What’s a YAV?

So far 2014 holds at least one exciting new thing for me: I’m going to be a YAV site coordinator (again)!

With "my" YAVs in Argentina, visiting one of the volunteers in her placement, December 2004

With “my” YAVs in Argentina, visiting one of the volunteers in her placement, December 2004

So, what does that mean? Well, YAV stands for Young Adult Volunteer, a program of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) that builds up young adults through a year of volunteer service. YAVs participate in intentional community and are immersed in a new cultural reality to learn, serve, and grow. There are sites in the U.S. and around the world, with six new ones opening for the 2014-2015 year. And one of those new sites is Colombia!

I am an alumna of the program myself–my journey in mission service started back in 2002 as a YAV in Uruguay, and I spent a year as interim site coordinator for YAVs in Argentina before seminary. Ever since my first visit to Colombia in 2006, I’ve thought this would make an incredible site for YAVs to serve and learn with our partners in the Presbyterian Church of Colombia. And now we’re ready to make it happen! But we could really use your support.

  1. Pray for just the right candidates to apply to serve and to hear a call to Colombia.
  2. Lend yourself as a voice to encourage those candidates to serve!

The Colombia site is for young adults 21-30 who have a bachelor’s degree or equivalent life experience. A foundation in Spanish is helpful, but we’re willing to make arrangements for language study here if necessary. Good candidates will be open to simple living  and have a good dose of cultural humility and a readiness to learn.

Sorry for the short notice in this forum, but applications for international service are due February 14!   Please pass this along to anyone you know who might be looking for just such an opportunity as this.

YAV program links:

YAV-related/inspired stuff on this blog:

And here’s a video from a chat with a 2010 Peru YAV, Lisa Hermann:


About Sarah

I serve with Presbyterian World Mission as liaison to the Andean region. This blog is a place to share stories, experiences, and observations, both my own and those of friends and colleagues and the occasional item of news.
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