Tuesday, December 21, 2004

GAC, SUV, HIV, and IJM


Teaching at a Christian high school in suburban Atlanta provides blogger fodder daily.

Sometimes I wonder why I do it.

Driving twenty-plus miles through Atlanta on I-285 and I-85 twice a day seems stressful to such a soft suburbanite. Then after fighting all that traffic, I spend day after day with these mostly affluent 15 to 18 years olds in all their adolescent glory--plugged into iPods, driving SUVs, and hoping for the Ivy Leagues.

Sometimes I wonder why I do it.

Then there are days like December 1, 2004, World Aids Day.

Courtesy of
World Vision, I showed a video to the student body giving a glimpse into the effects of the HIV/Aids pandemic. The response—palpable. The stress we experienced in traffic or in looking at PSAT scores subsided. Helpless in the face of such a crisis, there rose a collective sigh. We briefly discussed a broad array of responses to this enormous problem. For the moment, we decided we could do one small thing. We could do what we all seem to do well—SHOP. Within hours students began taking steps to contact World Vision to shop their “Gift Catalog”.

That’s why I teach at Greater Atlanta Christian School.

These young ones headed to the Ivy Leagues or other great institutions of higher learning will someday lead in business, in medicine, in law, in the arts, and in education. But no matter what field they chose for their careers, they have a vocation. A calling.

They will all be ministers. They will all be priests. And they will serve.

The next day in chapel two boys from the junior class asked students to help them start a campus chapter of the International Justice Mission.
www.ijm.org

Spring break 2005 over 200 students plan to travel across the globe on mission trips including a group headed to an orphanage in Namibia.

That’s why I teach at Greater Atlanta Christian School.

To such tender hearts, fertile minds, and willing spirits we can talk about, plan for and work openly toward the kind of leadership to which Jesus calls. It’s a short time in their life and a such a window of opportunity to share the challenge to act justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with our God.



4 comments:

Quiara said...

Have I mentioned lately how very much you rock?

'Cause you do. A lot. And I'm tempted to plan an Atlanta road trip except that the thought of driving in (or to, for that matter) Atlanta scares me snotless -- though in this season, that may be a blessing.

Greg Taylor said...

Enjoyed your blog today. Coming from Africa to Nashville, I can identify with SUV and affluence depression syndrome. I appreciate your openness to these conflicting feelings and finding hope. I went to an IJM meeting a year ago and met the president, Gary Haugen and others involved, and they are a great organization. I happened to also blog about IJM yesterday, though not as eloquently as you did!

Anonymous said...

Mrs. Dowdy,

It's becuase of teachers like you that I love GACS so much. You take the everyday instances and throw in the gospel someway and give us insight into impacting people in every way. It's because of teachers like you that show interest in all of us (students) lives that we all set high goals like ivy league, seminary, and military. Through the classes i've sat and the clubs i've experienced, i know all of us appreciate what you've done for the whole student body.

-McLaine

Katie said...

Even those of us who have been away from GAC for awhile remember you and your words very well. Keep up the good work girl!