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Young Adult Volunteers
Like many high school graduates, Mindy Vande Brake was searching for purpose in her life. The St. Cloud, Minnesota native went to college close to home, but couldn’t settle on a major that she found exciting. She decided to get some work experience and found herself in the restaurant industry.
One day, while taking a break from studying in the Duke Divinity School library, I got into a conversation that would change the course of my family’s life. As I talked with a stranger, I learned he was the only person in the world with a Ph.D. in New Testament, which is also my field of study, who could speak the particular language of the country where he was training Christians for ministry. This really struck me.
Anyone who has dealt with conflict that lasts for years knows how difficult it can be to re-establish a bond with “the other side.” Even if that conflict ended a long time ago. Those are some of the challenges faced by the Rev. Doug Baker, one of the 2017 International Peacemakers visiting the U.S. this fall.
Five core tenets—intentional Christian community, simple living, cross-cultural mission, leadership development and vocational discernment—resonate with participants at each of the Young Adult Volunteer (YAV) program’s 21 sites. To better show how YAVs engage in these principles, the YAV program has begun a series of Instagram account “takeovers,” where individual sites are allotted a 2-3 day period during which their images and stories will be featured at @yavprogram.
The Young Adult Volunteer (YAV) program’s final application date for international placement is fast-approaching. Candidates interested in placement at one of the five international sites must apply by February 1. Current YAVs are in the process of taking over the program’s Instagram account (@yavprogram) to showcase each site’s partner organizations and also highlight everyday living.
Consistently ranked as one of America’s best places to live, the growth Asheville, North Carolina has also been accompanied by the challenges that face many other expanding cities, and Presbyterian Young Adult Volunteers (YAVs) are there to learn and
Reconciliation is the active process of healing broken relationships. Many believe coming together for healing is one of the greatest challenges facing our country today. Some believe it can never happen, but after 37 years as a Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) mission co-worker in Northern Ireland, Doug Baker knows the power of acceptance, forgiveness and relationship building.
The Young Adult Volunteer (YAV) program of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) announced today the addition of Albuquerque as a new site for its 2017-18 program year. Partnered with the Presbytery of Santa Fe, the site has been two years in development and will be the only new YAV site added in 2017-18.
Beyond the white sand beaches, palm trees and luxury oceanfront properties lies another Miami—in the lives of marginalized people who have arrived in this city full of promise and culture. Three Young Adult Volunteers (YAVs) from the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) are focusing their energies on residents of this other Miami, spending a year of service and learning in the community.
Tackling complex societal issues is never an easy task, but thanks to the creative talents in Presbyterian Disaster Assistance (PDA), congregations have access to original films that can serve as “conversation starters” for their ministry and community.