Student Pursues Peace in Northern Ireland
February 8, 2012 | 10:08 a.m.
By Alennah Westlund ’14
Sarah Mikul discusses her study abroad experience in a library forum.
For senior Sarah Mikul, sitting in a classroom learning about reconciliation was not enough: she wanted to experience it firsthand. After a few influential professors sparked her passion for reconciliation ministry, Mikul traveled to Magee College in Derry, Northern Ireland, to study peace and justice issues. She recently shared her overseas experiences in a Bethel University library forum.
Mikul discussed how her trip abroad changed her definitions of peace and justice. After her experience in Derry, Mikul had a better understanding of peace: “Peace is not just a cessation of violence,” she explains, “but rather it is something unexplainable that you recognize when you don’t have it. It is best described as an unrest where pain is still present and division is rampant.” She also began to understand that justice is a transformative experience for both parties in a conflict. “…In order to have true justice,” she says, “there must be redemption of the past, present, and future, which means that both the wronged and wrongdoer must be transformed.”
Working with Mission Worldwide, a ministry that seeks to rescue children from sex trafficking, Mikul’s passion for justice continued to be fueled, causing her to consider moving to Northern Ireland this year. However, she believes that “…at this moment in time God has something else in store, and I am confident that He will reveal it to me when the time is right.” She continues to work with Mission Worldwide, scheduling church speaking engagements for its founders and raising support. After graduating this spring, she plans to travel to Mozambique, Africa, for missionary training school.