Mission Crossroads

FAL 2017

Mission Crossroads is a three-time-a-year magazine focused on worldwide work of the PC(USA). It offers news and feature stories about mission personnel, international partners and grassroots Presbyterians involved in God's mission in the world.

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16 Fall 2017 T he Young Adult Volunteer (YAV) program promises "a year of service for a lifetime of change." If you ask the 2016–17 YAVs who served in Zambia, they will tell you there is nothing hollow about that promise. Olivia Orth, 22, graduated from Westminster College in May 2016, where she studied elementary and special education. She agrees that all YAVs change and grow through their experience. "It pushes you to your limits," she said, "but more importantly it helps you find out who you are and how far you can go." Kim Jurczyk, 22, graduated from Penn State University with degrees in English and communication arts and sciences. She said she has learned many important things living in Zambia. "I am so much more aware of the little things in my life that make me happy," she said. "Zambians are constantly thanking God for giving them another year to live, for protecting their loved ones, for blessing them with food, for providing them with shelter. When I leave, I am determined to bring these values with me when I return home and keep them as important parts of my identity." Sherri Ellington, the YAV site coordinator for Zambia, has enjoyed walking alongside Zambia's YAVs. She has watched them struggle and has celebrated their triumphs. "In the end, they look back and realize that they have formed meaningful relationships, forged new levels of personal strength and have experienced Christian life in a setting completely different from how they were raised. eir worldviews have been forever deepened by experiencing on a visceral level what life is like in a poor but developing country." Susannah Bryant, 22, a graduate of Wofford College with degrees in English and environmental studies, said she has grown tremendously through her church family. "It's really great to be part of a worshiping body in another culture and to be fully integrated into it," she said. "We are partnering with the Church of Central Africa Presbyterian, and we are all in communities. What an amazing experience to see how other people worship the same God." John Black, 23, found the worship services to be a source of inspiration. 'A year of service for a lifetime of change' Zambia's YAVs grow during their international experience Kathy Melvin "When I began to worship with my new congregation, even though I could not understand most of the worship because of language differences, I could feel the weight of every word spoken," he said. "Zambia's YAVs have experienced God's hand holding them fast through many challenges this year," Sherri said, referring to Psalm 139. "I hope that this will give them a firm foundation of knowing throughout their lives not only that they can do anything but that with God's presence they can meet whatever challenges life may bring." To learn more about the YAV program or to apply, visit youngadultvolunteers.org. John Black The Rev. Sevatt Kabaghe, general secretary of the Church of Central Africa Presbyterian's (CCAP) Synod of Zambia (left), and the Rev. Rodwell P. Chipeta (right) worked with Kim Jurczyk, who served as a communications associate for the CCAP during her YAV year in Zambia.

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