Wednesday brother-in-law Henry joined me as I took my act on the road back to Johnson Town. Johnson Town wants to develop—they want a school, clinic, a church, and commerce. They also want to tackle some sticky psychosocial issues, like what to do with young men returning after fighting in a very dirty war, or how to address alcoholism in the community, or how to address conflict in a more healthy way. Working with staff from the MPCHS Womens' Program, I’ll be there regularly for the next few months establishing trust and building relationship that may allow me to serve them in practical ways on these issues. This week, we conducted what is called an “appreciative inquiry,” which basically means asking members to look positively at the community—what are its strengths and resources, what makes it unique, who are its leaders, what are its dreams. From there we begin a process of tapping into all that positive energy to help them make good things happen.
After our time is over, participants head home, chairs in hand.