Last week was the Waterloo International Development program’s ‘Capstone’ program. We spent the week debriefing our experiences, culminating with a final presentation before our peers and professors. I talked about my experience of power in Malawi, and how I struggled to use it well:
After the presentation, one of the panelists, Hari Stirbet, who had taught me two courses, asked me a question. As best as I can remember, here is how it went:
Hari: “I’m going to be a little bit politically incorrect here and ask a question. Jacob, I know that spirituality has shaped you significantly- that you are a Christian. How has that impacted your understanding and what you said?”
Me: “Well, the last thing that I said in the presentation — thank you, for this question— that power is to be given for others.
For me, that has been shaped by Jesus. If you look at the life on Jesus, just before he was executed, he was eating dinner with his friends or disciples, and in the Gospel of John it records that “Jesus knew that all power and authority had been given to him”, and then he gets up and gets a towel and washes his disciples feet.
And whether you believe in Jesus as the Son of God, or even as a great teacher, you see that he had all this power and he used it to serve and give for others. And so for me, this understanding of power has come from knowing Jesus”