Elizabeth is a sophomore majoring in mechanical engineering in the Lyle School of Engineering. She was awarded a Maguire and Irby Family Foundation Public Service Internship from the Cary M. Maguire Center for Ethics and Public Responsibility at SMU. During summer 2013, Elizabeth is working in Bangalore, India, with the Leave UR Mark organization.
Perkins Theology students, with Professor Evelyn Parker (back row, third from right) and South African guide Dulce (next to Dr. Parker), visit the Seth Mokitimi Methodist Seminary in Pietermaritzburg, KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) South Africa. An update from Jessica, a Perkins School of Theology student studying in South Africa: The first couple days in Cape Town, we were mostly tourists. On Sunday we went to a Methodist service, and then immediately following, we joined church members and served lunch to the homeless. We were humbled by the way they gave of themselves to the people; some of the volunteers were even homeless themselves. There were some mothers with their children, which was very hard to see — but expected. Some [...]
An update from Michelle, a Perkins School of Theology student studying in South Africa: While in Mbadleni, near the borders of Swaziland and Mozambique, we met with Rev. Lucky, Rev. Emmanuel Gabriel, and the people of that area. We met with the Induna—the head chief—and had lunch with him at the government building provided to them after their church was inhabited by snakes. When we were on our four-hour rocky journey to that part of the land, we noticed that we were being escorted by the South African police force. When we asked why we were receiving this treatment he responded, "Because you are Obama's people." Table Mountain overlooking Cape Town, South Africa We were totally taken aback by [...]
An update from Stephen, a Perkins School of Theology student studying in South Africa: As the days go by here in South Africa, I am wrestling with the idea of hope and “hopelessness.” I am having a tough time defining what hopelessness means in the South African context. Hope can easily be diminished due to specific reasons. Maybe it’s the loss of a very important member of your family or friend, or even the fact that your favorite sports team can never reach the point to winning a championship. Squatter camp The point is that we have all found out what it means to have less hope in someone else, or even ourselves in some cases. My true [...]
An update from program director Kathy Windrow: SMU-in-Italy students and trip leaders at the Colosseum in Rome.
It is hard to believe that tomorrow marks the halfway point of my Costa Rican adventure! Heredia is just starting to feel like home as we get into the routine of class, our families and exploring Costa Rica. This weekend was a particularly memorable part of our trip as we traveled to La Fortuna for two days and one night! The trip to La Fortuna is a scenic, four-hour drive through many mountains and valleys. Upon arriving at the Hotel del Silencio del Campo, it is difficult to miss the beauty of the volcano so near to the hotel grounds. Each luxury cabin houses four people, and the cabins are beautifully decorated and maintained. It’s hard to beat relaxing in a natural [...]
An update from Jessica, a Perkins School of Theology student and assistant to Dr. Evelyn Parker, studying in South Africa: Today was the best day yet! Phakamisa children Five of us went with different training teachers at Phakamisa (a Zulu word meaning “to uplift”) to assist them in their work. Phakamisa is a ministry at Pinetown Methodist Church that provides practical teaching skills to educators of pre-school children who live in impoverished areas. Because public education in South Africa is not free, many children cannot afford it. These schools provide pre-school to which they would not otherwise have access. The ministry reaches out to children from birth until 6 years of age, when first grade starts for them. They use [...]
An update from Jessica, a Perkins School of Theology student and assistant to Dr. Evelyn Parker, studying in South Africa: We had such an amazing time touring the Durban area and soaking in all the gorgeous plants and trees and wildlife it had to offer. However, there was a dark side to the city, as well. Our tour guide, Dulce, took us to a place called Squatters, which are camps for immigrant aliens and other poor people who cannot afford housing. There is no running water, electricity or plumbing. The houses are built with sometimes nothing more than cardboard on dirt. I saw people emptying out buckets of water along the roads to wash away their own waste. And trash [...]
The Perkins Global Theological Education Program prepares Christian leaders for complex cultural experiences through seminars and significant immersion experiences in other cultures. Students learn to build intercultural relationships, resolve cultural conflicts and guide intercultural ventures. In South Africa, participants are gaining insights into Christian hope in the region by exploring the political, economic, sexual, racial, and gender-complex experiences of the people of South Africa, and by participating in varieties of church and community-based ministries in Cape Town and Durban. This course is led by Dr. Evelyn L. Parker, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Professor of Practical Theology. Perkins students also are blogging this summer from France at blog.smu.edu/studentadventures/category/theology-in-france/