This year I realized I have been abroad exactly half the year of 2009. In January I went to the Middle East with the famous Patty Shelly and some wonderful people in the class Jerusalem Seminar for interterm. That was also my first experience outside of the United States. This was an incredibly eye-opening time that led me to question the foundation of faith I stand on as well as the “justice” our nation proclaims. I came back to Bethel to enjoy a challenging semester, bid farewell to new friends who were graduating, and I packed my bags once again to leave for Ecuador in July for the remainder of the year. I saw that my time in the Middle East was a preparation for me to encounter many acts of injustice in other countries, and I was intrigued to hear opinions of students from various colleges in the United States, as well as students from Ecuador. I also met a number of new people this year. I asked God to teach me to love deeply, and I saw and felt deep love demonstrated through friends and family around me in Ecuador and back home. Throughout my time in Ecuador I frequently listened to a particular song by David Crowder Band. It is called “Surely We Can Change.” When I did a final presentation in Ecuador for one of my classes, I used this song to show my desire for our world. “All the love in the world is right here among us, and hatred too. So we must choose what our hands will do. Where there is pain, let there be grace. Where there is suffering, bring serenity. For those afraid, help them be brave. Where there is misery, bring expectancy. And surely we can change, surely we can change something.” I pray that with this New Year, our world would embrace the change that is inevitable and strive to mejorar (better) each little nook and cranny of this planet that we live in. Peace be with you.