Hi again, everyone! I thought you might like an update on the process so far. I am pleased to report that I (finally) got my work visa -- thanks to Simon and Haejung for all their help with that! I am also doing very well in my fundraising. Thanks to everyone's generous support, I have already raised around $7,000 towards my $9,000 goal! I hope that the word will continue to spread within the presbytery, not just for the sake of my fundraising, but to let people know about this fantastic program. There are presbyteries out there who regularly publicize this and send their young people to do mission work with the program, and I'd love it if our presbytery could be one of them someday!
I leave in just a few weeks -- orientation begins on August 23. All the YAVs for all the sites will be together at Stony Point, NY, for a week of discussion, reflection, and learning for the year ahead. I have homework, too: before I go, I have to read up on mission work and cross-cultural conflict (or rather, how to avoid/defuse it). From orientation, we will be departing directly to our places of service around the world. We're flying out of JFK on Air Nippon and landing in Tokyo, and from there we'll hop another flight to Seoul and then travel south to Daejeon.
I'd also like to take this chance to introduce the Parks to you. Haejung Park is the coordinator for the new Korean YAV site, and she and her husband Simon are just about the two nicest people on planet Earth. They are so dedicated and so enthusiastic and so caring, and I am so blessed to be able to work with them in this upcoming year. They have been serving in mission for years, and you can read about them and their work on the PC(USA)'s website at http://gamc.pcusa.org/ministries/missionconnections/park-simon-and-haejung/. Their letters are also posted there, and I think that many of you will find them to be of interest.
It's getting close to that time now, and I just can't wait! I'll post new info here when I have it. Look forward to it!
(To my Crossroads readers: I hope you will all attend my commissioning service on August 15! The lovely Rev. Christine Caton will be presiding, and we're working on what we will hope will be a meaningful service for all of you, as well as some special refreshments!)