Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Hi, I'm Ryan.

My name is Ryan Zavacky, and I am a parishioner at St. John’s Episcopal Church in Alma, Michigan.  I graduated with my Bachelor of Arts from Alma College last April, and this summer I will begin my year as a missionary for the Episcopal Church.  

The National Episcopal Church chose me for one of their Young Adult Service Corps (YASC) missions.  YASC sends about 15 to 20 young Episcopalians to foreign Anglican diocese to do service work each year. I was selected for their South African Mission in Grahamstown, South Africa.

While in Grahamstown, I will live and work at the Order of the Holy Cross Monastery.  The Monastery runs an elementary school for disadvantaged children in the area, and my job will be to help the teachers and to run the after school program.  I will get the opportunity to play soccer with the kids, help them with homework, and plan plenty of other activities with them.  

More importantly,  I am also there to be a presence in their society. I am to immerse myself in their life: learn about life from a different culture.   Ultimately, my goal is to bring that knowledge back to our Church and grow our church’s understanding of new cultures and new perspectives.
Holy Cross Monastery in South Africa

All of this does come with a cost. I must fundraise $10,000 for next year’s mission trips.  Bishop Ousley has graciously helped me by matching each donation with Diocesan funds, so - for example - if I make $5,000 the Diocese will give me another $5,000.  

To reach my goal, I need your help.  Your donations will help make this life changing mission trip possible. And always, whether you are able to donate or not, prayers are always appreciated and needed.