Presbyterian Church (U.S.A) Blogs

A Year of Service

Ashes to Life

by Essie Reinke (Northern Ireland, 2013-14) Each year, as the season of spring begins and the cold nights of winter pass, I become aware of the wilderness that has been growing around me; The wilderness of busyness that I use to stay occupied; The wilderness of relationships that sustain, drain, or remind me of just… Read more »

Following Christ

by Rachel Potts-Wells (India, 2011-12)  Peter began to say to him, “Look, we have left everything and followed you.” Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields, for my sake and for the sake of the good… Read more »

On Being Faithful and Accountable

by Stephanie Quintana Martínez (Tucson, ’12-’13) Dear YAV class of 2016, Greetings from New York City! Over the last couple of weeks, I have felt so many feelings and done a variety of things as I attempt to make sense of the world around me. From writing papers at Union Theological Seminary to protesting immigration raids… Read more »

For Where You Are & Where You Aren’t, Yet…

In international education and intercultural training, we always talk about the W-Curve. The Curve illustrates the ups and downs that one experiences during the culture shock of being in a new situation. Most of the time, I think the W-Curve is a load of bologna. There’s no one-size-fits-all illustration of how we will react to… Read more »

Times They are a-Changin’

“Keep your eyes wide, the chance won’t come again…for the times they are a-changin’”             – Bob Dylan I’m looking forward to Thanksgiving a little more than usual this year. Now I live back in the West where I grew up, this will be the first Thanksgiving since before I served as a YAV that… Read more »

Quotes and Questions

For as long as I can remember, I have loved good quotes. I am 100% an introvert, so when I need a break from real life community, quotes remind me of the great, justice-seeking cloud of witnesses, past and present, who have sought wholeness and freedom for the whole human family. Read more »

Stop. Breathe. Go.

by David Wigger, YAV-Kenya 2011-12   “Go forth from your land, your people, and the home of your parents, and go to place I will show you” -Genesis 12:1- There is a something calling you, but you cannot see it. It leads you to a path and you follow it, until you come across a… Read more »

Finishing Well

Hello all you wonderful people and welcome to summer! Whether you’re wading through the cool humidity of Northern Ireland or the dry heat of Hollywood, the arrival of July launches us into a brand-new season. And, for that matter, the last season of your YAV year. You all are amazing. You have made it through… Read more »

Core Tenet Focus: Cross-Cultural Mission

By Richard Williams | YAV Program Coordinator Sometimes words can stop us in our tracks, and open us up to the powerful ways that God is at work all around us. In this month’s reflection, YAV alum Emily Brewer (Guatemala, Nashville, ’09-’11) shares about hearing those kinds of words – and how they have continued… Read more »


Photo of Alissa King By Rev. Alissa King | St. Philip Presbyterian Church, Hurst, Texas   I have a tendency to feel that I have not done enough. At the end of my YAV year I found myself thinking about the times where I had sequestered myself in my room or not connected with someone as much as I wished…. Read more »