She’s Got The Whole World in Her Hands
By Kay Carney
R
ochelle Rawls-Shaw is tak-
ing on the world! The SFTS
Master of Divinity student is
interning at the United Nations in New
York, a position she hoped for but was
not sure was going to materialize. Her
prayers were answered and the obstacles
that appeared in her path that would
have thwarted the internship opportu-
nity were overcome.
Rawls-Shaw is interning with the
Presbyterian Ministry at the United
Nations, whose mission is to share in-
formation about how the United Na-
tions addresses humanitarian issues
and concerns that affect all of human-
ity. “This internship is exposing me
to a world much larger than the one I
read about in the classroom. It is en-
abling me to see the value of what I have
learned about ministry from professors
and theologians, and it has taught me
the value of theological reflection as
well as the value of education,” stated
Rawls-Shaw.
When Rawls-Shaw arrived in New
York, the wonders of the world literally
opened up before her. She has been in
the same room with national and world
leaders and attended conferences where
heads of state have spoken. While at-
tending the UN General Assembly,
Rawls-Shaw listened to an address
by Mahmoud Ahmadinejad,
president of the Islamic Repub-
lic of Iran, as well as leaders from
Egypt, United Kingdom, Japan, Libya,
China and Germany.
Rawls-Shaw also heard speeches
by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin
Netanayahu, and Mahmoud Abbas,
Chairman of the Palestinian Libera-
tion Organization and President of the
Palestinian Authority regarding mem-
bership at the United Nations. “I have
come to realize how much all human
beings are connected, and I have met
people and established relationships
with people from all over the world,”
said Rawls-Shaw.
Rawls-Shaw’s most memo-
rable experience so far was
a front-row seat at a high-
level discussion on end-
ing child marriage, fea-
turing Archbishop
Desmond
Tutu.
The opening statement was given by
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon
and the moderator was Ann Curry of
NBC News. She was especially moved
by a young woman who spoke of how
her life was changed when her father
supported her getting an education and
not forcing her tomarry at 9 years of age.
“I felt so very different at this event,
like I belonged there. I felt like this was
a gift from God, that He had chosen
me so I could be the hands He’s using
to help with this issue,” she said. “I
talked with the moderator, Ann Curry,
and thanked her for her compassionate
questions, and before we parted, we
embraced. God is awesome...and so is
my internship!”
Rawls-Shaw’s internship has vali-
dated her perspective that ministry
exists beyond the walls of the church.
“God the Creator is the God of all hu-
man beings, including those who gath-
er together inside a church to worship,
as well as those who worship through
other means, outside of the church.
God has revealed himself to me once
again, through my internship; for
which I am humbled and deeply
grateful.”
Kay Carney is vice president
of communications.
PresbyterianMinistry at the UnitedNations director Rev.W. MarkKoenig and Rochelle Rawls-Shaw.
10
SFTS CHIMES | Fall 2012
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