Deacon Kevin White recently wrote to tell us a bit more about his Peace Corps placement in Morocco.The Rev. Deacon Kevin White Eight-minute read. Resources
This year Advent, Christmas, and New Year were spent in Morocco as a Peace Corps Volunteer. After two years of preparation for service, here I am.
A friend asked me a few questions about my work and time spent in Morocco so far. This is as fine a time as any to give an update on what I am doing.
I arrived in Morocco on September 9th, 2019. For the first three months, I was not often near a Christian Church. For Advent and Christmas, I have been praying the daily office and doing a little extra reading of the Bible. I like to read the Epistles written by Paul, especially. I only have four books with me, The Bible, The Book of Common Prayer, The Rule of Saint Benedict (with commentary), and The Cost of Discipleship, D. Bonhoeffer. These have been my daily companions throughout the Advent and Christmas season.
What type of work are you doing?
Officially I am here to help the young people and youth of Morocco. There are 175 volunteers in Morocco, we work with our communities on youth development projects. The most common way of working with the youth is to help them to develop their English language skills. The government of Morocco likes this idea best. The second best way to do this is to help the youth develop life skills that will assist them throughout their lives as citizens of the world. I see this working every day in the Peace Corps throughout the world. I am working with a local organization at their youth center, and I am partnering with two individuals who do street outreach. I am very fortunate to have met them and look forward to our future collaboration.
How would you describe the country and the people you have met?
The people I have met are just delightful. The two families I have lived with are the most loving and caring people imaginable, The Morrocan friendships I am forming are very unique for me personally. I am spending time every day with the family and friends of my current host and this is quite an experience. Large family gatherings seem to pop up weekly. I have been told many times by this new group that they love me and that I am now a member of the family. I am thousands of miles away from home, and every day I bear witness to the true Spirit of God at work in all of his creation. I have met many lovely people in Morocco, and so far, they have exceeded my expectations of kindness. The country has many different types of living spaces, rural, urban, and suburban. My city is an urban historical Portuguese trading port and a very popular worldwide destination. It is a seaside city, and it is new for me to have the beach so near. I have also been introduced to the European ex-pat community. That will be a discussion for another time, I am sure.
What has surprised you the most thus far?
The thing that has surprised me so far is just how quickly I am adapting to the world around me. I like this new experience, and I like not knowing what I am doing here really, because I believe we are doing something great. Still, I won’t see the results of my work, The real effects of the work I am doing may not be realized for many years. For example – I have a new friend, He is a three-year-old and the son of my host. He is a terrific kid and so so very Moroccan. He imitates everyone around him. After being here two days, he began to refer to me as “OK.” After a time, he began to call me, “Yes, OK.” His father says he talks about me all the time and is usually concerned if I am late for tea.
My faith has been greatly increased by being in Morocco. My faithfulness to being a Christian is deeper, and my love of the people of God is growing daily.