I found out about TVYFC when I saw a random business card on a desk at work in Dallas. God graciously said “No”, to a plethora of requests that I was convinced I needed to be happy at the time. Simultaneously, He called me to Teesside and opened doors that I might come to serve here.
I can remember that while I was considering coming over, I devoured every piece of information I could from this website about the gap year. I watched every video and read every blog with the hopes of getting a better idea of what I thought God might be calling me to. So my hope is that if I just described your current season of considering this program, that I can encourage you in the Gospel and help to bring clarity.
“Inherent in the call to leadership is a willingness to be alone”
– Crawford Loritts
When I was in University I moved 10 hours away from home, but I was lucky in that I had known both of my roommates since I was 9. However, I did not have the luxury of having anyone I knew come with me to England. If you want to do this gap year, you might be the only one of your friends to move here instead of taking that job or going to that school. You might have to give up certain goals set by the culture around you, but Jesus is worth it. Your family might think you are crazy and you may have to forgo pursuing that relationship, but declaring that Christ has made a way to an area in desperate need of hope and truth is worth it. The Bible is chock-full of people risking everything for Jesus, and I’m praying that our lives look a lot like that.
“How do I know God’s will for my life?”
– Every Christian under the age of 30 that I have ever met
Listen, I would like to humbly suggest that we have severely over complicated this subject. I do understand that this question is rooted in a good desire to do what God wants us to do, but hasn’t He already made His will clear? God’s will for your life is explicit in Scripture, He tells us to: Love Him with all our being, love people, share the gospel, and make disciples. I am just a 23-year-old guy who cannot grow facial hair to save my life and I have some lovely student loans that could devour my bank account in a second, so take this with a grain of salt… However, I know that if I had waited to “have a peace about it”, then I never would have applied to a gap year. I knew that God had put the UK on my heart and that the gap year would allow me to be faithful and obedient to Scripture. Strangely enough, my “peace about it” did come after I applied. Of course, pray and seek wisdom from older Saints who know you well, but whether its England or Idaho, God’s will for you is to be obedient and faithful. God is pleased with you through Christ, believer, and now we must walk in a manner worthy of the Gospel regardless of context.
“If you live gladly to make others glad in God, your life will be hard, your risks will be high and your joy will be full”
– John Piper
Doing ministry in NE England is not glamorous, but God is doing beautiful things here. The culture at large is swinging against our faith, but there remains a faithful body of believers who are pressing forward with hope. This is not a “year off to find myself”, it’s a year of dying to self and pursuing Jesus. There is no place that I would rather be right now than serving here alongside the Body of Christ. I hope that you know that you are prayed for by me and the other gap years if you are considering this. “You have no idea who is waiting on the other side of your obedience.”
“He has told you, O man, what is good;
and what does the LORD require of you
but to do justice, and to love kindness,
and to walk humbly with your God?”
– Micah 6:8