Last month, I talked about the mutual desire to build the partnership between The Episcopal Church (TEC) and the Episcopal Church in the Philippines (ECP). A primary program involved in building the relationship is YASC. Since 2009, 15 YASCers have served in the Philippines. It is the second longest running placement behind only South Africa. YASCers in the Philippines have worked with many different programs associated with the Episcopal Church including organic and sustainable farming initiatives, music education, finance and lending, income generating projects, church development, and asset based community development.
Since arriving, I have heard many great stories of former YASCers. Stories of successful youth soccer teams, sharing of talents like music, and countless fond memories. In a way it has been intimidating to be part of the same program as so many impressive people. Of course, it is also exciting to be a part of such an excellent tradition. Everyone is quick to point out with pride the work accomplished and to tell about relationships built. As more young adults learn from the successful work being done in the Philippines, I think the partnership between our provinces will continue to be enriched.
I have already learned so much through my YASC assignment. My primary work is with E-CARE and my understanding of asset based community development and my ability to make and process financial documents continue to improve. I am slowly becoming comfortable with Ilocano (the local language). I am also learning more about myself and my confidence is growing. Since I have been here, one of my primary responsibilities has been to lead Bible studies. I have not only enjoyed leading the studies, but I have become far more comfortable with public speaking which I know will benefit me in the future. I am so grateful to be part of a church that has a program like YASC.