After an extensive review of our young adult exchange programs in 2018, we have slowly been implementing improvements in 2019. Specifically, we updated the goals of the program, narrowing them from nine goals to four. They are still quite lofty, but they encapsulate the essence of our programs. These goals are for IVEP, but they’re also the goals for our other one-year exchange programs, SALT and YAMEN. We want participants to know more about service around the world and how to actively work toward justice and peace. We want participants to learn about other cultures and other ways of doing things – the way we each grew up doing things is not necessarily the only way, nor the only right way. We want participants to grow in their faith and learn about the heritage of MCC and its Anabaptist history. And, as each person is in a volunteer work setting, they should learn practical work skills. Even though these goals are hard to measure, we hope the end result of our young adult exchange programs is evident in more people walking their Christian faith and making a positive difference in the lives of those around them.
- Promote a theology of service that encourages growth as global citizens active in social justice and peacemaking
- Provide opportunities for learning and mutual transformation through the development of intercultural skills
- Foster opportunities for spiritual growth, appreciation of Anabaptist values and involvement in the local and global church
- Explore and develop skills while cultivating an increased sense of vocation through serving alongside a local partner organization
Andrea Geiser, IVEP U.S. Coordinator