International volunteer in Belize.

Spiritual Lessons From the gears of a pick-up truck

International Volunteer
Loyola University Chicago
Julian Cho House
Serving at St. Peter Claver Jesuit Parish in Belize
I first learned how to drive stick shift in a black pickup truck last year on the gravelly rural dirt roads of Toledo, Belize. It really was a “baptism by fire” sort of experience, as are many aspects of working in youth ministry and living in intentional community for the first time. For my first four months of driving, I maneuvered my vehicle without any knowledge of its inner workings and how shifting gears and utilizing my clutch were necessary to the efficiency of the vehicle.

For the most part, I was driving according to the steps and routines I observed as a passenger to several other drivers. I would listen for the grumbling of the engine as a cue to up or down-shift and utilized my neutral gear in panicked situations, which were frequent.

However, with the help of a few patient veteran teachers, I let loose of my ego and allowed others’ experiences, knowledge, and care to infiltrate and improve my own driving practice.

I quickly learned that while, yes, the groans and mumbles of the car quietly invite me to shift gears, it also reminds me that these groans and grinds are energy and friction waiting to be transformed.

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In a culture that values what people have over what they give, JVC is an opportunity to commit to the dignity and well being of others and let faith ignite in action.