YOUNG ADULTS IN GLOBAL MISSION (YAGM): A YEAR OF SERVICE
Written by Rev. Janelle Osbeck, Prince of Peace Lutheran Church in Des Moines, IA
Anastasia Osbeck, daughter of Rev. Roger and Rev. Janelle Osbeck, and JohnDaniel (JD) Engelhardt, son of Chaplain Marcus and Joanne Engelhardt, both from Prince of Peace Lutheran Church in Des Moines, are the Southeastern Iowa Synod’s Young Adults in Global Mission (YAGM) this year. Anastasia is serving in the United Kingdom at St. Andrews Anglican and Methodist Church in Paddock Wood, England. JD is serving in Vohipeno, Madagascar.
JD spent the first few weeks in Madagascar with the other YAGMs in the classroom learning the Malagasy language and exploring the streets of a new land. Upon completion of his language study, JD has headed to his YAGM placement in Vohipeno, a small farm town on the east coast of Madagascar. In Vohipeno, JD is working and living at a nearby farm school. He is teaching conversational English, and will be doing many other local jobs of which he does not yet know the specifics. You can follow JD on his blog at jdanielengelhardt10.wordpress.com.
JD and Anastasia will return to the United States equipped with skills and stories that will impact the church and wider society for years to come. They will join the other 500 YAGM alumni who have completed their year of service. ELCA Bishop Elizabeth Eaton shared in her presentation at the synod assembly the good news about these alumni. She said that on their return, 30% of these young people enter some kind of public ministry such as serving as pastors, associates in ministry or diaconal ministers, But she said, equally good news is that 70% do not enter public ministry which means that we have 70% of these alums who are young adults committed to this church with a deep faith commitment who have experienced the love of Christ.
These young adults are in our congregations and communities, and they are there to bring support and resources to all of us. For those who wonder “where are the young adults?” Bishop Eaton says, “Well, there are 70% of the 500 who are out there waiting to be known, embraced and encouraged to be part of our congregations. And they are ready for leadership, so keep an eye on them.”
If you would like more information on the Young Adults in Global Missions program, you can visit https://www.elca.org/Our-Work/Global-Church/Global-Mission/Young-Adults-in-Global-Mission.