YAGM + Missionaries

The Saint Paul Area Synod has many people serving on our behalf - and on behalf of the ELCA - throughout the world. Offering themselves in service, missionaries help to shape and connect our global church and be the ELCA's hands and feet in companion churches and organizations across the world.


Shared Placement Missionaries

Through Bega Kwa Bega, the synod sponsors a long-term Program Coordinator to provide support to the work of our global companionship with the Iringa Diocese. For more information about this position, contact begakwabega@spas-elca.org.

Deacon April Trout

April works with our companions in Iringa, Tanzania to ensure year-round representation of the Saint Paul Area Synod. In her work, she provides support to the core work of our relationship in four key areas: administration, relationship building, hospitality, and project monitoring.


A recent graduate in Ministerial Studies from the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg, April comes to us from the Lower Susquehanna Synod of the ELCA with twenty-eight years of experience in labor and delivery nursing as well as a term of service in Tanzania with the Peace Corps. In 2004 she spent ten weeks serving as a medical missionary with their companions at Itete Lutheran Hospital in the Konde Diocese - several hours West of Iringa. Serving Bega Kwa Bega and the Saint Paul Area Synod is April's first call as a Minister of Word and Service.

Young Adults in Global Mission (YAGM)

The ELCA Young Adults in Global Mission program invites ELCA young adults ages 21-29 into a transformative, year-long journey in international service. In 2017-2018, two young adult missionaries are representing the Saint Paul Area Synod abroad.

Sarah Peterson

Sarah Peterson of Our Savior's Lutheran and St. Paul Lutheran, both in Stillwater, is serving in the United Kingdom.


Sarah Peterson is a graduate of Augsburg College, earning her BSW in Social Work. Since then, she has been working at Nova Classical Academy in special education. Growing up in Our Savior's Lutheran Church in Stillwater, Sarah participated in service trips and was witness to the global work that her grandmother was a part of in Tanzania. "Throughout my life I have been a part of the church," Sarah says. "Church is where I learned and experienced God's work through global missions. This is where I felt God pulling me and encouraged my decision to apply for Young Adults in Global Mission." Sarah is placed in the United Kingdom, serving congregations in Chipping Norton and Wychwood, England.

Rachel Mann

Rachel Mann of Our Savior Lutheran Church in Circle Pines is serving in Madagascar. She blogs at rachelmannyagm.weebly.com.


Rachel Mann grew up in Lino Lakes and has been an involved member at Our Savior's Lutheran Church in Circle Pines for most of her life. She graduated from Centennial High School before heading off to the Upper Peninsula for college. Rachel attended Northern Michigan University, where she played in the marching band, tutored in the campus Writing Center, volunteered at events on and off campus, studied abroad in Paris, and student taught in New Zealand. She just graduated this past May with degrees in Secondary English and French Education. During all four of her college summers, she worked at Camp Emmaus in Menahga, Minnesota. Rachel loves exploring the great outdoors, hammocking, reading, writing, spending time with family and friends, and venturing out of her comfort zone. She could not be more excited to serve as a YAGM volunteer in Fianarantsoa, Madagascar and cannot wait for all the adventures in store this year!