​The Tucson, Arizona, MVS unit joins in a Christmas card craft night. From left to right: Michaela Esau (2022-23 unit participant), Ally Weaver, Nely Cotuc, and Deborah Yoder. Photo by Magdalena Wenger.

By Travis Duerksen
Wednesday, December 13, 2023

Mennonite Voluntary Service (MVS) and Service Adventure units across the country got into the holiday spirit by creating photos that represent the 'Twelve Days of Service' for their unit. Below, you'll find the first six entries from units counting down the twelve days of Christmas — but with a service-focused twist! Check back next week for the final set of photos!

Want to learn more about a gap year with Service Adventure? Curious where you could grow next through an MVS term? Mennonite Mission Network service programs give young adults the opportunity to join in a unit house with peers, grow alongside a supporting congregation, and gain real-world experience with non-profit organizations that work toward a more peaceful and just world. 

Don't wait too long to fill out an application! Apply by January 31 to have the widest selection of placements and locations for the 2024-25 service term.

Merry MVSmas, and happy Service ADVENTure from the all the units and Mission Network staff!

On the first day of Christmas, service units see...

Housemates cooking diligently!

 Shawna Hurst, a participant with the Colorado Springs Service Adventure unit, takes her turn making dinner for the unit house. Photo by Shelby Clarke.

Cindi Boyer, a participant with the Alamosa, Colorado, MVS unit, preps dinner for the house. Photo by Jake Myers.

Chiara Rempel, a particiant with the Anchorage, Alaska, Service Adventure unit, cooks dinner for the unit house. Photo by Veronica Schelesny.


Magdalena Wenger, a participant with the Tucson, Arizona, MVS unit, shows off her cast iron bread baking. Photo by Ally Weaver.

​On the second day of Christmas, service units see...

Two moose a-grazing!


For the Anchorage, Alaska, Service Adventure unit, moose sightings are a common occurence. Lukas Tepper, a participant with the Anchorage unit, got this photo looking out the unit house window at a mother and calf grazing on the lawn. Photo by Lukas Tepper.

​On the third day of Christmas, service units see...

Three Ds a-vitamin-ing!


In addition to moose, the Anchorage Service Adventure unit also enjoys the long periods of daylight and darkness that exemplify seasons in Alaska. Here, Veronica Schelesny, a participant with the unit, shows off her tools to get her through the weeks with less daylight: vitamin D3 suppliments and a daylight lamp. Photo by Veronica Schelesny.

​On the fourth day of Christmas, service units see...

Four Sundays Advent-ing!

Participants with the Tucson MVS unit with the unit Advent candles, each one symbolizing a Sunday in December leading up to Christmas. Left to right: Deborah Yoder, Ally Weaver, Magdalena Wenger and Hannah Nuest. Photo by Nely Cotuc.

​On the fifth day of Christmas, service units see...

Five bikers biking!

Some MVS and Service Adventure units have a unit vehicle that they share for transportation to service placements and activities, but all units get well aquainted with using public transporation and biking to get where they want to go! Here, the Tucson MVS unit goes on a weekend outing together, biking around Tucson. Left to right: Hannah Nuest, Deborah Yoder, Magdalena Wenger, Nely Cotuc, and Ally Weaver. Photo by Hannah Nuest.

​On the sixth day of Christmas, service units see...

Six heads a-braided!

Service units spend a lot of purposful time with the community they live in — joining with their local host church, supporting families, hobby groups, as well as the fellow participants they share the unit house with! For the Alamosa MVS unit, the time after Thanksgiving dinner meant games played with friends. "I braided the heads of [those] who were on my team," said Cindi Boyer, a participant with the Alamosa unit. Clockwise, starting on bottom-left: Grantley Showalter, Cindi Boyer, Roxy Gehring, Kyla Nies, Elsa Lantz, Jake Myers. Photo by Alena Miller.

 

 

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https://www.mennonitemission.net/blog/5018/Counting-down-the-twelve-days-of-service-with-MVS-and-Service-Adventure-part-1

​Travis Duerksen is a writer and multimedia producer for Mennonite Mission Network.

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