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Careers: Jordan Bruxvoort

"...Doing my job is a source of material for biblical reflection for me..."

Alumnus: Jordan Bruxvoort, '06
Major: Spanish
Minors: Youth Ministry and International Development Studies
Current position: Community organizer for the Michigan Organizing Project

When I left Calvin in December 2006 with a major in Spanish and minors in youth ministry and international development studies I did not have a clear idea of what to do for a career. During my time at Calvin I had a number of formational experiences in participating in the development program in Honduras and attending several Hispanic evangelical churches. I loved being in fellowship with the people from these churches, especially the youth. My relationships with youth from these churches led me to write my honors thesis on them and how their churches were responding to their unique experience.

As is true for many, my interests and areas of study did not immediately translate into a set career. I spent my first year out of Calvin doing a great variety of jobs such as working as an interpreter in different settings, leading after-school programs for the YMCA and teaching Spanish in adult education courses, surveying religious leaders for Calvin's Center for Social Research, and keeping watch over overpriced goods as a security guard at a high-end women's clothing store. After a while these differents jobs, many of which I held concurrently, left me feeling fragmented and unfulfilled. Eventually I found out about an opportunity to work as community organizer for a church-based organization that extends from Grand Rapids to Kalamazoo. Thankfully I was offered that job by my current employer, the Michigan Organizing Project, and am now working on our campaign for comprehensive immigration reform and to open up job opportunities for those coming out of prison.

Doing my job is a source of material for biblical reflection for me. I enjoy having conversations about the kind of justice God commands of us in the Bible and how that standard of justice translates into the present day. Because I work primarily on immigration and prisoner reentry issues, I reflect most about our immigration and criminal justice systems. I also long to understand more deeply how spiritual disciplines can facilitate our search for justice in such a way that we do not become burnt out or self-focused and self-righteous. As I continue on my journey to seek first the kingdom of God and its holy justice, I trust that God and my Christian community will support and correct me in my pursuit of a life of social action rooted in prayer, Bible Study, and Sabbath rest.