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Young Adult Volunteers
For three days, I joined other Young Adult Volunteers and a diverse group of Christians as we walked from Ghost Ranch to the Sanctuario de Chimayo, a historic church in northern New Mexico. The tiring, trying and transformative 50-mile journey through the beautiful countryside continues to color my spiritual growth. Reflecting now, more than a year later, I smile, remembering a poignant moment of the trek: when we held others in intercessional prayer.
The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)’s ecumenical, faith-based Young Adult Volunteers (YAV) program is taking steps to embrace equity and inclusion in its recruitment and programming. As part of this endeavor, YAV teamed up with World Mission from April 30-May 3 to hold a consultation with people of color at the Ghost Ranch Education & Retreat Center in New Mexico.
While serving as a Presbyterian Young Adult Volunteer (YAV), Cherokee Adams learned about the heavy toll that human trafficking exacts from women caught in its clutches.
During his junior year at Santa Clara University in California, Noah Westfall learned about the need for volunteers to assist new immigrants preparing for U.S. citizenship exams through the Immigration and Citizenship Program in Santa Clara County.
What does it mean to be a Matthew 25 church today? That’s the key question participants in a series of international consultations and U.S. regional gatherings have been addressing through roundtable discussion across the country and around the world.
As the team tore down the last of the vines covering the garden gates, Young Adult Volunteer Regi Jones realized they had just helped to unwrap the gift of Okra Abbey for the Pigeon Town neighborhood in New Orleans.
Many individuals and families are just one paycheck away from homelessness, explained Rachel Eliser, a Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) Young Adult Volunteer (YAV) serving with Safe Parking LA, a nonprofit committed to providing a safe and secure place for vehicle dwellers to sleep. The Safe Parking LA program is modeled after programs in other cities in California, including Santa Barbara, San Diego and San Jose, as well as communities in Washington state and Oregon.
In late January, Daniel Pappas was riding in a van with his video equipment traveling toward the border of Burma (Myanmar). Most people don’t get that kind of opportunity, but to him it’s just another happy step on a path he didn’t know he was taking.
A group of 16 Young Adult Volunteer alum, family and Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) national staff gathered in Puerto Rico earlier this month for a Relief and Reflection Service Trip commemorating the 25th anniversary of the Young Adult Volunteer (YAV) program.
Miriam is a teacher at a public elementary school in her indigenous community in Guatemala. When the government funds for the school hadn’t come halfway through the school year (but had for all of the non-indigenous public schools in the area), she led a march of teachers from their small town in the mountains to the municipal building in Xela, six miles away. Outside the government building, indigenous teachers and parents held a rally and delivered a letter demanding the money allocated for their children’s education.