A Gap Year for Jesus

Ivy Ingle & her family have been members of Missio Dei Church for the last few years. Recently, Ivy graduate from Asheville Christian Academy. But rather than go straight to a four-year university, Ivy, with her parents’ blessing, has chosen to take a gap year and pursue an international mission opportunity where she will be immersed in other cultures, learning how other people live, and serving them in word and in deed.

Why did you decide to take a gap year?

When my senior year brought me piles of paperwork for college applications and standardized tests, it also brought me to a crossroads. For the first time in my life I had the opportunity to choose my own path. I could go to college and study for another four years and get a degree which would then find me a career, or I could put all of that on hold and take the road less traveled. For once I had the opportunity to experience something other than school, and learn outside of the classroom, and I wasn't going to let that opportunity get away.

This wasn't an easy decision, as school is a place where I am comfortable, and I had no idea how I was going to spend this year away from it. I prayed for months for God to reveal to me where he wanted me to go and what his will was for this year. Nothing I sought out seemed to work, and for a while I doubted that God would ever reveal his plan. Once August rolled around and I saw all of my friends going off to college, setting up dorm rooms, and meeting new people, it became even more difficult to be satisfied with where God had put me. But I continued to pray, knowing that I had made the right decision, and one day God revealed part of his plan to me. 

How did you decide on joining with Experience Mission?

After many Google searches for gap year programs and mission organizations, I came across Experience Mission, which offers 3 and 6 month Immersion programs. The word immersion caught my eye immediately, because that is what I sought to do. After reading more about the program, I realized that this was exactly what I was looking for.

What will you be doing during your time with Experience Mission?

I have committed to traveling with EM for 6 months in the Caribbean. This journey will begin with a 1 week training session in Indiana, then will move to NYC for a few weeks to help with the Salvation Army and serve the people of Harlem. After our time in the US is done, we will head to Haiti to begin our time in the Caribbean. We will spend 4-8 weeks in Haiti, Jamaica, and Belize, building relationships with the local people, helping in schools and churches, and living out our mission everyday.

What can we do to help & support you as you begin this journey?

I would love for you to be a part of my support team, and to commit to pray for me over the next few months. I must also raise the funds. I am currently working at a restaurant in order to earn money, and I am brainstorming creative ways to raise money through events and sales. I will also need people who are willing to support me through one-time and monthly donations so that I will be able to reach my goal of raising $10,000 by December 12, 2015. This is a HUGE goal, that will cover the cost of the trip, immunizations, gear, and other fees, but I feel that this trip is God's will and I know that he will provide! Every dollar counts, and I would love for you to be a part of what I am doing this year! Thank you in advance for your support through prayer and donations!

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