Why YAV?

I’m a procrastinator, and I really need to get some other stuff done, so it seems like the perfect time to write a blog post about why I chose to do YAV! Ha, just kidding, I actually have time to do it because it’s summer, but it’s weird not to have other stuff to plan, so it feels like I’m procrastinating. And really, I’m not even sure if I should really already be writing in this blog, but hey, it seems like a great idea? I mean, I like to talk and my cat is tired of listening to me soooooo…

To begin with, I’ve been teaching for the last four years. I love it. I really do, but this year did a lot to tear down my feelings of my effectiveness of a teacher. We’ll leave it at that. So after a lot of prayerful consideration and moping about not getting calls for teaching jobs and such, I found myself back at YAV, looking at the website and wondering if this year was my year. SPOILER ALERT: It was!

I heard about YAV for the first time in the summer after my sophomore year of high school. (Side note: every time I read or write that word, I hear Alex Trebek in my head, like on the college championship, pronouncing it correctly, which no one else does.) We had a keynote speaker at Montreat Youth Conference, named Corey, who had done two YAV years, and talked about it a lot. It sounded really cool! So I decided then that I wanted to do the program one day. In college, during College Montreat conference, I heard more about YAV and was like “Oh right, that’s the thing I wanted to do!” I ran into it again here in Atlanta, when some YAVs at the location here started hanging out with some of the humans (And non-humans, and tiny humans) of North Ave.

I’ve started the application four or five different times, and never gotten through the process. I either got another job, or decided to stay, or whatever. So this year, when the plans I had made for myself didn’t quite work out, I decided to cast the net wide and see what God had for me. YAV was one of the things in the net, along with South Korea for teaching English.

I got through and got to the interview process, and had put Asheville, Atlanta, and New Orleans on the list. After my two intake interviews, I decided to switch and look at Chinook, Tucson, and New Orleans. I enjoyed talking with all three site coordinators, and was really quite torn. You can only serve in one place at a time, but I was like “SEND ME TO ALL THREE! TIME TURNERS EXIST RIGHT?!” I just had to trust that the right site would be presented to me. Something in my head though kept saying “Tucson would be a cool adventure. You’ve never lived anywhere like that, or on that side of the country!” I just kept praying and wondering and hoping for the right thing.

Here is probably where I should say I am absolutely horrible at waiting patiently for things. I suck at it. A lot. Patience with students is there sort of, but patience while waiting for answers for things I want to know, not so much. I blame many things, including my Type-A-ness, and anxiety and ADHD for that. I like to have answers. When I don’t have answers I kind of hate it. So after all the site interviews, I filled out the discernment paperwork pretty quickly. Truth be told it was because I knew I was supposed to go somewhere with this program, in my gut and my heart, but I couldn’t discern which one God wanted for me! So putting that I’d love to go to all of them seemed like the reasonable thing. (LOL, reasonable. Right.) When I got the email of an offer from Tucson, I was SUPER EXCITED! I called folks, I posted on facebook, I did all the things.

So now, you know why YAV, stay tuned for more posts about how I’m dealing with moving and stuff! Because you know, you clearly want to know!

Live Long and Prosper!


Rachel Lovins


TL;DR: YAV keeps popping up in my path, but I keep not doing it until now. And I’m not patient, so I was really excited to find out I’m going to Tucson to do the thing!


PS, don’t forget to donate! Checks made out to Tucson Borderlands YAV can be sent to:

400 E University
Tucson, AZ 85705
you can also get to the paypal link (because mine that I put up is being a jerk!) on the website which is at:

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