Andrew Kastner is a Global Mission Fellow of the United Methodist General Board of Global Ministries, engaged in a two-year term of service in the United States. He was commissioned in July 2015.
The Global Mission Fellows program takes young adults ages 20-30 out of their home environments and places them in new contexts for mission experience and service. The program grew out of the faith and justice emphases of the historic United Methodist US-2 and Mission Intern programs. Global Mission Fellows become parts of their new local communities. They connect the church in mission across cultural and geographical boundaries. They grow in personal and social holiness and become strong young leaders working to build just communities in a peaceful world.
Global Mission Fellows in the US work through geographic affiliates, such as United Methodist annual conferences, districts, local ministry networks, and educational institutions. Andrew’s affiliate is the Florida Annual Conference, which has a long-standing relationship with the young adult mission programs of Global Ministries. US-based fellows engage in advocacy for justice; social services, notably for youth and the elderly; and leadership development for church and community.
Andrew is serving as outreach and advocacy coordinator of the homeless ministry of the First United Methodist Church of Miami, located downtown. He works with students and other volunteers who are essential to the ministry and takes part in a wide range of corollary activities and services. Global Mission Fellows in the US may move through a spectrum of ministries in the course of their two years.
Andrew is from Kansas City, Missouri, where he is a member of the Revolution United Methodist Church in the Missouri Annual Conference. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in nursing from the University of Kansas Medical Center, Kansas City, Kansas and another B.S. in Athletic Training from Kansas State University in Manhattan, Kansas. He has worked as both a nursing associate and a registered nurse at the University of Kansas Hospital.
Brought up in the church, Andrew says he did “not discover for himself what it means to have a relationship with Christ and be a follower until college.” His experience with mission began in college on a work trip to Cape Town, South Africa. He tried to formulate reasons not to go, but found himself being forcefully called. “Months later, I realized this experience changed my life.”
On the South Africa trip, he became friends with the group’s leader, Caitlin, now his wife and also a Global Mission Fellow. Back in school, he took a course in mission in which missionaries spoke each week. “Halfway through the course, I realized I could not ignore the Great Commission any longer. I discovered that like Jesus I wanted to serve people, to serve by becoming a nurse to heal and care for them. I felt that all the questions that I had been asking about my purpose were being answered.”
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