Kelly Schaefer is a mission intern with the General Board of Global Ministries of The United Methodist Church serving at the Servant Community, an intentional community for young adults near Sullivan, a small town in southeastern Wisconsin.
Mission interns serve half of their three-year terms in international assignments and half in their home countries. Young adult mission service through Global Ministries expands participants’ mission vision and offers faith contexts for the use of skills. They integrate faith and justice by learning and working in communities that struggle with poverty and injustice.
Kelly was commissioned in August 2012 and her initial placement was with the Asian Rural Institute in Japan. The institute is an international training center for grassroots rural leaders. It covers such topics as sustainable agriculture, community development, and leadership. To date, ARI has trained more than 1,100 rural leaders from 51 countries of Asia, Africa, and the Pacific.
The Servant Community is a United Methodist ministry focused on young adults. The community strives to share the gospel of Jesus Christ through the way it lives. It has three components: mission, community building, and spiritual growth. The physical hub is Raspberry Hill Farm, a 42-acre spread, a part of which is cultivated by the community.
Kelly Schaefer is from Kalamazoo, Michigan, where she is a member of the Milwood United Methodist Church, in the West Michigan Annual Conference. She holds two Bachelor of Arts degrees: one in communications and one in English and language arts from Grand Valley State University, Allendale, Michigan. Additionally, she holds a graduate teaching certificate from the same school. She has work experience in primary-school teaching, communications, and business management.
She says that a strong foundation in faith and social justice has sustained her over the years, but that her journey “has been all but straight and narrow. I have crossed paths with myself and even had to retrace my steps more than once, [but] I have been inspired to continue forward so many times. This program encourages its participants to work hard for social justice in the name of the Lord and that is extremely important to me.”
Kelly states that since childhood she has been deeply affected by the story of the disciples leaving behind their worldly possessions to follow Jesus. She says that mission work allows her to tangibly follow the inspiration she has gleaned from this story.
: West Michigan Annual Conference
Beware of internet property rental scams and other similar scams using missionary names.