YAV alums think young adult mission is critical
August 19, 2017
Eight years ago, a mission co-worker and YAV site coordinator visited a little church in Laramie, Wyoming, and met five students in the college group to share information about the PC(USA)’s Young Adult Volunteer program. Two of those students, Kendra and Karl, were fresh-faced 22-year-olds with dreams of teaching college mathematics (Karl) and designing the future infrastructure and skylines of the country (Kendra). Two years later, they were serving as YAVs in Northern Ireland. A year after that they served as YAVs in Tucson, Arizona.
Today Karl Heimbuck is a rural pastor and hospice chaplain with dreams of a new reformation for the church, and his wife, Kendra, is working to provide affordable housing in one of the wealthiest counties in the United States. They recently reflected on their YAV experience, saying:
“These are hardly the calls we dreamt we would find prior to serving in the YAV program. But that is the beauty of a year of service and the reason we continue to support the YAV program today. This program not only reveals a new way of seeing the world to its participants, but it reveals within those individuals the talents and drive to engage with that new worldview in ways that are both fulfilling and justice-seeking. Through our placements, we experienced an intersection of faith and action that opened our eyes and hearts to a way of living that reaches beyond our own comforts, stabilities and perceptions of safety and toward the life we believe God has called us to live. Our continued support of the YAV program expresses our hope and confidence that it will do for others what it has done for us: expand their worldview and open them to a multitude of new ways to respond to the call to act justly, love mercy and to walk humbly with our God (Micah 6:8).”
Kendra and Karl served in Northern Ireland in 2011–12 and Tucson in 2012–13. They now make their home in western Wyoming, where Kendra is the executive director for Habitat for Humanity of the Greater Teton Area and Karl is pastor at First Presbyterian Church in Mountain View, Wyoming.
To make a gift of support to the YAV program, visit
Richard Williams, Coordinator of Young Adult and National Volunteers, World Mission
Today’s Focus: Young Adult Volunteer Program
Let us join in prayer for:
Presbytery of Wyoming Staff
Joe Norris, moderator
Eric Wedell, moderator of council
R. Mark Owens, stated clerk
Caroline Carver, treasurer
Steve Shive, general presbyter
Alayne Stevens, administrative assistant
Richard Turner, email communications facilitator
PC(USA) Agencies’ Staff
Let us pray:
Loving God, we lift up young adults as they work to spread your love in word and deed. May they be an inspiration for us as we seek to serve you. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.