Mary (Meg) Gaston is a mission intern with the General Board of Global Ministries of The United Methodist Church, working with the Asian Rural Institute in Japan. She earlier spent time with the social service agency of the Choong Cheong Annual Conference of the Korea Methodist Church, based in Seoul.
Mission interns engage in a 25-month international program that includes 20 months in foreign placements, two-and-a-half months in training and transition (or itineration), and a final two-and-a-half months in a special project or itineration in their home countries. Mission interns integrate faith and justice by learning and working in communities that struggle with injustice and suffering. Meg was commissioned in August 2013.
The Asian Rural Institute, located in northern Japan, is an international training facility for grassroots rural leaders. To date, it has trained 1,230 rural leaders from 51 countries across Asia, Africa, and the Pacific. The Choong Cheong Annual Conference social service agency engages in social, economic, and cultural ministries for migrant workers in the Cheon An area of South Korea.
Meg is from Monroe, North Carolina, where she is a member of Zion United Methodist Church in the Western North Carolina Annual Conference. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in mathematics from Pfeiffer University, Misenheimer, North Carolina. During her student years, she worked at Camp ACCOVAC in Millboro, Virginia, as a resident assistant at the university and, immediately after graduation, as a substitute high school teacher.
Meg’s faith journey and her decision to pursue mission work have been strongly influenced by mission trips in the United States during high school and trips to Cuba, Guatemala, and Kenya while in college. After several weeks in Kenya, Meg says she knew she would “not be satisfied living the life that I had always imagined for myself. I knew that God was calling me not only to mission but to overseas mission. I knew that God’s plans for me were far greater than any that I had ever had for myself.”
: North Carolina Annual Conference
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