Monday, June 23, 2014

Update on the Philippines

As many of you know, I will be spending the next year serving as a Young Adult Volunteer (YAV) in the Philippines. This is a wonderful program through the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) that I am proud to call my own. I will be leaving for a week-long orientation in Stony Point, NY, on August 18th. On August 25th, I will leave New York for the Philippines, which includes a 3-hour layover in Tokyo (which is cool because I can technically add another country to my list!).

During my year of service, I will likely be working with child development centers in and around Dumaguete City. The structure of the year includes a month-long orientation, three-month homestay, and living on my own or with other YAVs in an apartment.

The program expects us to "live simply," which I completely buy into. In order to do this, we receive small stipends relative to our sites and costs of living. Another part of the program consists of building support before we leave. We are building up our cloud of witnesses who will support us through prayers, pledges, and gifts and who will share in this wonderful journey with us.

It costs around $24,000-$28,000 to send one volunteer abroad for a year. Thankfully YAV and PC(USA) absorb most of these costs. However, as YAVs, we are expected to raise $4,000 of support as individuals and to work toward a team goal. The team goal depends on the number of YAVs assigned to a site. I actually just recently learned that we will have 5 YAVs in the Philippines, two more than the 3 I expected. The team goal is an additional $4,000 per volunteer after the required $4,000 of individual support. The deadlines we were given were that we needed to raise $2,000 by July 15, 2014 and $4,000 by January 1, 2015.

This week I received my first fundraising update since I started at the beginning of May.

I am ecstatic to announce that I have already achieved my individual fundraising goal!!! As of Friday, June 20, 2014, I have received $4,915 in support for my YAV year!!!

This is absolutely wonderful news! I am so thankful to everyone who has already pledged their support, financial or prayerful, and to those who have yet to give their support.

Tonight, I was at worship at Bethelwoods. Our worship leader gave a message on creation and community. He told us about how the largest trees in the world, the redwood trees in California, grow so large, yet have such shallow root systems. They support themselves by intertwining their roots with the roots of the trees around them. He also addressed the belief (that I share) that God doesn't give you anything you can't handle. He added onto that by saying that God also expects others to help you.

That is exactly what has happened here. I am so incredibly grateful for everyone I know, and even some I don't, who have used their resources to support my YAV year. I feel so supported and loved right now. I know that it with God's help that I am doing this year of service and that God's will is working through so many people who feel a call to support me, this experience, and this program.

This is still just the beginning! The next goal is getting to the $20,000 team goal!

Thank you so much for your prayers, well wishes, and support. It is truly a blessing to have such a network.

1 comment:

  1. Angela this is such great news! I am so excited for this next chapter for you!