I moved into Andrew House on Franklin Ave on August 17, 2010 in New Orleans, Louisiana. I am starting my year of mission work through the YAV (Young Adult Volunteers) Program of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).
I moved in with five other inspiring young adults – Katie, Tasha, Maegen, Lauren, and Evan. It had only been about five days, but we were already sharing our own personal stories and laughing till we were gasping for breath.
Then as we began to settle into the city, we were flown to New York and driven to Stony Point Conference Center for YAV orientation. There were 68 other YAVs who were placed among the 15 sites, both national and international. As a part of orientation we opened each day with worship and bible study, which was followed by “conversations” on race and power, culture shock, good self-care, and globalization. We closed each evening with vespers and the YAVAs (YAV Alumni) told stories of their year as YAVs which resonated strongly with me.
On Sunday before we left to return to New Orleans, Tasha, Maegen, and I were commissioned by Larchmont Presbyterian Church in Larchmont, NY. That was an enriching experience; the members of the church were very welcoming and it cemented the reality of my year of mission. There were also a few members from North Carolina which was exciting for me.
The orientation was a great time to get to know other YAVs, but it was slightly disorienting to me. I felt that I had to again mentally adjust to moving, and there was a lot of information to digest without a lot of alone time to process. However, I am truly excited about becoming apart of the New Orleans community and continuing the process of making things right after Hurricane Katrina and the oil spill.
Now we are all back in Andrew House and ready to get to work. So stay tuned to future posts and feel free to check out my other pages. I have posted the sermon I gave at Larchmont.
Peace and Love,
(For more insights from Emma, visit her blog: http://ewood336.blogspot.com/)