About Me.

 My name is Alan Yarborough. I was born and raised in Asheville, a city situated in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina, and I'm a member of Trinity Episcopal Church. I studied economics and global politics as an undergrad at Clemson University in South Carolina. While at Clemson, I was fortunate to study abroad at Anglo-American University Prague, Czech Republic. Read about that here.

Also, it was a privilege to serve as a peer minister for Canterbury of Clemson, an Episcopal young adult ministry, for my final two years at Clemson. I will always be grateful to the congregation of Holy Trinity Episcopal Church of Clemson for their support of this ministry and to the Canterbears for creating such a wonderful spiritual home.

I enjoy writing, reading, biking, and hiking. I like to travel, explore and find new experiences in places familiar and foreign. But most of all, I enjoy being with people. Through the experiences I've had at Trinity Episcopal and Holy Trinity, I have developed a strong faith with a thorough Episcopal tradition. Together, these interests and experiences have led me to embark on a journey serving as a missionary for The Episcopal Church. I began by serving for almost two years in the Young Adult Service Corps, living and working in Cange, Haiti, focusing on economic development and assisting the relationship between Cange and the Diocese of Upper South Carolina.

I'm now living in Cap Haitien on the northern coast of Haiti and working as a project manager for the revitalization of the Centre d'Agriculture St. Barnabas in Terrier Rouge.

To find out more about my motivation to serve, keep reading below.

What is mission to me?

Here are the Five Marks of Mission from The Episcopal Church:
  1. To proclaim the Good News of the Kingdom
  2. To teach, baptize and nurture new believers 
  3. To respond to human need by loving service 
  4. To seek to transform unjust structures of society 
  5. To strive to safeguard the integrity of creation and sustain and renew the life of the earth
Upon first glance, numbers 1 and 2 make me a bit uncomfortable. And though I feel an impulsive motivation to fulfill 3-5, when I really think about them I get overwhelmed. All of these marks are so complex and big, and yet I believe they are a purposeful and comprehensive guide to our call as Christians.

With mission work in the Episcopal Church, these five marks must be taken together and considered in light of the primary means of acting out mission: being in relationship with others. By being with others in communion, we can better realize our collective potential and better understand one another. This understanding can open minds and hearts to the transforming power of God's love and direct, faithful action, which I believe are the foundation for all five marks of mission. From here, from within a community, the Five Marks of Mission become much more approachable.

Choosing Mission

Through the experiences I've had in the nurturing and loving communities I've been a part of, I've grown to appreciate the power of a community. It is in a community that I feel I can reach my potential, and if I really want to make a positive difference in the world, I need to find a community in which I can thrive. Mission work is about making a positive change in others lives and accepting their positive influence on you, and it can only happen in community.

Being a missionary gives me the opportunity to build community between nations, cultures, churches and people. It means that by building relationships, by actively participating in community, I am fulfilling the five marks of mission. We can only proclaim, teach, respond, seek and strive together. We cannot succeed alone.

Working as a volunteer in mission provides an opportunity to do and experience what I described above. Alleviating human suffering and spreading love does not have to happen within a religious setting. But within the context the Episcopal Church, by working and living in a Christian community, all five marks become more accessible.

By volunteering with the Episcopal Church, I will experience and utilize community in different and new ways. First, I am inviting communities with which I'm familiar to join me in this endeavor, bringing them into relationship with the new community I'll form in Haiti. Then there's the community of the other volunteers. Though we will be scattered around the world, we will be sharing our experiences with each other and supporting each other through challenges and successes. Finally, there is the community of former volunteers and the mission personnel staff, who will be providing invaluable support and guidance to us while we are abroad.

I am excited to give back to the world by serving with the Episcopal Church. I'm equally as excited to absorb what the world has to teach me. I am blessed to have the support and encouragement of this program and all of you.

I hope that you can join me in this mission, even though you may not physically be with me. "There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work." 1 Corinthians 12:6

1 comment:

  1. I am so proud of you Alan, and excited for this new chapter of your life! I still have not contributed $ and would like to. How do I go about that at this point? I look forward to reading your posts and to seeing you once you are back in the US. Thank you for doing this important work!
    Sra. H