Cultivate has announced its 2019 volunteer sites, including a new site in Chicago.
Cultivate has announced its 2019 volunteer sites, including a new site in Chicago. Young adults are also able to serve at returning sites, which include Jamaica and Nebraska for summer sites; Nicaragua, South Africa, United Kingdom, and New York City for year-long sites; and Romania, Nebraska, California, and New Mexico for both summer and year-long sites.
Started in 2017, Cultivate is a program for young adults (18-25) to partner with RCA missionaries around the world. By serving alongside these missionaries, volunteers can experience God moving in many locations and can deepen their relationship with God through service. “Cultivate volunteers get to see the entire spectrum of the work of a ministry,” says Stephanie Soderstrom, coordinator for Volunteer Engagement. “By immersing themselves for a summer or a year, they experience the breadth and depth of mission work, everything from working alongside people to setting up events and participating in meetings. They live in the community and experience a new culture. They see how mission can be woven into every part of life, no matter where they are.”
Cultivate volunteers were busy this past summer, whether it was working with children at Caribbean Christian Centre for the Deaf (CCCD) in Jamaica, leading vacation Bible school in New Mexico and Oklahoma, or passing out food to people in need in San Francisco.
One benefit of serving is that volunteers can experience the ways God is at work around the world. Cultivate volunteer Effie VanderHelm helped direct a vacation Bible school at Mescalero Reformed Church in Mescalero, New Mexico. She says, “During my service, I have seen the youth come out of their shell, and it’s all God’s doing.”
God uses these partnerships to change the volunteers too. Chris Briggs, an RCA missionary serving at CCCD in Jamaica, says this about the volunteers who come to work with the Deaf community: “From the individual’s perspective, these trips can lead to significant life change.” He recalls volunteers who have begun to study interpreting or Deaf education in college or have become long-term missionaries serving with Deaf ministries.
Now is the time to apply for Cultivate in 2019! “We’re so excited by the participants for the 2018-2019 year. We can’t wait to see who God brings for the next season of Cultivate,” says Soderstrom.
Applications are due by December 31, 2018. To see the complete list of sites for both the summer and the full-year placements, click here. To participate, fill out the application form for 2019 here. For more information, visit cultivate.rca.org.