The ELCA Young Adults in Global Mission program invites ELCA young adults ages 21-29 into a transformative, year-long journey in international service.

For the next year, Central is sponsoring two young adults in global mission. They each will write newsletters periodically throughout the year, updating us on their experiences from their respective locations. See their letters of introduction below.

Kurt Hellmannyagm_kurt

I want to first thank you for this amazing support. I am overwhelmed by your congregation’s generosity and outreach to support two of the eighty five YAGM’s for this year. I’d like to take an opportunity to tell you more about myself.

I graduated this spring from Luther College, located in Decorah, IA, with a major in statistics and a minor in environmental studies. I’m an avid runner and enjoy just about anything outside. I ran competitively in high school and college. Fun things I like to do include hiking, camping, playing frisbee, reading, and playing music (mainly percussion and guitar). I’m hoping to someday find a profession where I can use my background in statistics to analyze environmental data and yield conclusions that influence government policy.

I am participating in the YAGM program due in part for my appreciation for service. Over the years, I have discovered that my passions are best brought to life through the helping and serving of others. Numerous volunteering experiences through my college and home church congregation have helped foster this realization. An additional reason for joining the YAGM cohort is that I’ve found global awareness and interdependence to be important concepts to living as a citizen of the world. Throughout my college years, I had the privilege of traveling and studying abroad in several places across the world, which has given me a grasp of the importance of global consciousness. These traveling experiences have also expanded my perspective of the earth—its people, culture, religion, and biosphere.

While in Cambodia, I will be living in the town of Bavel and serving with a non-government organization called Life With Dignity. Bavel is located in northwest Cambodia, near Thailand. Part of my service will be to work with Life With Dignity staff in the office and area villages, which may include helping farmers to adjust practices to climate change, child rights, gender equality, and editing reports. The other part of my service will be teaching English at a local public school.

Amy Mihelichyagm_amy

The network of people who come together to support YAGM is incredible, and I am so thankful for your congregation and it’s dedication to serving young adults.

As Kurt said, we cannot wait to share our stories with you electronically during our YAGM year, and we are already looking forward to sharing them with you in person when we return!

In May, I graduated from St. Olaf College (in Northfield, MN) with a double major in English and Political Science and a concentration in Women’s and Gender Studies.  Although I have many disparate interests, I brought them all together by studying intercultural communication, persuasive rhetoric, journalistic ethics, and non-violent conflict. Reading, snowboarding, playing guitar, camping, puns, the color coral – these are a few of my favorite things. In college I worked on the Manitou Messenger, St. Olaf’s student newspaper, and I hope to one day pursue a career that involves writing and communications.  This summer I am working as the Community Director at Luther Crest Bible Camp in  Alexandria, MN.

During my YAGM year I will be serving in Rwanda and working at the Protestant Institute for Arts and Social Sciences (PIASS).  In the coming weeks I will learn more about the exact type of work I will be doing, but I know I will be teaching English and computer classes at the institute. I lead a bible study for girls who were a year younger than me during college, and I’m hoping to get involved in something similar during my time at PIASS. I anticipate that this year will have many challenges, but I am also anticipating a year of spiritual growth, professional development, and ever-increasing cultural perspective. I’m excited see how God works through me as I build lasting relationships with my community and broaden my global perspective during my YAGM year. the words of Isaiah 6:8 have been on my heart over the past few months: “Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, ‘Whom shall I send and who will go for us?’ And I said, ‘Here am I. Send me!'”  I’m excited to see just what “Send me!” will mean during my year of Christ-centered service.


ELCA Young Adults in Global Mission Support

Kurt Hellmann – serving in Cambodia, from Andover, MN.
Kurt’s blog
Kurt’s November newsletter

Amy Mihelich – serving in Rwanda, from Forest Lake, MN.
Amy’s blog
Amy’s January newsletter