This year I have committed to spend a year in Peru with the Young Adult Volunteer program through the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). I will be serving and working for eleven months with the Presbyterian Mission Agency program partner Red Uniendo Manos Peru (The Peru Joining Hands Network). The YAV program has five core values:
- Intentional Community: YAVs explore what it means to be a community with one another and their neighbors. While some will live in housing together and others spread throughout their country, all YAVs will reflect together on their service and explore their relationship with God, the church, and their ministry in a broken world.
- Simple Living: YAVs are challenged to practice simple living-living an abundant life with less. Living simply challenges YAVs to evaluate their true needs within their lifestyle in beliefs.
- Cross-cultural Mission: YAVs will intentionally explore the diversity of God's creation, living and working outside of their comfort zone. YAVs will work to confront the systemic challenges of race, class, gender, and power, while learning to examine their own lives and actions.
- Leadership Development through Faith in Action: YAVs develop their leadership by serving in marginalized communities alongside local people of faith responding to poverty, violence, and injustice in their communities, sharing the gospel through word and deed.
- Vocational Discernment: Through theological reflection and spiritual practices, YAVs will participate in the process of vocational discernment-unearthing God's desire for each persons life and work.