This past fall, I began considering the option of doing a gap year program before going to college. I looked into the many benefits of taking a gap year and felt strongly called to do one. After closing many tabs of gap year programs that were too long, too expensive, not what I was looking for, etc, I came upon a program based in the UK called FirstServe. Time passed during the prayerful consideration of the decision to take a gap year and eventually I felt a yes. This little idea in the back of my head to do a gap year was becoming reality through the God’s plan for me.
I felt led to do a gap year because of my heart for missions, the calling to get out of the America bubble and experience new cultures (of course, you can serve and love others in need no matter where you are), my gift of working with children, and to grow in my relationship with the Lord. There’s no better time in life to do something like this! Furthermore, high school really burnt out my desire to learn (in a school setting) and gap years are the perfect opportunity to recharge your learning ability before heading to college. Although these reasons made it clear to me that a gap year was the right option for me, I didn’t feel any personal need or reason for my decision until this summer. This summer, I had a lot of identity challenges which furthered my understanding of why God called me to do a gap year. I need this year to find my identity in Him before going to college. I’m excited for what’s in store!
So, now my flight to Glasgow is just one month away. I will spend one month at Tilsley College in Scotland for training with the four other FirstServe students. On October 10th, I will live with a host family for two months in Glasgow while applying my training in a local setting. I will be working with Greenview Evangelical Church doing outreach work in Glasgow and serving the church wherever they need me. On December 12th, I’ll be in the air again to arrive in Lima, Peru where I’ll have a new host family. I’ll be working with the youth at a church in Lima for a little over two weeks before arriving in Trujillo. After the Christmas period, I’ll go to Trujillo, Peru where I’ll be for the remainder of the program (two and a half months). Here, I will be working with the church Centro Biblico Trujillo. I’ll be involved leading their youth ministry and working at a local school and orphanage. I’m there to love, work, and serve however they need me to. Although it’s a gap “year,” the program I’m doing is six months which was exactly what I was hoping for! So blessed.
I plan on keeping this blog updated often (weekly or so?) to share all my adventures, experiences, thoughts, and reflections (& photos too)! I think it’s the easiest, most convenient way to express everything I want to say to everyone I want to hear it. Also, typing out all my memories will allow room for personal growth, analysis, and reflection on them. If you have any feedback/advice/suggestions, I’ll gladly take it! I’m pretty new to the blog thing. Farewell for now!