Why do a Service Year For Christ? In an interview with Kayla Ruiters from Stellenbosch, she gives some insight into the matter as she shares her 2018 experience.
-> Kayla, how did you first hear about the UCSA?
“My high school had a UCSA group and I have friends who work at the USCA, and they invited me to join them on the camps as a volunteer.
-> Why did you decide to become part of the UCSA?
“All the people at UCSA are like family. They have had a good thing going and what they do is absolutely AMAZING. From the start, I knew this what I would love to be part of. UCSA is Godly driven and that also attracted me. UCSA has a home-away-from-home type of vibe. It is a safe haven to many.”
-> What were some of the activities you did and responsibilities you had during your service year?
“At service year you do a lot of things. Part of what you do during your year involves class lessons, camps, and holiday programmes. Our leaders taught us how to take the lead, take the stand and how to be brave. We did a whole lot of adventure camps and obstacle courses. One of the things for example that we do at these camps is rotational games. As a team, we’ve learned to always be there for each other, with everything we do. Teamwork makes the dream work!”
-> What were some of the highlights for you?
“Weirdly enough the first thing that came to mind was the times when I was bitten by spiders and stung by bees. The pain and the humiliation were terrible but yet so hilarious! Insects somehow just love me. I tried to get over one of my fears by jumping off a cliff into a river. I was wearing a safety vest of course. I will also never forget the places we’ve seen and the lovely people we’ve worked with. The times when our team had good laughs together will always be in my heart. It felt so good the share the Gospel with our youngsters. The best part is to see the impact you’ve made in someone’s life.”
-> How has this year of service impacted your life?
“My life will never be the same again. Before service year I was in an awkward place in my life. Giving myself for service year was the smartest decision that I made at that time. Service year gave me a type of healing that I needed. My Service Year gave me answers to questions I didn’t even know I had. It also made me realize how much grace God has given me over the years. My perspective on life changed. Now I see life from a different point of view. I understand more and more why people do what they do and why they say what they say. I’ve become more understanding and sympathetic. I love the person that I’ve become because of my UCSA Service Year.
-> Have you seen lives being transformed?
“O, yes! I’ve seen kids hungry for God’s Word who needs healing and who needs answers. I’ve seen children come to a camp who were deep in their shell and it’s so beautiful to see during the camp how they blossom. I’ve seen kids with potential who needs someone other than their own biological family to tell them it’s okay to be themselves.
Even my own life has been transformed since I’ve been with UCSA.”
-> What advice would you give someone who wants to do a Service Year For Christ?
“My first reaction will be that they must go for it because they won’t be disappointed. Secondly, I will tell them to live in the moment and take each opportunity that comes your way. There will be many challenges but take the challenges to grow and to improve yourself. While being part of service year, journal lots as it will be part of your memories. Write down everything you learn because at a later stage you will need that info. And of course, you will have lots of fun!
-> Would you recommend the UCSA to anyone you know?
“Yes! And a million times yes! Personally, I feel doing a service year was one of the best decisions I have ever made. I will never regret it. Each day was a new adventure. Do you want to know who you really are? Service year for Christ is a place to find out. If you’re not part of the UCSA family yet, you’re missing out big time.