Global Links January 2022

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January 2022
Young Adults in Global Mission: Reflecting on the Past and Preparing for the Future
YAGM alum Haley Toresdahl, far right.

Every year the Young Adults in Global Mission (YAGM) program sends young people to walk alongside global communities during a year of service. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, YAGM has been paused since early 2020, yet the program staff have remained hard at work, deepening relationships with the program’s country partners, and YAGM alums are finding new ways to use lessons they learned in the program.

Haley Toresdahl, currently working toward a master’s degree in public policy, has been thinking a lot recently about her 2015-2016 YAGM year in Cambodia. She reflects on how she was welcomed there and challenges herself with the question, “Would I do that if I had the opportunity?” She is always asking, “What does it look like for me to continue to practice generosity here?”

Toresdahl and her fellow alums, as well as the YAGM staff, are excited for the program to reopen in 2022. Ashley Holbert, a 2016 alum, advises future volunteers: “Prepare your hearts to be opened, because you’re going to be changed.”

Read the full story in the newest edition of Boundless.

News Around the World
News Around the World
Since the beginning of November, refugees from Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria have been stuck at the Belarus-Poland border. To retaliate against European Union sanctions, Belarus is granting refugees seven-day visas, then forcing the refugees into other countries, such as Poland. Instead of letting these migrants into the country, Polish soldiers are leaving them in limbo at the border. The Lutheran Church in Belarus is assisting refugees by distributing warm clothes, food and other essential items, and providing translation services. Further support from Lutheran Disaster Response will allow the church to provide resources to over 1,000 migrants.

Learn more here.

Mission Personnel
Mission Personnel Reflection

A reflection from Anne Langdji, regional representative in West Africa: “The country of Sierra Leone, on the west coast of the African continent, managed to keep COVID-19 cases relatively low compared to many, so in October I was able to travel from Cameroon to join the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Sierra Leone (ELCSL) as it gathered in general assembly. The church reelected Bishop Moses Kobba Momoh and made plans for its continuing ministry in Sierra Leone. Both women and men, with a significant proportion of young people, led and participated in the assembly. The ELCSL prioritizes theological training to ensure good Lutheran teaching and preaching in its congregations, and it seeks to proclaim the love of God through development, health and education programs. These are also priorities of the Africa team in the churchwide organization’s Service & Justice home area.”

Learn more about ELCA missionaries here.

Get Involved
Get Involved

  • YAGM applications are now open for the 2022-2023 program year: Young adults aged 21 to 29 can apply for an international service year that will shape their faith, career, identity and understanding of how they fit into God’s work in the world. YAGM volunteers will begin their service in August 2022. The deadline to apply is Feb. 1, 2022, and priority will be given to those who apply before Jan. 15, 2022. Learn more and apply here.
  • Lutherans were present at the recent United Nations Climate Change Conference in Glasgow. A few of the young adults in attendance reported on their experiences at a recent webinar. Watch the presentation here and learn how we can care for our common home together.
  • We are hiring! Apply to serve with our global companions. Open positions include: country coordinator, Young Adults in Global Mission (various countries); Central Europe teacher (Slovakia); communications consultant (Kenya); seminary professor (Hong Kong); lecturer (Tanzania); pastor (Kenya); regional representative (Asia); and co-directors and chaplains (Jordan). Visit the ELCA job board to learn more and apply, and contact with questions.
  • Across the country, ELCA congregations are working with their local resettlement agencies and sponsoring individuals and families who evacuated from Afghanistan in August. But the need for support remains great. Learn more about how your congregation or synod can take part in the resettlement effort by reading the AMMPARO blog and by following AMMPARO on Facebook

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