Global Ministries

The United Methodist Church

Connecting the Church in Mission

The Transforming Power of God

 
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Connor Kenaston
Class: 2014-2016
US-2: Worked in Missouri as Mission Service and Justice Coordinator

I joined the Global Mission Fellows program because I wanted to take a few years off before heading to grad school. I looked at other service programs such as Teach for America and the Peace Corps, but I ultimately settled on the Global Mission Fellows program because I liked being part of a faith-based program that drew candidates from all over the world. I expected to get my hands dirty for a couple years, make some good memories, and grow in my faith.

A major theme of my missionary experience was that I saw God transform the world in powerful ways. I witnessed the transformation of a dying church into a life-giving hub for homeless services and ministries. This church’s kingdom-like worship changed the way I think about what it means to be the church. I also witnessed the fiery hope that arose in Ferguson, Mo., amidst the despair following the tragic death of Mike Brown and the aftermath of the struggle.

And yet, the transformation that I truly didn’t expect was that within my own heart. As a mainline protestant in the U.S., it can sometimes feel like the church is on the decline. However, after three weeks of training with 45 young adult Christians from all over the globe who were passionate about justice, I was filled with a mighty hope for the church and for the world. I was refilled with hope as I fell in love with scripture and made an inter-generational family out of a small group, and again as I prayed and engaged in service with my intentional community.

I carry these transformation stories with me now. While I did decide to continue on to grad school, I plan to “engage, connect, and grow” in my new placement site, to seek to live simply, and to hear the cries for justice in my own context. I return to school with an extra family — of missionaries and the people I met in Missouri —   and a renewed understanding of the power of relationships to change the world. I hope you consider joining the Global Mission Fellows program, but know that, if you do, your life will be transformed.

Generation Transformation is an initiative of the General Board of Global Ministries to increase opportunities for young adults to engage in mission throughout the connection. This includes supporting mission service within The United Methodist Church and Global Ministries’ flagship programs for young adults. These Global Ministries programs include: Global Mission Fellows, Global Justice Volunteers, and Individual Volunteers. Whether participating in a program to raise awareness of social issues, networking with others around the world, volunteering in a clinic, or dedicating their lives to long-term missionary service, young people transform their communities.

 

To learn more about the opportunities with Generation Transformation and to apply, visit our website HERE

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