Saturday, July 31, 2010

Update! And an exciting one at that.

 Hello everyone! I am happy to report that I have officially met my fund raising goal of $6500! I am so thankful to all who have supported me and given from their hearts to my year of service. It is a great relief to have this task accomplished before I head down to NOLA on August 17. Any other donations received in my name will go to benefit the YAV program or possibly a small fund designated to my transition to the real world following my one year term.

I just found out that in addition to me there will be 5 other YAVs living in the house together in New Orleans! Like me, most of them are recent college grads and they are from all over the country. I am looking forward to meeting these sure to be amazing people and living and growing in a community with them throughout the next year. I am so glad I will be surrounded by people going through the same process as me.

I also found out my official job placement. I will be splitting my time each week between Faith Presbyterian Church and First Presbyterian Church. Both are small churches that suffered from Katrina and parts of the their buildings were destroyed and they lost many members. I will play a part in helping these churches get back on their feet. Some tasks I will be doing are:
  • Being in charge of leading young adult gatherings as part of "Thirst for the World" campaign 
  • Working with the youth groups
  • Working preschool children during Vacation Bible School
  • Working with a campaign called "Project Welcome Home" which supports soldiers returning from duty
  • Helping out the church secretary with newsletter, website, etc. (Putting that English degree to use no doubt!

So that is just a little taste of the plan right now. I leave two weeks from Tuesday. I am incredibly excited but equally nervous. Cooking for myself will prove to be a challenge in itself. :)  But I fully trust God and what he has planned for me during this next year. The more I hear about the resilience and love and strength of New Orleans, the more I feel confident in my decision to go some place I have never been. I am ready to be soaked in a completely new culture, to be thrown out of my comfort zone, to see God's love working in ways I never thought possible. But most importantly, I want to reach out and touch lives and help people. I want to do all I can to make a difference.  I am very eager to watch my gifts unfold and see where these gifts meet the world's needs or specifically the needs of this city.

Tomorrow I am off to Key West for a week with the family. Then the following week I am going to Austin,TX for the first time with some of my high school buds to visit our friend who is currently in Grad school there. Then on August 17 it's off to NOLA and then to New York where all YAVS will spend a week at orientation. It's going to be a crazy month of traveling for sure!  Even though it will be hectic and chaotic and overwhelming and scary and thrilling I know that God will be stable for me through the beginning of this journey. He will be the solid ground I stand on as my world shakes, stirs and bends to this new chapter.

I am trying to free my mind of all worries and expectations and just be open to an incredible new experience and opportunity I have found. So glad all my supporters can share in this experience with me. Again, I am forever grateful for everyone's love and kindness. Thank you for being a part of this very very special time in my life. Talk to you soon!!


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