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#jvreflects: let it rise – jvc northwest blog

In the latest #JVReflects blog post, current JV Rachel Swenarton reflects on how baking bread from scratch is more than just a new hobby: it’s also a metaphor in understanding her JV service at a needle exchange program in Anchorage. Below is an excerpt from her piece on Ignatian Solidarity Network’s blog.

 

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“If the creation of fresh bread is indeed a metaphor, then I can’t help but think about the ways in which I have been kneaded since my arrival in Anchorage, Alaska. No experience of service has left my stomach in knots as much as operating a needle exchange program. Folks, mainly injection drug users or family members of injection drug users, come to us with used syringes and leave with clean syringes and information on safer practices.

The literature told me that the harm reduction model for public health epidemics worked. It was cost efficient and communities with syringe access programs were correlated to fewer infectious diseases and drug overdoses. Despite this, my day-to-day personal experience of having challenging conversations with struggling people left me feeling hopeless. I was finally living as the “contemplative in action” I had heard about for so long…”

Read Rachel’s full reflection on Ignatian Solidarity Network’s #JVReflects blog here.

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Zayna Abusada

(She/her/hers)
JVC Northwest Recruiter

Zayna Abusada (Ashland, MT ’17-18, Anchorage, AK ’18-19) was most recently a JV in south-central Alaska serving with immigrant and refugee English-Language learners as the Academy for Citizenship and Civics Support Specialist with the Alaska Literacy Program (ALP) in Anchorage. Zayna first served with Indigenous students on the Northern Cheyenne and Crow Reservations. Originally from Iowa City, Iowa, Zayna went on to earn her undergraduate degree in History and Theological Studies with a minor in Middle Eastern Studies at Saint Louis University.