YOUNG ADULTS IN GLOBAL MISSION (YAGM): HOW IS THE CHURCH RAISING UP MISSIONARIES TODAY?
Rev. Janelle Osbeck, Prince of Peace Lutheran Church, Des Moines, IA
In August of 1965 my parents, Rev. Ronald and Marilynn Hays, were commissioned at St. Peter Lutheran Church in Grimes, to serve as missionaries in Japan for the Global Missions of the American Lutheran Church. Not long afterwards, they boarded a boat with me (age 5) and my brother Jeffrey (age 3) for a two week trip across the Pacific Ocean to their new home in Tokyo. My parents served as missionaries in Japan for 35 years until my father’s death.
Almost 50 years, later my daughter, Anastasia Osbeck, has been commissioned and sent by the ELCA’s Global Missions’ program, Young Adults in Global Missions (YAGM), to serve as a missionary in the United Kingdom. She is one of a team of 64 young adults (ages 19-29) who have been sent across the globe for a year of service to share God’s love in the world through the giftedness they already possess. Through their experiences, there is anticipation of growth and discovery of new talents. Young adults, such as Anastasia, share in the journeys of companion churches in Argentina & Uruguay, Central Europe, Jerusalem/West Bank, Madagascar, Mexico, Rwanda, Southern Africa, and the United Kingdom. They serve in the spirit of accompaniment, walking alongside global companions in a manner that practices mutuality, interdependence and solidarity.
Anastasia Osbeck, daughter of Rev. Roger and Rev. Janelle Osbeck, is one of two YAGMs in the Southeastern Iowa Synod. Both Anastasia, and YAGM JohnDaniel Engelhardt, son of Chaplain Marcus and Joanne Engelhardt, are members of Prince of Peace Lutheran Church in Des Moines. JD’s work in Madagascar will be shared in an upcoming article.
Anastasia is serving at The Anglican and Methodist Church of St. Andrew in Paddock Wood, England, where she is called to work with the high school youth of the church, but is learning that her work is much broader. Besides taking part in worship, staff meetings and youth gatherings, she is learning the inner workings of the church. She especially enjoys her time in the local schools making herself available to the elementary and high school staff and students. YAGMs who are in the UK are part of an ecumenical ministry called Time for God. Periodically, they meet for support as most YAGMs in the UK are isolated from each other throughout the year. Time for God also requires the young adults to take theological courses as part of their call to mission.
Anastasia has been in Paddock Wood since August 21 and shares in her blog that she is humbled by the amount of hospitality St. Andrews Church and the surrounding community have shown her and for the way they have embraced her into their family. During the first two weeks, each night she was invited for supper by the kind people of St. Andrews. If you would like to keep up with Anastasia and her service in Paddock Wood, her blog is anastasiaosbeck.tumblr.com.