Tomorrow I will begin my drive to New Orleans from Key Largo. Along the way, I will make a brief stop in Pensacola to visit John and Katherine Kupar.
As I begin this new chapter in my life, I can’t help but feel nervous. I have been on the planning side of camps, education/outreach events, campus events, and youth groups for so long, I can’t remember the last time I went to an event just to enjoy it. A YAV year requires a year long commitment to growth, and I must embrace the fact that I am not in control of this program in order to fully experience my year of service.
One of my biggest challenges this year will be to not analyze the program as a whole, and simply work to engage with the community through the ministries of Okra Abbey. This will be challenging for me because I love to look at programs and think about what can be changed in order to better the program. However it is important for me to remember that I am in New Orleans to serve, not to analyze.
My greatest hope for my year of service is to build a better understanding of the racial tensions in America. New Orleans is an incredibly diverse city, both culturally and ethnically. This gives me an incredible opportunity to explore racial tensions through the lens of faith. I hope that my year of service challenges me to grow in ways that I do not expect, and I come out ready to face any challenge that comes my way.