2024 JPC Learn and Serve Immersive Engagement

Students with Dr. John Perkins at Perkins Foundation in Jackson, Mississippi.

SRPING 2024 Border Encounter with Abara

March 17-21, 2024


On March 17-21, JPC Learn & Serve will take a group of students to El Paso with a Christian Community Development practitioner organization, Abara. Abara seeks to inspire connections beyond borders through mutual understanding, education, and meaningful action.

On this 3-day immersive experience we are invited to listen, learn and reflect on what can the border teach us, who are we meant to become, and how can we engage further from our own social locations. 

On this trip we will:

  • Learn about Abara's story, and local histories, and how they came to doing this work
  • Discover practices of dignified storytelling, ethical volunteerism, and empowerment
  • Understand immigration and migration both nationally and globally
  • Visit shelters, the border fence, and Border Patrol
  • Embrace theologies of place and migration
  • Process current issues such as nationalism and racial (in)justice
  • Lament, reflect, and plan further action

This is not border tourism. We choose to enter this space as guests and learners. We are grateful to Abara to afford us a chance to hear differently and connect across divides, as we join together with students from John Brown University on a journey of learning and reconciliation.

Currently, the estimated price is $650 and is subject to change based on travel rates and our fundraising efforts. Participants will need a current passport, as we will spend some time across the border in Ciudad Juarez. Limited scholarships are available. You can APPLY HERE before January 3, 2024!

We hope to see you there! Follow @jpc_learn_serve on instagram or email mchew@spu.edu to stay updated about the trip!

 Pilgrimage 2023 Write-Up

Two themes stuck out from our June 2022 trip. One was the idea of proximity as highlighted by Dr. John Perkins’ Christian Community Development principle, Relocation. We learned how to listen, inquire, share, and build relationships while sharing our stories with one another throughout the trip. The other theme throughout our trip was “One More River to Cross,” a reflection of the oppression God has delivered us from, and providential discernment of how God is calling us to address justice moving forwards.

Our facilitators talked about the journey from Slavery to Freedom that ties African American History to the story of God's people in Exodus, and the rebuilding of community development reflections from Nehemiah. Overall, this was an incredibly impactful trip as we got to bond with each other, gain relationship with Miss Elizabeth Perkins and our partners at the John and Vera Mae Perkins Foundation, learn more about the Civil Rights movement, participate in devotionals, and be deeply encouraged and empowered by the previous generations of leaders to mobilize in our own generation. We hope to continue facilitating important trips like these as we engage with community partners, form young leaders, and embody reconciliation.


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