An update from Talley Breedlove, a member of the Young Adult Service Corps (YASC) serving in the Philippines:
Here in Santiago, Philippines, I am working with multiple organizations. The majority of my time is spent with E-CARE which is an Asset-Based Community Development organization run by the Episcopal Church of the Philippines partnering with community associations. While in the office with E-CARE, I have been working on learning more about the issues facing the communities where we work, planning Bible studies, and learning the local language, Ilocano.
A lot of E-CARE’s work is done out in the communities. Currently, we are leading trainings on visioning and goal-setting in order to enhance their process towards self-reliance. To start the visits, I am leading Bible studies focused on trusting God and being members of Christ’s body. I also get to meet and talk with locals about their experiences with E-CARE. I am interviewing members of the associations with the goal of putting together case studies.
When I am not with E-CARE, I am with the loan organizations and cooperative run by the diocese. There I am learning about the operations of these organizations and financial management. I also go on community visits with them to collect payments as well as to introduce the cooperative to new communities.
Why did you choose to serve as a YASCer?
I applied to YASC at a time when I was frustrated trying to figure out the next big step forward after college. I knew my goal in life was to serve others and I also knew God was calling me to serve the Church, but a clear path was not appearing. My church’s deacon and a retired priest both mentioned volunteer opportunities within the church. My bachelor’s degree is in Global Studies, I studied abroad multiple times, and I have an interest in cross-cultural understanding so the idea of serving abroad made more sense to me than serving domestically. I applied, still unsure if I was ready for YASC and whether it was the right fit for me. At the discernment retreat, I learned how the staff work to place volunteers in placements that interest them. I also learned about a lot of placements that would provide me with skills and experiences that interested me. Those factors, along with the feeling that I would be sent with a network of support, convinced me that YASC was the right fit.
How can we pray for you and the people you work with?
My daily prayer is for God to use me to serve others and for me to be open and willing to whatever that calls me to do. If you would pray that prayer with me, I would be so grateful. The Episcopal Church of the Philippines’ current vision is to create “scripture-rooted, spirit-fired, and discipled parishes.” I ask for prayers also that we can be ignited with passion for being part of Christ’s body.