Zach served as a summer intern at Messiah in 2017 |Greetings |
I am so excited to announce that I have accepted the opportunity to serve as a Young Adult in Global Mission (YAGM) volunteer in Central Europe starting this August! YAGM is a year-long service program operated by the ELCA that sends 70+ young adults into service in 9 different countries every year. It is not yet certain what work I will be doing next year but some of the possibilities include: teaching/tutoring English, serving meals in homeless shelters, supporting day-care centers and after school programs, farming/gardening projects in rural communities with families experiencing poverty, accompanying university-aged Roma students through the Roma College program, and so much more!
One of the many things I love about YAGM is its guiding principle of accompaniment. In the context of this program, accompaniment means "walking alongside global companions in a manner that practices mutuality, interdependence and solidarity." In other words, I'm not going to Central Europe to start anything new, or to "fix" anything. My purpose this next year is to support the ministries and programs that already exist and to simply be present with the people in the communities I will be joining.
Historically, Christianityhas had a harmful and divisive presence through much of its 'mission' work, and I believe it is incredibly important to reflect on the dogmas that informed and continue to inform detrimental "othering," and unloving pursuits.That said, another important part of my work will be to militate against destructive narratives of exclusion and division perpetuated by the Church by embodying a message of love, hope, and reconciliation.
Here's how you can join me on this transformative year of service!
Every YAGM volunteer is asked to raise at least $5,000 to support their year of service. Please consider supporting my fundraising efforts with a donation today!Through your donation, you join me on this journey as I grow in my faith and walk alongside our global companions. However, if supporting me financially is not an option for you, your thoughts, prayers, encouragement, and words of wisdom are also deeply appreciated!
Thank you for joining me on this important year and for your support!
God's blessings to you!
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