Why Do I Want To Do Mission Year ?

This is an exert from my application for Mission Year:

Why do you want to be a Mission Year Team Member? What do you hope to gain from the experience?

I want to be a Mission Year Team Member because that is what Jesus would have me do. During my time in Intervarsity Christian Fellowship I became convinced that following Jesus was meant to be taken literally. Jesus lived out his ministry living among the poor and building relationships with them in direct opposition to the religious leaders of his day. If Jesus is the image of who God would have me become, I must do as he did. If my Lord, the king of all creation, served the poor, how can I do less? Mission Year will give me the opportunity to love others as Jesus did in a very real way.

Another reason I want to pursue Mission Year has to do with the story of the Rich Young Ruler found in Mark 10:17-27. In the story, a rich young man asks Jesus how to inherit eternal life. Jesus then asks him if he has obeyed the ten commandments to which the man responds affirmatively. Jesus then challenges him to go sell everything that he has, give to the poor and then come follow him. The young man went away sad because he was very rich. My husband and I are very blessed. We both come from families where we never wanted for food, clothing or shelter, our parents remained dedicated to their marriage, and higher education was easily attainable. We both attended UCLA, received prestigious degrees, and now both have very stable careers and incomes. However, whenever we read this story we ask ourselves if we too would turn away just like the rich young man. Could we ever give up the comfortable lifestyle we live in order to follow Jesus? We believe that Mission Year would give us the opportunity to live this out. By choosing to give up a year of stable income and living among the poor we would be “selling all we had, giving to the poor, and following Jesus.”

I hope to gain insight on what God wants for the direction of my husband’s and my life. I am not naturally an outgoing person when it comes to relationships but I have learned and grown so much in this area in the past 4 years that I hope to be challenged in relationships even more. I also hope to grow my compassion for the poor and the marginalized. I also have thought that I would like to be a teacher in a poor urban area but I felt inexperienced in dealing with the behavior often associated with students from low income  families. I hope that Mission Year will give me experience understanding the youth in that area.

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