New Beginnings

Hello and welcome to Lean Into New! This blog is a space for my friends, family, and self to reflect and participate in my journey to and from the Philippines with the Young Adult Volunteer Program through the Presbyterian Church USA.

Right now I'm still living and working in New Orleans, and thankfully so! I'm already missing my current home, despite being four and a half months from leaving. Nostalgia hits hard when you find yourself dangerously close to graduating from undergrad (May 13th), leaving your truest friends (approx. August 10th), and heading to a foreign country to celebrate, among other milestones, the first day of your 23rd year of life on your own (August 28th).

Though I will be physically separate from all those people, places, and things I've come to love, I find great solace in that I am never alone, spiritually. That's also why I am so thankful that you've decided to join me on my journey by reading my blog, calling or texting, spending time over coffee, or simply thinking of me. Your time, efforts, and prayers are so precious to me.

If you haven't already heard, a huge part of being a YAV is "leaning into discomfort." I'd like to think positively about the uncomfortableness that I have and will continue to experience throughout this process. I figure, anything new is uncomfortable at first. Take skinny jeans, for example; you wear 'em once, your legs feel like they're wrapped in sausage casings. Wear 'em a second time, and they fit just a little bit better. Eventually, they'll form to your body and fit like they were made for you. I'm ready to live into this goofy jeans metaphor in my experiences abroad.

One of the most uncomfortable things I've had to do thus far is begin fundraising for my trip. I am inherently bashful about money; however, I know it's important to raise funds for the sake of not only myself, but for the other YAVs who will serve with me in the Philippines in 2017-2018. For myself, I must raise $5,000 and any additional funds would go to support my Philippines YAV team members. I anxiously invite anyone who feels called to donate whatever amount they see fit in contribution to this next phase of my life. By doing so, those who contribute take a very real and tangible part in my success as a Christian servant, unofficial US ambassador, and better leader and community member for when I return. (Is it weird that I'm already excited to bring back all that I learn in the Philippines to NOLA?!)



Here are some important links related to my trip and fundraising!
1. My YAV profile page
2. My fundraising page

Thank you for taking the time to read this first post of many. Next Monday's topic: New Orleans Bucket List and Fundraising Update!

Peace and Grace,
Caitlin

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