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Christ Candle on Communion Table, with YAV candles surrounding

It’s Saturday (we think).  It’s been a full week, and as we approach the end with each passing hour, it’s one hour closer to the current ‘class’ of YAVs embarking on their year of service, and their journey of faithful mission.  They will enter into communities in Hollywood, Denver, Atlanta, and cross oceans to Kenya, Guatemala, and Northern Ireland (among many others).  Perhaps you, also, remember some of what was going on inside of you as you approached this time, when you were on the threshold that these young adults now stand on.

Just as we all did, they go out into the world to be lights in the darkness, beacons of hope and reconciliation and wholeness and healing, a presence of love walking alongside those who all too often are neglected and forgotten.  They will experience life-altering situations, they will work long hours and invest themselves in communities they have never known (and may never return to after), they will learn what it truly means when we say “a year of service for a lifetime of change.”

But they do not go alone, nor do they go only with their site groups.  Their families and friends go with them, as well as the communities at home that they have known.  We walk with them, supporting them and praying for them.  Praying with them.  They could use all the prayers they can get.

What’s more, they are beginning their year, learning flexibility, before they even arrive on site or in country.  With the approach of Hurricane Irene, all local airports surrounding New York City have been closed, and flights delayed/canceled.  National Office staff have been working over-overtime to get people’s travel back on track, and have done a wonderful job.  The YAVs are rolling with it, and remain excited to get into their year of service.  But please, continue to pray for peace and traveling mercies.

Blessings to you, as well, as you continue to live your life where you are now, with deep roots in this community.  And if you ever meet some of these YAVs, welcome them warmly into our family.

2011 Young Adult Volunteers