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A Year of Service

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About this blog

 What does it mean to be a YAV?

Young Adult Volunteers commit to serving a minimum of one year in the U.S. or Internationally at one of our sites. YAVs have the opportunity to volunteer alongside local partners, engaging in work and conversation around issues that address poverty, reconciliation, and what it means to share the hope of Christ through service. This blog is a chance to stay updated on what is happening in the life of the YAV program, whether that is with our current volunteers, our abundance of alum, the YAV office, or our YAV partners. The conversations and tough issues that we spend countless hours talking about as YAV’s don’t end when the year does; welcome to the conversation! If you have more questions, feel free to email.

If you or someone you know is interested in becoming a YAV, click below:



YAV Blogs

Recruitment Report Form


YAV Stories Published Online:

     Becca Messman (Guatemala): Outlook

     Colleen Earp (NOLA): Unbound

     Lives Set on New ‘Routes’: Unbound

Recent posts



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November 20, 2014

NEW National YAV Site

On Thanksgiving Day,

We will announce our newest National YAV site for the 2015/2016 YAV year.

Check back here on Nov 27 to find out where else you can serve.

November 13, 2014

Contest: #YAVin7Words

When people ask you about your YAV year, you probably have different responses depending on who is asking, how much they actually care, and how much time you have. You probably have responses that range from 1 minute to 1 hour. But can you describe your YAV year in only seven words?



“Arrived, cried, laughed, cried, prayed, cried, left.”

“Kenya: beautiful, poor, Christian, alive, strong, weak”

“Midnight tea time with Mama Juana. Priceless.”

“Argue, wash dishes, love, laugh, keep trying.”

“We loved each other and grew together.”


Your answers can be theological or hysterical. They can be descriptive or ...

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November 11, 2014

YAVA Reflections

 a conversation with:

Ashley Bair; Alison Wood; Jacquelyn Wonsey; Tyler Orem


Where/when did you serve?

Guatemala 11-12; Tucson 10-11; Kerala 09-10; New Orleans 11-12;

Who are you? (I am not interested in a name or a profession)

Known to put smiles on faces;

a ferocious defender of community;

a facilitator;

an independent, take-no-shit, love-you-anyway feminist;

A farm boy turned city man, a brother, a lover;

I am the fire-starter;

Who do you love? / Who loves you? (again, not interested in names)

I love people who love people... those who feel their life is meant to meet the needs of ...

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October 30, 2014

"God is in Korea"

By Kurt Esslinger

"It is the Holy One who goes before you. God will be with you; and will not fail you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed." -Deuteronomy 31:8

Photo by Quantisha Mason , YAVA-Korea 13-14

 An entire year of YAVs in Korea with us has passed and a new set of young adults has already hit the ground full speed in struggling to adapt to a new culture. 

We thoroughly enjoyed walking alongside Molly, Bennett, Tisha, and Eric this past year. We had the pleasure of seeing them grow and change as they encountered struggles ...

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October 13, 2014

Dance when the Spirit says Dance


 Dance when the Spirit says Dance

By Emily Brewer, YAVA-Guatemala/Miami

 Let them praise God’s name with dance;

    let them sing God’s praise with the drum and lyre!
Because the Holy One is pleased with the people,
    God will beautify the poor with saving help.

-Psalm 149:3-4 (CEB)

 As I heard the drums come in on “Nnung yay dah” a few weeks ago at YAV orientation, I was thrown back five years to when I sat in that same room at Stony Point, preparing to leave for my first YAV year in Guatemala. As my ...

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