Core Values: Young Adults Reflect on their First Half of Mission Service
It’s that time again. The 2013 class of Global Mission Fellows (GMF)-US-2’s are in New York for mid-term training. Serving as the hands and feet of our church, these young adults are in mission across the country; from the rolling hills of the Appalachian Mountains, to Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. Small in number, the class of 12 gathered for a weeklong training in a large conference room on the 15th floor of the Global Ministries offices. The space was filled with worship, reflection, laughter and tears. As these young adults finish up their training and head back to their placements, they will return with a renewed sense of community within their cohort and rejuvenated spirits to fight injustice in the world.
Mid-term training is a requirement for all classes of young adult missionaries. It is a space to regroup, reexamine, and recharge in community with those journeying together in mission. A mental check-in is beneficial for missionaries to evaluate lessons learned in the first half of mission, and to set goals for the next half.
This class of US-2’s spoke to a room filled with Global Ministries staff on Friday, September 26th. They split into three groups of four to tackle the core values of the GMF program; engage, connect, grow.
Young adult missionary Stephanie Plotas shared, “To engage is to struggle. It’s to be willing to dive beneath the surface and go to the depths of reality. To hear stories of truth in all of their pain and joy, it’s not easy, but by God’s grace I’m willing to do it. I can acknowledge injustice while knowing that justice will come.”
Speaking on how these young adults have connected the church in mission, Sarah Mudge explained how she has been able to “help educate church congregations on how large the mission field really is.” Kharissa Allman added that in her campus ministry assignment she has been able to, “connect the students to God to help them discover their gifts.”
When hearing about how the young adults have grown in personal and social holiness over the last year, Kristina Thorson who works with children in an after school program shared that she has, “learned to see joy and God in chaos.” Janjay Innis believes that mission teaches us to, “faithfully wrestle with our call to journey with people into abundant life.”
These young adults are passionate about mission. They love their work and it shows. Towards the end of their presentation when asked, why they were initially interested in the program, Katie Pryor replied, “It (GT) gives you the opportunity to do something you're passionate about. It allows you to find your vocation.”
As these missionaries head back into the field recharged and ready to work, continue to keep them in your prayers. The group unanimously agreed that the love and support they get from our churches is what keeps them going.
Together we can help cultivate more young adults to lead our church into the future. If you or someone you know is interested in Generation Transformation, applications are out now! There are only a few weeks left to get your GMF application in by Oct. 15, the first application period. Click here to apply, or pass it on to someone you know!
Meet the GMF-US-2 Class of 2013:
Dave Johnson, Washington D.C.; United Methodist General Board of Church and Society
Diamond Pate, Western North Carolina; Hinton Rural Life Center
Elizabeth Fink, Miami, Florida; Branches
Emilie Bowman, Memphis, Tennessee; Workers Interfaith Network
Hayley Terrell, Dallas, Texas; Dallas Leadership Foundation
Janjay Innis, Tacoma, Washington; Tacoma Community House
Katie Pryor, Biloxi, Mississippi; Moore Community House
Kharissa Allman, Fayette, Missouri; Central Methodist University
Kristina Thorson, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; Oklahoma Annual Conference
Molly Williams, Salt Lake City, Utah; Crossroads Urban Center
Sarah Mudge, Seattle, Washington; Mary’s Place and the Church of Mary Magdalene
Stephanie Plotas, Tucson, Arizona; Iskashitaa Refugee Network