Making a Difference in Grenada
By Julia Kayser
January 29, 2013—Mission Interns Anna Gill and Christian Love Daroy work on the beautiful island of Grenada in the Caribbean. Unacquainted until their Mission Intern orientation, they are now housemates and program assistants for GRENCODA (Grenada Community Development Agency).
The two teach after-school classes and perform secretarial duties. They also help facilitate community education programs for adults in computer literacy, internet safety and environmental change. Members of Gouyave Methodist Church have welcomed Love and Anna, who have started a Sunday school and a youth group.
Love grew up on the island on Mindanao in the Philippines. She worked in a bank before becoming a Mission Intern. Anna, from Canal Winchester, Ohio, had just graduated with degree in education from Marietta College when she began orientation.
Their backgrounds illustrate the different paths young adults take to three years of service as Mission Interns with the United Methodist General Board of Global Ministries. The next application deadline for the Mission Intern program is Feb. 15.
GRENCODA may be small, but it makes a big impact, Love says, working in rural communities with women, children, farmers and fishers. It sponsors animals, tools, fertilizers, boat repairs and hurricane rebuilding, in addition to providing uniforms, books and transportation for students.
The emphasis on education creates sustainable change, Anna says. One of the women’s office mates started out as a daycare worker with GRENCODA, having never been to secondary school. Seeing potential, the organization invested in her, and she is now a project manager. “She’s so passionate about working in the community because she is a part of the community,” Love explains.
When asked about the value of her Mission Intern experience, Love said she likes teaching the after-school class. “When you meet these kids who are trying to learn… you just can’t help but have sympathy, and you want them to learn more,” she says. “It’s exciting to watch their progress.”
Anna’s favorite is life in the Grand Roi community. She says it has been incredibly welcoming and they have great neighbors.
“I love God, and he is the reason why I am here,” Love says. At the same time, she admits, it is hard to be so far away from home. The time difference prevents her from talking with her family as much as she would like and her father has been in the hospital. “It’s heartbreaking to hear the voice of my father who’s sick,” she writes on Facebook. “But I know Abba Father is still sovereign.” Difficult times make “me lean on him completely.”
At the same time GRENCODA gives Anna a place to serve, it also helps her “to live out my faith in ways that make a difference,” she says. Not certain she wanted to go directly from college to the classroom, her Mission Intern experience allows Anna to explore other interests in addition to teaching.
Do you know young adults who have a passion for God’s work and would benefit from an experience like Anna and Love’s? Encourage them to learn more about the Mission Intern program.
Photo: Mission Interns Anna and Love bake a cake with their young friend, Marissa.
Courtesy of Anna Gill.