I have begun a new journey as of August, when I officially started my 1-year service placement in Albuquerque, New Mexico with the partnership of the Young Adult Volunteers Program (YAV), Presbyterian Church, USA.
Upon graduation, I would have been sharing all about my joy and anticipation in my original placement in Los Angeles – however, like many things in life, there are hiccups and curve-balls that change the plans. I’m here as a testimony of someone who knows that the change of location is not the change of my calling – the calling of God is far deeper than going to the big city!
Through the transition of being re-placed with a new volunteer site, I gained the eye-opening perspective about the difference of expectations and expectancy. I found myself thinking that “what hurts the most in hearing about this adjustment is the fact that I’ve been anticipating and hoping in all the things that were going to come from that opportunity…” and then I had that God-moment! Hope isn’t merely having expectations – but it is living with expectancy. Expectations have an end-value, like all those real places and people I had imagined and hoped to be serving alongside, but expectancy requires so much more surrender to God and faith that it is not going to be how I imagined it, but exactly how God desires it. In result, this experience has gifted me with so much more faith for this vision and adventure!
As graduation from Schreiner University (’17) approached, I wrestled with this desire to answer the call of service and missions, while also feeling the pressures to directly enter our career-driven world immediately upon graduation. Schreiner’s mission statement to prepare us for meaningful work and purposeful lives in a changing global society, plus my own experience through travel, academics, and ministry that has shaped me professionally and spiritually – I believe there is no better opportunity then now to grow and give back. I desire to use this opportunity of singleness and willingness to go, to do something unmistakably purposeful and experience an unforgettable sense of community, through this dedicated year of service.
What will I be doing?
Through the partnership of YAV and the Albuquerque site, I have been partnered with a local mission and ministry, Camino de Vida. Here I’ll be working in just about every area of ministry that Camino de Vida offers their community, which will include Administration and Marketing, assisting with local food distributions, co-leading English classes, participating and engaging with the congregation through Friday, fellowship nights and Sunday services, and much more! I hope to gain an increased level of understanding that this diverse, migrant community faces on the daily in the South Valley of Albuquerque.
My fellow volunteers and I will be living together in an intentional community on the campus of a Presbyterian-afflicted boarding school, exploring our spiritual and vocational discernment, and challenging ourselves to practice simple living.
How can you be a part of this year with me?
- THROUGH LOTS OF PRAYER! I ask for prayers for myself and the other volunteers, for the interactions that will be formed within the community and with strangers, and for those who I will humbly be serving.
- FOLLOWING MY BLOG! Through my blog, you’ll be able to connect to my YAV life and experiences!
- BY BEING A SPONSOR! I invite you to be a valuable partner in this year-long journey, by assisting me in my efforts to fund this year of service. The program costs $4,000, which will cover all accommodations and living expenses.
- Deadlines: $2,000 due by July 1, 2017 and the remaining $2,000 by January 2018.
With a grateful heart of thanks, Claire Lewis, email@example.com