The first and greatest commandment Christ gives us is this: “Love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength. And the second is like it: Love your neighbour as yourself.” Matt 22:36-39
Recently my mind has been turning more and more to my life after my Master’s degree. I wonder what I will do, and where I will do it. Is there a PhD in my future? Am I finished with school forever in May 2017? Do I get a job right away? Do I travel a bit first?
The more I think about it, the more I like the idea of taking a short break right after the completion of my Master’s (whether I go on to a PhD or not). I have now been in school for 17 consecutive years, learning, observing and writing the ever-detested essay-answer tests. I know it sounds privileged and millennial of me, but I feel as though a vacation from it all is in order, in order that I get myself in order. The decision I face between pursuing a PhD and just getting a big boy job is a doozy. It’s a life altering call, and the more I think about it the more it stresses me out. So, lately, I have turned my mind to a third option: either a volunteering or working break from it all after graduation.
There are many options a young man from Canada has overseas in terms of volunteering: Peace Corps, NGOs, mission work through any number of Christian organizations. All have their purposes, and their appeal, but I would like to keep things agricultural. This drove me to the website of the Agricorps. Similar to the Peace Corps, they operate with the aid of volunteers in poor countries around the world, but they singularly strive to provide agricultural education to the people who need it the most. Their current focus is the West African nation of Ghana.
What better method of clearing my head and making a decision could there be than escaping all the noise and clutter of self-serving, self-oriented North America, and volunteering among a people who have so little? The Agricorps seeks to implement the North American method of agricultural education in Ghana- the program which I owe the most to: 4-H. Essentially, they believe, I think correctly, that the proper implementation of 4-H programs to educate young Ghanaians in the best methods of growing crops and raising livestock is essential to the future prosperity of West Africa. Canada and America are arguably the top-tier nations they are because of the education of generations past in the practice of agriculture.
The more I think about serving with a program like the Agricorps, the more I like the idea. I am in agriculture to feed people. I am in agriculture because I love livestock, and I love to see people learn how their food is grown. On top of that, I am conflicted on the future I need to pursue, and while I am doing my best to patiently wait for God to show me, He has also planted the idea that I am ruminating on now. As Mahatma Ghandi once said, ” The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself to the service of others.”
I think I will look a little further into these opportunities.