“To witness how the IVEPers grow during their term is a real blessing.”
- Katie Laban
Name: Katie Laban
Hometown: Winnipeg, Manitoba (Many Rooms Church Community)
Assignment: I work with young adults in Manitoba who are part of MCC’s International Volunteer Exchange Program (IVEP).
Typical day: Corresponding with all those involved in IVEP in Manitoba, including arranging volunteer service assignments and connecting with host families and churches. I often get to work away from my desk: visiting IVEP participants in their service assignments or facilitating weekend activities.
Joys: Observing young people overcome challenges during their service terms. I’ve served internationally, and I can clearly remember how challenging it was at times! To witness how the IVEPers grow during their terms is a real blessing for me. It’s also really fun to showcase winter activities here in Manitoba to those who have never experienced snow before!
MCC photo/Matthew Sawatzky
Moments of connection: At our last winter retreat, we had a “spiritual potluck.” Each person shared something from their faith journey during their IVEP experience, and we ended with a spontaneous chorus of “How Great Thou Art,” sung simultaneously in multiple languages. We were sitting in the loft of a wood cabin on a snowy field, and it felt something like heaven, I think.
Challenges: When participants struggle. Sometimes there is no quick fix to the challenges they’re experiencing, and the only answer is to walk alongside.