Christian Gap Year Experience – Bethany Kunz – Touch the World

Bethany Kunz is a current student in the Discipleship & Missions Year (Christian gap year program) at Touch the World, a missions training organization based in Allendale, NJ, that “creates opportunities for youth to encounter God and engage their faith through missions… to live on mission every day, everywhere.” She’s enrolled in Anchor Christian University courses integrated into the program as well.

In this conversation, Bethany discusses her experience in the Discipleship & Missions Year. She shares her background, how she discovered the program, and her initial resistance to it. Bethany also talks about the challenges and benefits of the program, including intensive learning, emotional growth, and building real community. Bethany discusses the easy and challenging aspects of the program, her progress in dealing with emotions, and upcoming outreach trips. She also shares her goals for the Greece trip, team dynamics, and her next steps in personal development.

Quick Outline

Use the “chapters” at the bottom of the embedded video (links below) to jump to different parts of the conversation.

  • 00:00 Introduction and Background
  • 02:50 Discovering the Discipleship & Missions Year Program
  • 05:34 Decision to Delay College
  • 06:10 Transition to the Gap Year Program
  • 08:05 Challenges and Benefits of the Program
  • 09:43 Intensive Learning and Emotional Growth
  • 10:51 High School Experience
  • 14:10 Easy and Challenging Aspects of the Program
  • 15:34 Progress in Dealing with Emotions
  • 17:06 Upcoming Outreach Trips & Local Outreach Activities
  • 19:48 Goals for the Greece Trip
  • 21:40 Team Dynamics and Contributions
  • 22:04 Next Steps and Personal Development
  • 23:02 Discovering Personal Identity

Key Takeaways

  • A gap year program can provide valuable experiences and personal growth opportunities.
  • Dynamics of the Discipleship & Missions Year program include intensive learning and emotional processing.
  • Small community and intentional mentoring are essential elements that help unlock sustainable growth.
  • It is important to be intentional in personal development and to understand one’s strengths and areas for growth.