Elaine M. LaVan is a missionary through the US-2 young adult program of the General Board of Global Ministries of The United Methodist Church. Commissioned in August 2012, she is assigned as an advocate at the Women’s Shelter at the Navajo United Methodist Center in Farmington, New Mexico.
US-2 missionaries serve for two years in the United States, usually in ministries that emphasize social justice. Young adult mission service through Global Ministries expands participants’ mission vision and offers faith contexts for the use of skills.
The center, located just outside the Navajo Reservation, provides direct services and transitional living facilities for low-income women and their children who have survived domestic violence and/or homelessness. It serves the Four Corners area and the Navajo Nation. The center is a national mission institution of United Methodist Women.
As an advocate, Elaine has firsthand contact with residents, learning to know their stories and needs, and to offer referrals and guidance toward services. She also helps residents comply with the rules of the shelter.
Elaine is from Fairfield, Iowa, where she is a member of the First United Methodist Church. She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in integrated studio-arts/photography from Iowa State University in Ames. Music is a major interest, and she was an education intern at Iowa State in her senior year.
“Both my family and church family are full of spiritual mentors who guided me and supported me along the way,” she says. “Through my church background and many personal experiences and trials, I came to know Jesus as my savior.” Elaine was involved in the church program and other programs from an early age, and took part in mission trips as a teenager.
Her strong commitment in mission is to share with others the love she knows God has for her and every person. “I want to serve others,” she says. “It’s been put on my heart to let others know just how important and how loved they are.”
: Iowa Annual Conference
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