Journey to Harmony Reflection: Ashley Barnd, Evergreen Church – Bloomington

Sankofa Journey to Harmony

Earlier this month I was privileged with the opportunity to go on the Sankofa trip Civil Rights Movement tour with about 30 Twin Cities Pastors. The trip was so dynamic, intense and complex that capturing my thoughts and emotions will be difficult. None the less, I’m going to give it a shot in an attempt to share even a smidgen with you.

Going into the trip I expected to be interested and intrigued by the sites and events but was not prepared for the level of emotions that arose within me.

For many years, I have been wanting to make an impact in the area of racial reconciliation. It’s my belief that we are not far from where were in the 50’s and 60’s.

we are not far from where were in the 50’s and 60’s.
It may look different today, but so many injustices remain. In visiting sites where tragic and awesome things happened 60 years ago, had me feeling a deep visceral connection with the people who came before me. They inspire me to keep pressing regardless of the enormity of the task ahead.

Let me back up and tell you a little bit about myself. My name is Ashley. I am biracial, my mother is Caucasian and my father is African American. My cousins are biracial as well; Caucasian and Mexican. Growing up in this diverse environment, it seemed natural to me for people of different races to love one another. I was ignorant to the difficulties that my parents must have faced being together during that time. Even as I’ve grown older and gained a deeper knowledge of the racial challenges that fester within our society, I still struggle to understand why some people have such a hard time with people that are different from them.

God made us different because he thinks it is beautiful.
I absolutely believe God made us different because he thinks it is beautiful. One day we will get to heaven and will better understand this through his eyes. We will be in awe of his creation, we will see the differences between us as amazing beautiful creative expressions of HIM. Until that day though, there is work to be done in bringing some reconciliation between his people.

One of the most amazing parts of the trip was sharing this incredible experience with people from all different backgrounds. There were different races, but also different denominations, ages, etc. We went in as strangers and came out a diverse united group of brothers and sisters.

We went in as strangers and came out a diverse united group of brothers and sisters.
This reaffirmed in me something God has been continually placing on my heart, which is that we have to come together as the Church, as a people. We cannot let our differences and preferences cause so much division. I know that unity is possible if we extend the love that Christ has given to us for one another.

I am so completely thankful that I got to go on this trip. It was honestly life changing. If you ever are presented the opportunity to do this trip jump at the chance.

Ashley Barnd and her husband Kevin are in ministry at Evergreen Church – Bloomington.

  1. Ashley,
    Thanks for your passion and honesty in sharing the intensity of emotion you experienced. It was a joy to journey with you on the trip. So grateful for your continued efforts to pursue harmony, especially in the church.
    United with you,

  2. Thanks for sharing your heart and your God-given desire for unity for His Kingdom! May He keep using you as His light in a dark world. Love you, sister in Christ!

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