We are too afraid. We’re afraid of the uncertainties of this life. We’re afraid of the people around us; terrified less of what harm they may do, then of the truths they may teach us of ourselves. I can’t help but feel that I have grown up in a culture that feels an urge to reach out to those around them, yet gets nowhere, either out of fear, or a lack of courage to act on faith; always waiting for the other person to take the first step. This trip taught me more than I could have imagined about the goodness of others, and of taking that first step. We put ourselves out there, stripped of the usual comforts of our surroundings, and I believe God rewarded us for that. Everywhere we went, people opened their homes to us, and asked nothing in return. Strangers gave directions, or advice. They expressed genuine concern and curiosity for our safety and cause on the road. They were willing to talk with us. They shared a piece of their ever-complicated lives with us, and for this I am grateful. There is so much love that can be shared in the act of simple conversation. The sad irony is, we live in an increasingly connected world that increasingly lacks true human connection. The concept of true community with others has been mostly forgotten in our society, and if there is community, we label it “intentional.” Shouldn’t our lifestyles require community with one another? Throughout our trip, we were blessed to experience more than a few instances of community, whether it was at the Shrine in Harlem, at Mollie’s house, or even just the four of us in the van. Personally, I felt as if I experienced community at each home we stayed at. We shared our lives with one another, even if only in the smallest amounts. At the heart of it, the purpose of this trip, at least from my point of view, was fairly simple: to get out of our comfort zones, to explore our world, to connect with those who we might not normally encounter, and to strengthen our connection to those that we would. Relating with another person’s successes and struggles; letting your life both impact and be impacted by another individual on an intimate level, let’s you see the world in a whole new light, in which our humanity is made more complete in our community with one another. We hold the potential to become connected both spiritually and emotionally; valuing each other as fellow human beings, of God’s Creation. And this connection, in my opinion, is exactly what this world needs.