A roundtable discussion

STAFF EDITOR Jenny Roemer recently sat down for a discussion with Justin Byrd, Emily Snead, and Catherine Hellman, three young people who've given some specific thought to this week's cover topic. Justin works for a national after-school education program, with offices in low-income communities throughout the country. He also teaches after-school education in Boston. Emily is currently in her sophomore year at Northeastern University and is studying environmental science. Catherine is working on her master's degree in intercultural service, leadership, and management from The School for International Training. Her background is in youth development, and this last year, she worked with refugee youth in Atlanta, most of whom come from Africa or countries in Asia that are in conflict.

Jenny: We're talking today about living a life that blesses others. On a fundamental level, why would someone make the decision to follow Jesus' example? What's the motivation for walking that path? Because, often, it doesn't seem easy.

Catherine: The thing that has always come to me in relation to this topic is from the Bible. Jesus tells his disciples, "Freely ye have received, freely give" (Matt. 10:8). And this idea has actually been kind of an inspiration to me throughout my undergrad and graduate studies. God gives us blessings freely every day, and so the way we pay Him back is by giving to others. That's really what motivates me. Also, to me, service is actually a way of proving that God is real. He's here now, and loving each one of us.

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January 12, 2009

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