Mission Crossroads

SPR 2018

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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2 Spring 2018 He added, "If you send some of your young adults to volunteer, learn and live with us for a time, we can share some of this faith and perspective of living on the margins, and in this way we can finally sit across the table of partnership with dignity, because now we all do have something equally to share." With that honest invitation, and with much discernment by a passionate group of leaders, volunteers and mission workers, the YAV program was conceived. It was to be rooted in partnership, and would place an early emphasis on the formation of the volunteer, shaping and developing participants as lifelong leaders. Along with the Philippines, other long-term, strong and prophetic mission partners were identified. In its second I still remember the first words from the first church leader I met as I first arrived in Manila: "You are welcome here, but you are not needed here." ose words, spoken with wisdom and love almost two decades ago, would go on to shape the course of my time as a Young Adult Volunteer (YAV) in the Philippines. I didn't know it then, but that same sentiment shaped the YAV program at its inception. And it continues to guide our current vision for the program as volunteers serve around the world and witness the holy ways the Spirit is leading them. e YAV program is an ecumenical, faith-based year of service that encourages engagement in the causes of poverty and reconciliation alongside local people of faith. e YAV program invites young adults ages 19–30 to serve for one year of accompaniment in intentional Christian community in one of 16 national sites or six international sites. e program is for all Christian young adults, not exclusively Presbyterians, in the belief that we are all called and equipped by God for service in many forms. In 2018, the YAV program is celebrating the sending of its 25th class of young people into a year of transformative service. is means more than 1,700 young adults have participated in a year of service since the early '90s, and are now experiencing a lifetime of change! One of our partners in Asia and the Pacific, the United Church of Christ in the Philippines (UCCP), was instrumental in the creation of the YAV program. rough the 1980s and '90s, as the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) was in the developing of new partnership- based models of mission engagement, the Philippines was a strong partner in advocating for a clear, local voice in discerning, crafting and directing God's mission. A Filipino bishop from the UCCP approached PC(USA) leaders with an idea. For years, he said, partnership has been understood in the classical paradigm of donor, recipient and money. But because of the vast economic disparity between our countries, the Philippines has had very little to contribute to the partnership and has suffered shame as a perpetual recipient. He went on to say, with a twinkle in his eye, "But, we do have something to offer this partnership. We have faith. We have a faith informed by simple living and our struggles for justice and peace." Faith-based service rooted in partnership PC(USA)'s Young Adult Volunteer program celebrates first quarter of a century The Rev. Richard Williams

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