Seeing wisdom reciprocated
IVEP staff insight
Over the past six years, the Great Lakes region has welcomed 42 IVEPers. Wow, that number is astonishing when I take a step back and let it sink in. The past six years has passed quickly and slowly, at the same time. There have been many joys and challenges. There have also been numerous transitions in my personal life: moving houses, welcoming two children and the life-altering pandemic.
The reciprocal nature of MCC’s young adult programs is truly special. I remember sitting in orientation as a SALTer in 2015 with fellow young adults from all over the world who were joining both SALT and IVEP. The conversation was enriching and incredibly beautiful. We were able to interact at a level that simply would not be possible if the room was solely U.S. or Canadian young adults.
Shortly after returning home, a Young Adult Coordinator position opened, so I applied and was invited to the position. I packed up my belongings and moved to Indiana. My life is immensely richer as a result of walking alongside IVEPers during their year of service. I believe I’ve gleaned more knowledge and wisdom from the IVEPers I have had the privilege to meet than I’ve imparted.
I’ve loved witnessing the connections made with host families, community members and work sites, the sharing of cultures and languages. I’ve loved sitting with IVEPers who are going through difficult times, praying and supporting each other, overcoming fears and experiencing new things together. This is the Kingdom of God at work.
I wanted to share a few vignettes from the past six years that highlight this work:
IVEPers presenting to Amish students about their home and growing up years
Ziplining with one group at a retreat, and the mutual support and care shown through the process
Hearing stories of host families visiting with the IVEPer in their home country after they’ve completed the program
Sitting around table, sharing stories and giving advice of various topics whether it pertaining to life in the U.S. or transitioning back home
Witnessing IVEPers growing into their work over the course of the year, taking on more responsibility and contributions made that will live on
Thank you to each IVEPer who has taken the leap of faith and traveled to the U.S. for a year to serve and share.
Header photo caption: From L to R: Sukoluhle Ncube (Zimbabwe), Judith Hernandez (Nicaragua), Brooke Strayer (staff), Maren Pauls (Brazil), Renny Limpias (Bolivia), and Jacqueline Nashon (Tanzania) completing a puzzle during retreat in Albion, Indiana. Photo/Sukoluhle Ncube