For the 2023 Christmas season, the Alamosa, Colorado, MVS unit (along with a few friends) bought tree permits to go into the surrounding mountains and pick out a Christmas tree for the unit house. Left to right: Teddy Leinbach, Jake Myers , Roxy Gerhing, Elsa Lantz, Petra Showalter, Caroline Burkhardt, Chad Keizer. Photo provided.

By Travis Duerksen
Wednesday, December 20, 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 final six entries from units counting down the twelve days of Christmas — but with a service-focused twist! Missed the first part? Click here to view days one through six.

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 seventh day of Christmas, service units see...

Seven diners dining!

Every MVS and Service Adventure unit has a support committee that helps the unit navigate the joys and challenges of unit life. For the Tucson, Arizona, MVS unit, that support committee includes Cheryl and Nelson Lehman, who invited the unit over to their house to share Thanksgiving together. Clockwise, left-to-right: Magdalena Wenger, Deborah Yoder, Nelson Lehman, Nely Cotuc, Nidia Martinez, Ally Weaver, and Hannah Nuest. Photo by Cheryl Lehman.

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

Eight skiis cross country skiing!


Each Service Adventure unit plans activities that the unit takes part in together throughout the service term. For the Anchorage, Alaska, Service Adventure unit, one of those activities is learning how to cross country ski! Left to right: Rachel Musselman (unit leader), Simon Martin, Veronica Schnelesny, and Lukas Tepper. Photo by Rachel Musselman.

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

Nine chores a-choring (and one day off)!


A key aspect of the communal experience of MVS and Service Adventure is managing a household. Each MVS and Service Adventure unit lives in a house together, navigating cooking, work schedules, and chores! The Tucson MVS unit's solution to chore duty was to create two chore wheels that live on the fridge: one for cleaning, and the other for managing household tasks. Photo by Ally Weaver.

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

Ten eggs arranging!

Each service unit has its own unique touches — often representing the local community and church that supports the unit. One aspect unique to the Alamosa, Colorado, MVS unit are the unit's five chickens! "Our home chickens hadn't laid any eggs for months," said Jake Myers, a participant with the unit. "[They] just started up again, getting high numbers like 10!" Here, Cindi Boyer arranges out the days eggs. Photo by Jake Myers.

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

Eleven friends a-chillin'!

The communities that support MVS units often include past MVS participants who stayed in the local community after their service term came to a close. These MVS alumni welcome current participants year after year into the communities that they were once welcomed into themselves, extending the hospitality and warm support that has come to represent the units and the people connected with them. Above, the Alamosa MVS unit hosts a Thanksgiving party with past MVSers and community members. 

Clockwise from bottom middle: Cindi Boyer, Petra Showalter, Roxy Gerhing, Grantley Showalter, Kyla Nies, Elsa Lantz, Barb Gerhing, Richard Gerhing, Jake Myers, Mark Franchi, Alena Miller. Photo by Cindi Boyer.

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

Twelve zwieback baking!


Jake Myers, participant with the Alamosa MVS unit, shows off his zwieback, baked for Thanksgiving. Photo by Cindi Boyer.

 

 

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https://www.mennonitemission.net/blog/5019/Counting-down-the-twelve-days-of-service-with-MVS-and-Service-Adventure-part-two

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

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