I first applied for the Young Adult Service Corps (YASC) in late 2019. I was one semester from graduation and I wanted something different than applying for regular jobs. I went up to Holy Cross Monastery in New York for discernment with YASC in February 2020. I felt that YASC was what I want to do after graduation. YASC was meant to be a gap year to explore my call and test my vocation in mission. However, God had other plans for me.
March 2020 arrived like a punch to the gut. As Covid-19 arrived in the US, I began to realize that all my well-laid plans were built on pillars of sand. Frantic texts were traded back and forth between all the girls I had met just weeks before as we all tried to make sense of the fact that although we had all just said yes to a year of YASC, the likelihood that we would get to go was fast approaching zero. In a desolate time, losing the chance of going on our YASC years was just another loss we could not avoid. Receiving the email telling me that The Episcopal Church was canceling all outgoing mission work was incredibly disappointing. Life went on, but the feeling that YASC was what I needed to do lingered. That feeling refused to leave, and when the COVID vaccination came, my heart turned to YASC once more.
In January 2021, I applied again and began to wait for my second chance. Covid times being covid times, they emailed us rather early on to say that they would be waiting to send any YASCers out in January 2022. I waited for things to move on for months, and finally on October 1st, 2021 I got an email. I had been given a placement in Liverpool, UK. That email lifted a weight off my shoulders that had been there for nineteen months.
Last week I returned to Holy Cross Monastery for my second mission orientation. Because of Covid and timing around the holidays, the normal two-week program was condensed into just four days. It was long and intense, but I am so grateful for all the lessons we had and the things I learned. In some ways, I am sad that we only got a shortened experience, but after 2 years of waiting, I am so grateful for every moment of time I got to have there.
Now that I have my placement and my training, the only things between me and a flight to the UK are my work visa and fundraising. As of today, December 12th, 2021, I am waiting for the diocese of Liverpool to send me my sponsorship papers. Once those arrive, I will be able to finish my online application. Upon completion of the main application, I will make an appointment to get biometric scans done in either DC or Atlanta. Once my scans are in the system, as long as no issues arise, my visa can be issued and I can get on my way across the pond.
My prayer is that I will be in England in one month, but in this time of constant delays and cancelations, I will just have to wait and see. After so long waiting for a chance to go, I can wait just a bit longer. Till then there are holidays to be celebrated, details about work placements to be ironed out, money to raise, bags to pack, items to store away, and so many other preparations to be made. For now, I will prepare for my departure one step at a time.