Tell us a bit about yourself
My name is Sarah Stripp; I’m 20 years old and going into my Junior year at Calvin College. I’ve enjoyed spending my past few summers (including this one) working at Camp Roger, which is a Christian youth camp. Our mission is to show God’s love through experiences in community and God’s creation to all of God’s children from a wide variety of social and economic backgrounds. I am majoring in Secondary Education for English, but as far as career goals go there are a lot of different options running around in my head, and I am excited to see where God is leading me!
What inspired you to become a creative activist?
This past Advent season, I was looking for an Advent themed devotional to work through and stumbled across one by World Vision. This got me interested in a lot more of their specific programs and initiatives, which soon brought me to ACT:S. I also really wanted to challenge myself during Lent this year, so once the Relentless Acts of Sacrifice challenge was put up, I was hooked! So I guess in some ways, the liturgical church season led me to be a creative activist! But also, the past two years have taught me about how essential the pursuit of justice is for our Christian faith. I have been challenged a lot to get outside of my little Christian bubble and start looking to the needs of my brothers and sisters in Christ all over the world, and being a creative activist is a great way to do that!
What does being a creative activist mean to you?
To me, being a creative activist means giving up some of your comfort in order to serve others in their needs. I have never thought of myself as a very creative person, but rather the person who puts other people’s ideas into action. However, I’m realizing that there are a lot of different sides to creativity and even if I’m not the most artistic or imaginative person in the world, doing things to shake up my daily routine that help me stay focused and in prayer for others or being willing to ask my friends and family to give to others rather than buying me a present for Christmas can be part of being a creative activist.
What is one way you have learned to do justice in your everyday life?
I think doing justice in our everyday lives is something that often seems daunting and impossible because we view justice as fixing big things “out there” in the world, while failing to see little injustices right before our eyes. A huge part of doing justice involves having a basic respect for all people and working to make sure every person is able to flourish. Personally, I have been convicted lately to both forgive and ask for forgiveness of those around me that I have hurt and been hurt by because I have realized that if I really want to work towards the goal of restoring broken relationships through “bigger” acts of justice, then I first must learn how to properly restore the relationships in my own life rather than pushing down feelings of bitterness and resentment.
What is your favorite project, resource, or act:ion that you’ve created or been involved in so far?
My favorite project with ACT:S so far was a malaria awareness event that a few of my friends and I did at school this past spring. Ending malaria has been something I have been passionate about for a long time because my aunt was a missionary nurse in Eritrea for many years, so I grew up hearing stories about the disease and how many deaths came with it. So, in mid-April we combined a few of our dorms together and used our Wednesday night worship time to talk about doing justice in our Christian walk, with a specific focus on ending malaria. It was beautiful to see how many people chose to take time out of their night to come and support it, and how many people were even willing to donate money from their college student budget and write letters to support the ending of malaria.
Check out more of Sarah’s activism here!