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 2018-2019 YAGM volunteers have returned to the U.S. If you would like to invite Courtney Noya, Stephen Bryant, Sean Bryant, or another young adult to your congregation to share about their experience as a Young Adult in Global Mission, please email email@example.com.
The 2019-2020 YAGM volunteers from Florida-Bahamas Synod are introduced below. Please keep them in your prayers this year!
Download the 2019-2020 YAGM Info 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 5 Young Adults in Global Mission (YAGMs) with connections to 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 suport any of these Young Adults – go to https://community.elca.org/yagm/give.
Meet Sarah Henning, YAGM to Mexico
I’m Sarah Henning and I will be participating in Young Adult in Global Mission in Mexico. I just graduated from the University of Georgia with my Masters in Public Administration and my B.A. in International Affairs. Through my studies, I became interested in various immigration and social justice issues, I know that this year will help me explore these issues hands on. Growing up in the church the daughter of two pastors showed me the amazing opportunities the church provides for partnership and service in various communities, and I am excited to be called to serve. I will be living with a host family and volunteering with local community initiatives focusing on immigration and human rights. I am looking forward to exploring my relationship with God as well as building valuable relationships with my peers in the Mexico cohort and those in the community I will be serving in. This mission would not be possible without the generous support of members of the ELCA. Every donation is used to support the organizations and families I will be working with this next year. If you are interested in supporting my mission this upcoming year, checks can be made payable to the ELCA with “Sarah Henning- GCS3534” written in the memo line. Even if you are unable to support my mission financially, I would appreciate your thoughts and prayers! Thank you for letting me share with you today about YAGM!
Meet Lee Setzer , YAGM to Madagascar
I was born in Concord, NC to two pastor kids who met as counselors and graduated from Lenoir-Rhyne University in ’90 + ’91. We moved to Florida when I was 3 and began attending church at Lutheran Church of the Resurrection in Palm Harbor. I followed in my parents’ footsteps by attending L-R from ’15-’18, graduating with a degree in Environmental Science and Policy, and then each summer I’ve been a counselor at Lutheridge.
I became aware of the YAGM program while on staff at Lutheridge my second summer. A fellow counselor told me about how she was going to be serving in Eastern Europe through the program and it peaked my interest. As I continued my studies at L-R and grew in faith I felt a calling to service.
I have heard this call to service in the past, but never felt like I was able to fully give myself in the capacity that I felt is asked of us as Christians. Galatians 5:13 reads , “13 You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh ; rather, serve one another humbly in love.” Jesus calls us as his Disciples to serve others and YAGM has given me a great opportunity to serve others for an entire year–I couldn’t be any happier!
Meet Macy Kennedy, YAGM to Australia
My name is Macy Kennedy and I will be serving as a Young Adult in Global Mission in Australia. In May, I graduated from Florida Gulf Coast University with a B.A. degree in Environmental Studies. I am so excited for my year of service and am looking forward to joining a new community and learning about a different culture. I have worked at summer camps the past five years, four years at Luther Springs and this past summer at Sky Ranch in Colorado. One of my counselors from when I was a camper reached out to me during her YAGM year and told me I would be a great candidate. I have always looked up to her and so I looked into it and applied. While in Australia I will be working at a Lutheran school in Geelong, Victoria. I will work with the primary classes and hopefully go on camping excursions with the students. I have felt so supported by my home community and very received from my new community in Australia and am so grateful for this opportunity.
I will be blogging about my story along the way, please follow me at: cuppateainthearvo.home.blog
Meet Brad Giordano, YAGM to Madagascar
I never really thought I would be doing something like this. It was only after I began to work at summer camp that I began to realize how little I knew about my own interests. I went to the Ohio State University to be a Mechanical Engineer. I love roller coasters and thought that I wanted to design them for a living. Only, I didn’t give much thought to anything else or care to explore what all else I could do. After a failed internship application, I took a job as a counselor for the summer at Lutheridge in Arden, NC. It was an incredible summer, and after my semester interning for Universal the following Fall, I realized I had far more fun being a counselor. Teaching others about Jesus and working with kids brought me far more joy than sitting behind a computer from nine to five. My summer back-up plan turned into three years at the camp, and when I finally finished school, I didn’t know if I really wanted to go into engineering anymore. The Young Adults in Global Mission program presented itself to me, and I thought to take the year as a break from school before finding someplace to stay for a bit. I thought of all the ways I could learn about some other culture and how much fun traveling for a whole year would be. More importantly, I thought about how I could continue to grow as a person, a Christian, and a counselor by being present and accompanying those in another part of the world. As I embark on this journey, I am focused on answering one question in a multitude of ways: what is God calling me to do?
My blog is at yagmtomadagascar.blogspot.com
Meet Kaitlyn Ziegelmeier, YAGM to Senegal
My name is Kaitlyn Ziegelmaier and this year I will be serving in Yeumbeul, Senegal. While in Yeumbeul, I will be working with the children of the community in a classroom. I will be teaching preschool and kindergarden this coming October. As well as teaching, I will be helping in the sports and leisure program in a local community center.
Before volunteering with YAGM, I have been working as a summer staffer with YouthWorks. YouthWorks is a national company that aims to bring mission and relational ministry to high school youth all across the United States. The past three years I have been lucky enough to work in Cairo, IL, Jamaica Queens, New York and Chicago, IL. Through this company I have grown passionate about urban mission and mission work in general. Therefore, last summer I was able to learn about Global Mission through my church. I found that YAGM was a perfect fit for my heart and ideals as an individual and would allow me to broaden my horizons.
How Can Your Congregation Support These Young Adults?
Young Adults in Global Mission need the prayer and support of congregations and individuals in the U.S. while they live out their year of service. Here are some ideas for how you and your congregation can support these young adults:
- include each young adult by name in your prayer petitions in worship on a regular basis
- Add the names of the young adults to the prayer list that gets circulated to your congregation
- Share the links to each young adult’s blog and invite your congregation to read about their experiences
- Invite a Sunday School group, Confirmation class, Youth Group, adult Bible study, men’s/women’s group to take at least one special offering to support the ELCA YAGM program
- Intentionally plan to observe the FBSynod’s Global Fund-Day (first Sunday in October) to raise awareness and support for Florida-Bahamas Synod Global Mission partners
- Invite YAGM alumni to share about their experience during worship, education hour, or another group (contact firstname.lastname@example.org to invite)
- Follow ELCA YAGM and ELCA Global Church on social media to hear more stories and see more pictures