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Young Adults Do Mission Through Justice
 
 
Newly commissioned US-2 missionaries in October 12, 2010.
Newly commissioned US-2 missionaries in October 12, 2010.
Image by: Cassandra M. Zampini
Source: GBGM Mission News

The application due date for US-2s and Mission Interns has been extended to March 1, 2011. Several dozen applications have been received over the last few months and there is time and room for more young people to apply.

The General Board of Global Ministries has renewed its commitment to new people serving in new places as United Methodist mission workers and volunteers around the United States and around the world.

Who is eligible?

If you are between the ages of 20 to 30 and are committed to addressing the root causes of injustice so that the gospel is lived out alongside communities and organizations seeking peace and systemic transformation, consider applying to become a United Methodist US-2 or Mission Intern.

US-2s serve in the United States for two years. Mission Interns serve for 16 months in an international setting, then16 months in the US. Both US-2s and Mission Interns commit to linking their faith to justice.

Where do missionaries serve?

The settings may vary from Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, to Detroit, Michigan, but they are always in connection with a United Methodist-partnered organization, faith community, or institution. Some may be called to work in an urban setting with labor organizers; others may work with children in a daycare center; some may help advocate for families in transitional housing. All settings are places of hope, requiring solidarity, openness, and Christian love. The overarching Global Ministries philosophy of mission stems from the reality that missionaries serve with, not to or for others. The work of a missionary is one of solidarity and accompaniment.

Are missionaries paid?

Both types of young adult missionaries, US-2s and Mission Interns, receive a small monthly stipend. They live and work in solidarity with communities that face systemic issues of injustice.

Missionaries commit to linking faith and justice. Young adults have the opportunity to live out their faith through justice ministries, connect to networks, raise awareness, transform communities, and become a part of a community through presence and solidarity.

How do young adults apply?

To download more information and an application to become a Mission Intern or US-2, visit the website at: http://new.gbgm-umc.org/connections/youth/applications/.

In recent years there have been about two dozen young adults serving as US-2s and Mission Interns at any given time. The General Board of Global Ministries is committed to increasing this number of young adult missionaries.

How can my organization host a US-2 or Mission Intern?

Your organization can be one of many United Methodist-partnered organizations hosting a US-2 or Mission Intern. Contact youngadults@gbgm-umc.org for more information. Placement site applications are due March 1, 2011, to host US-2s in the fall.

To learn about the broad spectrum of programs available for young adults to serve through Global Ministries of The United Methodist Church, including through the Mission Intern and US-2 programs, visit the website at: http://new.gbgm-umc.org/connections/youth/serve/.

To support the United Methodist Young Adult missionary programs, give through the US-2 Program, Advance #982874 or the Mission Intern Program, Advance #13105Z.

Stories

Katie Monfortte and Joe Hopkins share their reasons for becoming US-2s.

I choose to live out my faith through service. I believe that God called me to live boldly in him and through him. God has taught me to love service of all kinds and led me to become an active member of many different communities. As a US-2 missionary serving in Honolulu, Hawaii, I have the opportunity to share love and receive love from the members and staff at Susannah Wesley Community Center.

I get to see God in the relationships I am making, with the seniors who share tales of other days and their hopes for the next generation, all this done over a meal. I see God's hand in my ability to speak with kids and teens, meeting them where they are and trying to let them see the opportunities and the value of the choices they make every day. I get to serve with a passionate staff from the Kalihi community.

I would recommend this program to any young adult who is willing to take a step out in faith to show God's love and mercy, in hopes that one day this world will be more just.

Katie Monfortte is working with Susanna Wesley Community Center in Honolulu, Hawaii.

***

After six months in South America as a foreign student, I was convinced that we as American Christians need to welcome the foreigners in our midst in a way that honors and reflects Christ's love for us. I first heard about the US-2 program at the Exploration Conference for students considering the United Methodist ministry, and the idea stuck with me.

With the encouragement of my friends and mentors and the very fortunate falling away of certain obstacles, I was offered an interview. I was ecstatic when I was accepted, surprised when placed in Chicago, and as confused as a cow on a staircase when I realized that I would be serving with a worker-justice group. But God kept working on my heart, and now I wouldn't want to be serving anywhere else.

God calls us all to some form of ministry, and I suppose that these programs are not for everyone. Moving to Chicago from rural, central Pennsylvania was challenging, as was adapting to an office atmosphere and the worker-justice field.

There is a really steep learning curve to begin with. With that said, there are few other programs that offer the opportunity to integrate your faith into your daily life like the US-2 program. My work stretches me, but sometimes I have trouble sleeping because I am still so excited by my experiences of the previous day. I've learned to "own" my identity and to stretch myself.

God is growing and molding me, and that is largely because I am a US-2 missionary.

Joe Hopkins is working with Interfaith Worker for Justice in Chicago, Illinois.

***

Joseph Bradley and Hannah Hanson share their stories from a day in the life of a Mission Intern.

I was teaching my English class today when I looked at my watch. It was 3:00, and the students had been sitting there for an hour, so I decided to give them a 10-minute break before jumping into Active and Passive sentences. Last time I did this, all of the students left the classroom and stood outside. Today, however, a majority of them stayed in the class room with me. They began to ask me questions, and in return I asked them questions.

People here are willing to sacrifice a lot. It isn’t always an easy sacrifice, like leaving your family for a calling or giving up part of your salary to pay for others' medical expenses, but you won't hear people complain.

I think the people of Cambodia understand the sacredness that is found in other human beings. Every weekend a student of mine takes a long bus ride back to see his family and spend what time he can before heading back to school in hopes of one day giving them a better life. When Reaksa buys bananas and leaves them on my door knob, it is a sign of true selfless giving. And when my friend Sareoun gives to his mother-in-law what is already in short supply in their household, money, he does so because family is important.

I never thought of people as a sacrament of God but they really are if you stop to think about it. They are a sign of the divine; we are a sign of the divine. We have the ability to show the wonderful attributes of our loving and gracious God to each other.

I am so thankful to share my life with these people in the midst of oppression, pain, and bloodied faces. I feel that it's in these places where the Divine in each of us truly shines through. Thanks be to God for each other. Amen.

Joseph Bradley serves in the Cambodia Mission Initiative in Southeast Asia.

***

A lot of what we talk about at Bula Monyako is living with HIV--and the stories I think about today and the people who have done incredible things with their lives…. Suffering is not the main term I would use, I would use living. And yes, there are moments of suffering--but the living is what makes this all so strong for me.

And so today was also joyous. We were exhausted after a day of giving out ribbons, and information, and condoms, and inviting people to get tested and supporting people getting tested. But we were also dancing on the sidewalk as we were doing it.

There was life and joy and an openness to talking about something, which in so many people’s fears has robbed human dignity from others. This is not a disease to be oversimplified; those fears and unknowns are real. But just try talking about HIV and AIDS, and not always as a horrible epidemic …but with compassion and understanding.

Today was a day full of life, reflection, dancing, and learning. The spirit is moving, have hope. Happy World AIDS Day. People are doing amazing things and strides are being taken.

Hannah Hanson works with SHADE, (Sojourner, Help, Advocacy, Development, and Education) in South Africa.

Your local church may choose to enter into a multi-year Covenant Relationship with Joseph Bradley, Hannah Hanson, Joseph Hopkins, Kathryn (Katie) Monfortte,  or other United Methodist missionaries, for ongoing support of their work. For further information, please contact:

The Advance
General Board of Global Ministries
475 Riverside Dr, #350
New York, NY 10115
Phone: 212-870-3718
Fax: 212-870-3775

Email:
covenant@gbgm-umc.org

Web: advancinghope.org

You can make gifts to support the mission work of Joseph Bradley, Hannah Hanson, Joseph Hopkins, Kathryn (Katie) Monfortte, by making a donation through The Advance. The Advance is an accountable, designated giving arm of The United Methodist Church that ensures 100% of each gift reaches its intended mission or ministry.

Make a secure gift online: Visit Global Ministries Online Giving

Checks may be written to 'Advance GCFA' and placed in collection plates at United Methodist churches, or mailed directly to:

Advance GCFA,
P.O. Box 9068, GPO,
New York, NY 10087-9068.

Credit card donations may be made by calling
(888) 252-6174.

Please note on your check the name and The Advance Number of the missionary you are supporting:

Joseph Bradley, Advance Number: 13105Z
>> Biography
Hannah Hanson, Advance Number: 13105Z
>> Biography
Joseph Hopkins, Advance Number: 982874
>> Biography
Kathryn (Katie) Monfortte, Advance Number: 982874
>> Biography


 
 
 

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Date posted: Dec 16, 2010