Most of you know, but I just completed a year of Service in inner-city Chicago. It was an amazing year of new places, new experiences, and of learning how to live simply and rely on God to supply what I need. It was a year of Loving People; all sorts of people - from homeless elementary students, to lonely elderly people, to housemates and friends. If you haven't already, you can read the collection of blog posts from my year HERE. My year in Chicago was through the YAV (Young Adult Volunteer) Program with the PC(USA), which has many sites both in the US and overseas. There were somewhere around 70 YAVs worldwide during the 13-14 year. We met each other during a week of Orientation before we started our years, kept in touch via facebook and each other's blogs, and were reunited recently for a long weekend of Transition Retreat in New Mexico.
Yes, it absolutely was that gorgeous.
To sum it up, Transition Retreat was a time to share and process the stories of our years with a group of people who "get it" because although no one experienced exactly what we did in the last year, these people have done something similar. They understand why we spent a year of our life living in a new place, giving up material things, and serving God by serving the Least of These.
The Tag Line of the YAV program is "A Year of Service for a Lifetime of Change" - and as the leaders of our retreat said "You've done the Year of Service, now it's time for the lifetime of change."
And now, a bunch of pretty pictures of an incredibly beautiful place!