Donnell McNair, a 2018-2019 participant in MCC's Serving and Learning Together (SALT) program from Lancaster, Pa., joined a children's activity at Rays of Hope community center which is connected to the Mennonite Church in 6 de Mayo, Honduras, in November 2018. (MCC photo/Jill Steinmetz)
When SALT (Serving and Learning Together) participants returned home, we asked them to reflect on what their time of service meant to them. To them, SALT was…
“One aspect of my SALT term that I found a new appreciation for was the meaning of community. The unwavering support, friendship and guidance from my host community was unlike I had experienced before.” –Stephanie Slabach Brubaker, from Rockingham, Va., who served in Bangladesh as a health and ESL program assistant
“My time with SALT was a time of growth—personally and spiritually—in job skills and in experiences, with new relationships and a new outlook on the world. I am so thankful for how the past year has impacted my life!” –Katie Ulrich, from Camp Hill, Pa., who served in Honduras as a research and communications fellow
“In this journey, I feel like my faith and trust in God was really tested, especially in a culture and country I hadn’t been exposed to. I definitely had to let God lead in my struggles and accomplishments throughout the year.” –Donnell McNair, from Lancaster, Pa., who served in Honduras as a community educator and psychological assistant
“My SALT experience can be described as selfless. The biggest thing I learned was what it looked like to practically live in self-sacrificial love towards my host family and the larger community.” –Rachel Hoover, from New Holland, Pa., who served in Zambia as a nursing instructor assistant
“Coming from Western cultures, we prioritize competence to a fault. Learning to admit areas of failure and need is a sacred experience, and SALT provided a healthy place to be humbled.” –Caleb Schrock-Hurst, from Harrisonburg, Va., who served in Vietnam as a manuscript editor
“After college, I was looking for an adventure! I also wanted to do something fulfilling, find a job and figure out a way to pay off student loans. MCC’s SALT program filled all those boxes and was so much more. My ability to relate to others across cultures, communication skills and global perspective have grown exponentially and significantly impacted my life. I’m so grateful for this life adventure and, through it all, fun experience.” –Jill Steinmetz, from Bluffton, Ohio, who served in Honduras as a digital media specialist
“This year was filled with many trials in which the Lord was faithful in keeping me and preserving me. Through overcoming these trials, I gained maturity and a faith that was strengthened.” –Vilma Caraballo, from Lancaster, Pa., who served in Bolivia as a childcare worker and office assistant
“During SALT, I was able to learn a lot about Rwanda—the complexities of its history that contribute to its unique culture and fast growth today. I also learned about working in an NGO since I was able to work both as an MCCer and also as a seconded worker for a partner organization.” –Owen McCullum, from Plattsburgh, N.Y., who served in Rwanda as a capacity building assistant
“My SALT year was ever-changing because of all of the new experiences that I had the opportunity to have. I learned so much from each and every new experience. My year changed every time a new experience was added as the time went on.” –Kate Epp Weaver, from Lancaster, Pa., who served in El Salvador as an assistant teacher
“I’ve seen so many places and met many new people. This experience has brought many new relationships and connections into my life around the globe. It was challenging, but I learned a lot!” –Joe Wheeler, from Akron, Pa., who served in Cambodia as a development assistant
"This year in Mexico City felt sacred. I experienced God in new ways through the relationships I formed with migrant and refugee neighbors, the inclusivity of my church community, and the stories of trauma, resilience and hope I encountered along the way." - Abbey Combs, from Whiteford, Md., who served in Mexico as a hospitality assistant
Serving and Learning Together (SALT) is a year-long, cross-cultural service experience. Through SALT, Christian young adults from Canada and the U.S. serve internationally in a wide variety of positions in fields like education, agriculture, health care, information technology, peace and more!
During their assignments SALTers are immersed in another culture, living with host families or communal settings such as dormitories or teacher housing in Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin and Central America and the Middle East.