Young adults preparing to spend a year in various locations around the world through Young Adults in Global Mission gather in Chicago for orientation and training.
Savanna Sullivan is the Program Director for Young Adults in Global Mission in Rwanda. At the 2018 ELCA Youth Gathering, she addressed the participants.
The ELCA’s Young Adults in Global Mission program provides young adults, ages 21-29, opportunity to grow in their faith and work hand-in-hand with our global companions. Young adults in the program serve in churches, schools and social service ministries. Currently the program is engaged in work in Argentina/Uruguay, Australia, Cambodia, Central Europe (Hungary & Serbia), Jerusalem/West Bank, Madagascar, Mexico, Rwanda, Senegal, Southern Africa and the United Kingdom.
The ELCA Young Adult in Global Mission (YAGM) program for 2018-2019 includes 3 participants from the Florida Bahamas Synod. The Global Mission Committee has added support for Courtney Noya and Sean and Stephen Bryant to their list of projects for this year.
The 2017-2018 YAGM volunteers have returned to the U.S. If you would like to invite Ashley Fyle or Kelsey Johnson to your congregation to share about their experience as a Young Adult in Global Mission, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The 2018-2019 YAGM volunteers from Florida-Bahamas Synod are introduced below. Please keep them in your prayers this year!
Download this flyer to help share the stories of these Young Adults with your congregation.
Support our Young Adults in Global Mission!
The Florida-Bahamas Synod is pleased to share that 3 Young Adults in Global Mission (YAGMs) from our synod will be engaged in a year of service representing the ELCA in Global Church mission. You, your congregation, and your conference can lift up these servants in prayer, follow their story and experiences be getting on their blogs and newsletter links, and support them financially by donating to the ELCA YAGM program. Each YAGM must raise $5000 to contribute to their year abroad.
To make a donation to either Courtney, Sean, or Stephen – go to https://community.elca.org/yagm/give.
Meet Courtney Noya, YAGM to Mexico
My name is Courtney Noya. I’m from a small town called Land O’ Lakes, FL and my home congregation is All Saints Lutheran Church in Lutz, FL. I just graduated college from Florida Atlantic University’s Harriet L. Wilkes Honors College this past May with my undergraduate degree in Psychology. In February, the 2017-18 YAGM (Kelsey Johnson) reached out to me about potentially applying for the YAGM program. I worked at Luther Springs for a couple of summers after Kelsey did and a mutual friend put my name on her radar as someone who may be interested in international service. For the past few years, I have worked with a small non-profit called Athentikos, which does art camps with at-risk youth in Guatemala. After going to Guatemala twice to do mission work, I knew I was feeling God’s call to international mission. I am excited to spend a year in accompaniment in Mexico where I will be working at a migrant shelter called Sagrada Familia, which is located along the tracks of La Bestia (a train that migrants use to travel through Mexico). I look forward to how this opportunity will allow me to serve, but also to learn and grow! I will be documenting my experience; my blog can be found at: https:// theeucharistandthestranger. wordpress.com/ .
Meet Stephen Bryant , YAGM to Rwanda
Stephen Bryant recently graduated from Lenoir-Rhyne University where he majored in Religious Development. He was also President of the LRU Student Government Association, VP of the LRU Mortar Board, and Treasurer for the Lutheran Student Movement.
“I had heard about YAGM when I was around 16 and it came up again when a YAGM alum visited one of my classes in college. From this point I wrestled with whether to apply or not and ended up doing so.
I will be tutoring English at the Protestant institute in Huye, also known as Butare. I will also be working at a women and children’s empowerment clinic there.
You can follow Stephen’s journey through his blog: https://yourpeoplewillbemypeople.wordpress.com/
Meet Sean Bryant, YAGM to Southern Africa
My “Dream Job” is to become a surgeon and so in my senior year at college I applied to multiple medical schools. I had received rejection letters, which is nothing new to the process, and I was beginning to panic. Having been part of clubs on campus, started my own research with bacteria, and having recently finished a project with NASA I was quite confused as this situation was not part of my plan. I was sitting in the lounge of the science faculty and I had decided to look up the YAGM program sites. You see, my brother, Stephen, had already applied to this program and had been interested since he first heard about it. As I was looking through the sites, I had a feeling to be quite adventurous. I am a planner, analyzer, and cautious individual by nature but for some reason I felt the urge to just apply. Well it just so happened that that very date was the last date to apply. I called the YAGM office and then scrambled to get all the letters of recommendation and other required documents as quickly as possible. After submitting the paperwork on-time, I sat down to complete a biochemistry lab report and I froze. My “normal self” had re-entered my brain and I began to regret the decision since I had not thought about the possibility of a medical school accepting my application or the ramifications of just going to another country for a year and what that would do to the plans that I had made for my life. I sat there and eventually came to the conclusion that for this instance I would participate instead of anticipate. I would follow through with the process and see what journey could come from this instead of my usual plans. At the end of the day, I saw this as a growing opportunity for me to become more diverse in my experiences and perspective.
Southern Africa: In regards to my site, I recently found out that I am going to the Guateng Province in South Africa, in the Pretoria Circuit, though I am currently unsure of what my service will be. However, the jobs can range from teaching children, HIV/AIDS service assistance, aiding in parish ministry, or a 9-5 job.
You can follow along with Sean’s journey through his blog: https://blessedarethepureinspirit.wordpress.com/