​Members of the Colorado Springs, Colorado, Service Adventure unit share tea together at the unit house. L-R: Micah Wenger, Malia Bauman, Neeltje Sandersfeld and Travis Clarke (unit co-leader). Photo by Shelby Clarke (unit co-leader).

By Travis Duerksen
Wednesday, February 22, 2023

Newton, Kan. — For most participants, a gap year in Service Adventure is a series of firsts. The first time living away from home after high school. The first real-world professional experience with a local non-profit. The first time prepping a meal for an entire household. Soon, participants will embrace another first: sharing how their service experiences have shaped their outlook on faith and community to other young adults considering a gap year themselves.

During the month of March, Mennonite Mission Network Service Adventure unit members (ages 17-20) will journey from where they currently volunteer — Colorado Springs, Colorado; Jackson, Mississippi; Albuquerque, New Mexico; and Johnstown, Pennsylvania — to south central Kansas (March 3-7) and northern Indiana (March 17-21). They will attend several gatherings to share their learning and service experiences with young adults in area churches and schools, tour Mennonite colleges and engage in local service projects.

"This is a great opportunity for young adults to learn what taking a gap year after high school can look like," said Naomi Leary, administrator of Service Adventure. "Current participants know better than anyone the questions young people considering service have."


Sunday, March 5

Service Adventure participants will share about their experiences in morning church services and join in youth activities at:

9:30 a.m.

Colorado Springs unit at First Mennonite Church, Hutchinson, Kansas

Jackson unit at Journey Mennonite Church, South Hutchinson, Kansas

Monday, March 6

The group will join in an afternoon service project at Camp Mennoscah, Murdock, Kansas. Service opportunities will include gutter cleaning, lock lubrication, concrete debris cleanup and flattening out mole hills to make mowing easier.  

12:00 p.m.

Camp Mennoscah, Murdock, Kansas.

Sunday, March 19

Service Adventure participants will share about their experiences in morning church services and join in youth activities at:

9:30 a.m.

Berkey Ave Mennonite Fellowship, Goshen, Indiana

College Mennonite Church, Goshen, Indiana

10:30 a.m.

East Goshen Mennonite Church, Goshen, Indiana

Mennonite Mission Network will host a youth event for area churches Sunday evening. The event will have small and large group games, team building activities, and a time of sharing from Service Adventure participants. 

4:00 – 6:00 p.m.

College Mennonite Church, Goshen, Indiana


Both trips are made possible, in part, through a grant from the Fidelia E. Plett Foundation, based in Inman, Kansas.

In each Service Adventure unit, community is key. Participants live together alongside unit leaders in a shared house, and collaborate in meal planning, chores, and daily life. Each unit house is connected to a supporting church. Throughout a typical week, participants serve with local nonprofits and community ministries.

For many participants, Service Adventure is a gap year between high school and college — a time to explore faith, grow in self-awareness, and gain real-world experience. The Kansas and Indiana trips will be opportunities for participants to offer a window into the program for high school youth curious about their own potential gap year service experience.

Service Adventure is a 10-month service term (August-July) program designed for young adults ages 17-20. Service Adventure is a program of Mennonite Mission Network.

Mennonite Mission Network is a nonprofit organization that exists to lead, mobilize and equip congregations to join God's reconciling work, and to share God's healing and hope throughout the world. For more information, contact Jennifer Hayes, Director of Marketing and Communications, 574-501-4139.

 

 

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

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