Global Links July/August 2023

Latest news and stories from Global Mission

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July/August 2023
Introducing the New YAGM Volunteers!
New YAGM volunteers (top row, left to right) Justin Sikkema, Sara Larson, Cecilia Hook, Nick Etzell, (bottom row, left to right) Sylvia Hwang, Kari Goodrich, Joshua Kenst and Cassidi Dozier

The next group of volunteers for Young Adults in Global Mission is preparing for service! Beginning in August, 29 young adults will walk alongside communities in six country programs:

  • Hannah Budner
  • Ellie Dieringer
  • Kerry Dolan

Central Europe
  • Sylvia Hwang
  • Sara Larson
  • Connor Moore
  • Madeline Trosvig
  • Lindsey Wellendorf

Jerusalem/West Bank
  • Abigail Doran
  • Cassidi Dozier
  • Kari Goodrich
  • Braden Hayes
  • Daniel Reichert
  • Shannon Baker
  • Simon Miller
  • Justin Sikkema
  • Elizabeth Spaans
  • Mary Winsor

  • Micah Brandsrud
  • Cecilia Hook
  • Joshua Kenst
  • Carl Norquist
  • Abigail Swigerd
  • Grace Weisser

United Kingdom
  • Emma Alpern
  • Nick Etzell
  • Michael Novotny
  • Lucy Sletta
  • Jennifer Uddenberg
We are excited to welcome new volunteers into the YAGM program and to see the newly reopened country programs for Mexico and Central Europe! You can support individual volunteers or the entire YAGM program here.

News Around the World
News Around the World
This year the evangelical Lutheran churches in Cameroon and the Central African Republic celebrated 100 years of ministry. Lutherans from both churches and from the ELCA gathered in Minneapolis, Minn., at the Sudan Mission Centennial Celebration to mark a century of partnership. The conference featured discussions with the president of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of the Central African Republic and the bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Cameroon, as well as former missionaries to the region. To see photos and learn more about the event, follow ELCA Global Mission on Facebook and Instagram.

Global Personnel
Mission Personnel Reflection

Rev. Rafael Malpica Padilla Delivers Commencement Address at United Lutheran Seminary

On May 19 the Rev. Rafael Malpica Padilla delivered the commencement address at United Lutheran Seminary, where he also received an honorary Doctor of Divinity degree. Watch the full commencement above.

The Rev. Padilla recently retired as executive director of the ELCA’s Service and Justice home area (formerly the Global Mission unit), a role he assumed in 2002. Prior to that, he served in several roles in the Global Mission unit and as bishop of the ELCA’s Caribbean Synod. We give thanks for the Rev. Padilla’s 35 years of ministry and leadership.

New Missionary Orientation

Earlier this week the ELCA welcomed 10 new missionaries into service:
  • The Rev. Andrew Ronnevik and Meredith Ronnevik — Seminary professor in Papua New Guinea
  • Susan Seidel — Bega Kwa Bega program coordinator in Tanzania
  • Bridget Gautieri — ELCA Wittenberg Center coordinator in Germany
  • The Rev. Rebekah Davis and Robert Forrest — Pastor of Saint Andrew’s United Church of Cairo and Saint Andrews Refugee Services in Egypt
  • Justin Mauney — Horizon International Seminary Intern in Malaysia
  • Karleigh Crepin — Horizon International Seminary Intern in France
  • Sophie Warnberg — Horizon International Seminary Intern in Serbia
  • Julia Kontour — Central Europe teacher in Slovakia
We pray for these new missionaries as they deepen our relationships with our siblings in Christ around the world. Keep reading “Global Links” and following Global Mission on social media in the coming months to learn more!

Get Involved
Get Involved
YAGM Senegal participants (left to right) Samuel Susina, Sol Nadal Diaz and Quentin Bernhard

  • YAGM is accepting applications now! The YAGM program has begun accepting applications on a rolling basis, year-round. The age range for participants has been expanded to 21-35 to align more closely with ELCA Young Adult Ministry. Are you ready for a life-changing year of global fellowship? Apply today!

  • The ELCA’s Truth and Healing Movement gives the people of this church an opportunity to enlarge their understanding of our colonizing impact on Indigenous people in the past and present. This summer, take an “Indian 101” class, discuss a book by a Native author with your community or visit a local powwow. Learn about these and more ways to get involved at

  • Know someone interested in receiving these “Global Links” updates? Share this subscription link with family and friends or post it on your congregation’s website. Help share the story of our global church!
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