Today I had a wonderful time at the JFA exhibit! You can go to their website to see the “virtual exhibit” and get a taste of what the display was like. It’s the same thing, just much much bigger!
The idea is to create a debate, then it’s the volunteers’ responsibility to turn that into meaningful dialog. Along with the exhibit, there are three other things used to pull people in. The poll table asks, “should abortion remain legal?”, the free speech boards provide a place to speak your mind in writing, and some kids from a Christian school were taking surveys.
I like the free speech boards, so I went over to one right away. I didn’t have to wait long before a student came over and wrote something about getting rid of humans because they ruin the world. I had decided to ask him about what he was writing before he finished and I knew what a hard case he was going to make! I talked to him anyway, and had a good conversation. In summary, he realized that his view came dangerously close to saying that a person who does something like Hitler did is probably not wrong. As he walked away, I could tell he definitely had a big “pebble in his shoe”. Something that he would have to think about for a while, and cast some doubt in his mind.
I had a few more short encounters before the biggie… I talked with two people for about an hour! Although I didn’t convince them of anything, I was happy with the way things turned out. I believe I was a good ambassador for Christ to them, and that they got a good picture of what His people should look like. I could tell they respected me, even though my views and beliefs differed greatly from their own. I think that because I listened sincerely to them at the beginning of the conversation, they were willing to listen to me later.
After that conversation I felt a little drained. I did talk to another person not too long afterward, but I didn’t feel as strong then. I took a break and talked to some of the JFA staff, and listening to their conversations.
Shortly before tear-down time I took one last opportunity and spoke to a woman who signed the YES abortion should be legal side of the poll table. I asked her if she thought late-term abortion was ok (usually we can find common ground there, because most don’t). She did. She wasn’t even sure that babies had personhood by the age of 1! She was passionately for abortion, though not simply to be used as birth control, since there are better options. By the end of the conversation, neither of us were moved, but it was ok. She was very kind, recognizing my passion, and complimenting my courage to be sharing my beliefs.
In conclusion, I had a great time! I’m excited to be going out again tomorrow!