connectNmission: February 2012, Issue 15
February 2012, Issue 15Featured Resource Advocate of the Month
|Letter from Thomas Kemper
Missionary in the Snow
|Finding Hope in Kenya
For 60 years, Global Ministries has been sending young people into service. We have enriched the lives of thousands of young men and women, and through their witness touched countless youth, adults, and communities. Young adult programs develop church leaders as they work in communities confronting issues such as poverty, racism, or environmental justice. They respond to the prophetic voice of communities and individuals working for systemic change around the world, walking the path of justice, mercy, and love.
Global Ministries encourages and leads young people to engage in disciplined theological reflection, equipping them to discern God's calling for their lives. As you read through this month's connectNmission, identify ways that you can harness the enthusiasm of young people in your community. Do you know someone who shows promise as a missionary or volunteer? Is your church's youth group interested in addressing issues of hunger and poverty? Please consider introducing them to the opportunities available through Global Ministries.
Thank you for partnering with us in shaping ethical, prophetic Christian leaders who are engaged firsthand in God's mission in a world of injustice and need.
In mission and ministry together,
Thomas G. Kemper
General Board of Global Ministries of The United Methodist Church
Photo: Commissioning Service of Young Adult Missionaries
Photo Credit: Cassandra Zampini
Christopher Steppe, a US-2 missionary currently serving in Nome, Alaska, is experiencing life in the northern reaches of the US. He's learning what it means to serve when early blizzards can cut off fuel supplies, and how to survive all kinds of storms far from his home in Northern Virginia. He's also reaching out to youth, families, and seniors in the Bering Straits region through his work at the Nome Community Center.
The Center is a national mission institution linked to United Methodist Women and Global Ministries. Originally a project among reindeer herders that was started by the Women's Home Missionary Society of the Methodist Church in 1906, the center is now a major asset to the town of 3,500 and surrounding areas. It supplements public welfare programs with a food bank, children's home, and after-school activities. Chris works especially with youth and seniors.
The US-2 Program is a domestic, two-year, faith- and justice-centered leadership-development and mission-service program for adults aged 20-30 who are interested in partnering in solidarity with faith-based organizations.
Are you interested in having a US-2 missionary serve at your ministry site? Certain criteria must be met to receive US-2 missionaries. Learn how your ministry can be a placement site for US-2s.
Ake Nathan, a young adult from Côte d'Ivoire, spent six weeks last summer as a Global Justice Volunteer in Kenya. Nathan volunteered at a dispensary in Kopanga village, which is located in Nyanza Province. This United Methodist Clinic serves all areas of the village. Of primary concern is helping people living with HIV/AIDS.
Most of Nathan's work was with KOPONET (Kopanga Post Test Network), which supports people living with HIV/AIDS and their families. They also work to support stigmatized women. During his volunteer term, Nathan participated in testing and counseling, site visits, fundraising, and education. "During those six weeks, I faced many challenges," Nathan recalls.
"I was impressed by the way people living with HIV/AIDS spoke openly of their status," he says. "Sitting at their side, in their hut taking tea, we spoke of life, our different cultures and countries, and laughed. I was happy to see a smile on their faces. There is hope."
Global Justice Volunteers provides opportunities for cross-cultural exposure, learning, and service. Through this program, a space is created for individuals who are willing to make short-term commitments to service and/or mission and who desire to explore the links between faith and justice.
Does this sound interesting to you? There is still time to apply to be a Global Justice Volunteer. The application deadline for 2012 is March 9.
- Learn more about this program at gjv.info.
- Give to Global Justice Volunteers.
- Find out if your program can be a placement site for Global Justice Volunteers.
- Are you interested in engaging your youth through such an event? Learn more and get the 2012 student handbook and projects online.
For more B1 information, go to fasttodaychangetomorrow.org.
On February 10-11, 2012, 30 young people at First UMC in LaPorte, Indiana, fasted and participated in the B1 program. Their goal is to raise $5,000 that will go to missionary Frido N. Kinkolenge's ministry and to local programs that serve people living in poverty. They have raised $2,900 so far, with funds still coming in.
The youth met together to determine which Advance they wanted to raise money for. "When we went through the projects, the youth were all impacted by Frido's mission," said youth pastor, Jennifer Casper.
During the fast, the youth participated in a variety of activities, including doing "random acts of kindness" in their neighborhood. It snowed the day of the fast, so young people shoveled snow, cleared windshields at the local hospital, carried groceries, and performed other tasks. They also wrote email messages to Kinkolenge to encourage him in his work.
"I have a young group, and a lot of them were doing it for the first time," says Casper. "I have since talked to several, and they are still excited. So are the parents."