Today is June 27, 2016. I now sit a little over two months away from the beginning of my YAV adventure in Tucson, AZ. It’s crazy but in the last several weeks things have begun coming together.
First, I addressed my church, the First Presbyterian Church of Owensboro, KY. I used a small minute for mission and let everyone know where I was going and roughly what I would be doing. This also served as my primary fundraising outreach to my church family. Through the gracious and generous giving of FPC and the Session, I was able to reach half of the total fundraising goal a couple weeks ahead of the first half deadline. I could not appreciate my church family anymore. They have provided me with a place to grow and question, they sent me out with a strong foundation as I headed to college, and now they are supporting me as I go out across the country to advance the cause of Christ. Thank you all for your generosity.
Second, I was able to go out a purchase my bike which will serve as the primary mode of transportation during my year. This bike was part of the generous graduation gift given to me by my grandparents who reside just north of Phoenix. It is a great bike and I am so thankful to them for their assistance in helping to prepare me for this experience.
Third, I finally received my placement where I will be working for the year! I will be working with the Primavera Foundation, a non-profit in Tucson that works with low income families in the area. I will be in the position of Garden Coordinator for Primavera. As Garden Coordinator, I will be in charge of the various gardens maintained at Primavera residences throughout Tucson. Through these gardens, I will work with those families who live in the residences to care for the gardens, building relationships and gardening knowledge with the residents. I will also work with other segments of Primavera with some after-school activities for local children in a Primavera community and regularly meet with the other management positions at Primavera. I’m very honored to have been offered this position and I am very much looking forward to working with Primavera!
As the details are becoming more settled for the coming year, I am faced with the prospect that this year is happening and it really is rapidly approaching. I am continuing to pray for guidance and discernment as I contemplate my coming experience and would ask everyone who reads this to pray for me as well. This undertaking is not something I take lightly. I want to be able to get as much out of this year as possible, both from the experience of working with Primavera and from the spiritual formation practices performed as part of the YAV experience. But it will also be a hard year. For those of you who don’t know, I recently got engaged so I have to contemplate preparing for a marriage while also spending a year apart from my fiancée. There is a lot that has me hopeful and excited for this year, and also a lot that has me nervous about this year. This entire process has been an exercise is leaving my life up to God and trusting His plan for my life…and that is the mindset I pray that I continue to have as I finish up preparing for this year and actually beginning this experience.