Student at the Global Anabaptist Peacebuilders (GAP) Institute came from across the country to gather for a week in Fresno, Calif. to learn together what it means, as an Anabaptist, to respond with the love of Christ in an increasingly interconnected world.
International Volunteer Exchange Program (IVEP) participant James Kisku of Bangladesh serving in Riverside, Calif. stands on a rock near Glacier Point in Yosemite National Park. "This is the best place I have been," Kisku said of Yosemite National Park.
Care for Creation class leaders Michael Kunz and Tim Geddert walk with participant Kendra Siani Bravo in the San Joaquin River Parkway where the class learned about the river systems and cared for the parkway by picking up trash.
A regular component of the GAP Institute is a trip to Yosemite National Park where students explored the National Park and were able to learn about the diversity around them and the diversity of among the students.
Participants Gerberth Chacaj Morales (Portland, Oreg.) and Priscilla Rodriguez (Alice, Texas) visit the Cesar Chavez Center in Keene, Calif. as part of the Migration and Resettlement class. Through visiting the Center, participants explored issues of labor in the Central Valley of California through the lens of farmworkers.
Participants in the Food Security class visit T.D. Wiley organic farms to learn about how organic farming can alter food systems. Daisy Cardenas (Reedley, Calif.) said "I learned that things aren't always what they seemed. There are so many different sides to an issue, but we can all try to make a change starting with ourselves."
Pacific Southwest Mennonite Conference Minister Dick Davis, class instructors Tim Geddert and Michael Kunz, and Jana Gingerich from Pacific Northwest Mennonite Conference explain to each other what brought them to GAP Institute during the opening session. Conference and church leaders from the West Coast region joined GAP Institute for two days to speak with participants about what it means to be an Anabaptist and leadership in the church.
The Restorative Justice class displays their newly granted certificates in Conflict Resolution and Peacemaking. Students participated in the training to learn more about how vicitims and offenders can come together to resolve and transform conflict.