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Dwelling in the Kingdom: Essay Topics

For grades 7 and up:

Lay Missioner Coralis Salvador offers thought-provoking insights and wisdom. Have each student choose a topic (listed below) that most speaks to him or her and write an essay, a persuasive argument, blog, newspaper article, etc.

1. The importance of flexibility and creativity in solving problems: Salvador speaks of the different ways she helps the many caregivers of AIDS orphans. How are they creative? Why must they be flexible? How does my creativity and flexibility help me solve problems? Will I use these skills with challenges I may face in the future? Do I know of others who show these abilities?

2. Being present in the moment: When Salvador first arrived in Kenya, she was struck by the Kenyans' ability to take joy in the moment and not be caught up in needing to control a situation. What example did she give for this? Do I find joy in the moment or do I look ahead constantly? How do I feel when I am control of a situation, and when I am not?

3. A Divine Presence in the moment: Salvador has learned to allow "the moment to shine, allowing the Divine Presence to be there in your relationships." Do I ever sense God in others? Can I look at a friend and step back and understand that God may be coming to me through my friend?

4. Going beyond my own borders: Salvador speaks of going beyond yourself, which is a kind of border you take with you everywhere. She asks, "are you willing to open up that border and let people in, and allow yourself to be taken in by other people, and in the process you grow into something unique, a more beautiful person?"

5. Listening with the heart: When Salvador first came to Kenya, she was still learning the local language. She could not speak with people yet, but found if she listened with her heart, she still had a strong connection with people. Have I ever had that experience? How can I listen as much with my heart as with my sense of hearing?