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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Julia 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.
Julia graduated from Gonzaga University with a degree in economics and political science. Since then, she spent a year in Malaysia with the ELCA Young Adults in Global Mission and was a backpacking guide with Rainbow Trail Lutheran Camp in Colorado. Prior to her current role, she worked with Centro Guadalupano's after-school and ESL program through the St. Joseph Worker Program, where she lived in intentional community. Julia found the Sisters of St. Joseph's charism of "Always moving towards profound love of dear neighbor and God without distinction" to be particularly moving.
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 2016-2017, five young adult missionaries are representing the Saint Paul Area Synod abroad.
Amy Mihelich of Faith Lutheran Church in Forest Lake is serving in Rwanda.
Amy is a graduate of St. Olaf College, majoring in English & Political Science with a concentration in Women's and Gender Studies. In college, she worked on St. Olaf's student newspaper and aspires to pursue a career involving writing & communications. Amy is serving her YAGM year in Rwanda, working at the Protestant Institute for Arts and Social Sciences (PIASS). "I'm passionate about the YAGM philosophy of accompaniment, and I'm looking forward to walking with my community as we invest in each other over the coming year," Amy says. "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."
Samantha Ea of Christ On Capitol Hill in Saint Paul is serving in Jerusalem/West Bank.
Samantha is a graduate of Luther College, with a degree in English & French. The youngest of five kids, her fraternal twin sister is serving through Lutheran Volunteer Corps in Milwaukee while Samantha serves in Jerusalem/West Bank. "I am excited to experience a new area of the world that I have never traveled to and be in the Holy Land, seeing first-hand the places where Jesus walked," Samantha says. "I'm looking forward to interacting with the kids and people of Bethlehem and gain a better sense of what it means to walk in accompaniment and be a servant."
Tim Gabriel of Redeemer Lutheran in White Bear Lake is serving in Mexico.
Tim is a graduate of Augustana College and the University of Kansas. For the last six years, he's been serving as Director of Worship and Music at Redeemer Lutheran, and is taking a leave of absence to serve in Mexico through YAGM. "I have a heart for social justice and advocacy and hope," Tim says. "I feel ready & excited to make cross-cultural connections through a home stay and daily service work, improving my meager Spanish skills, and being an ambassador for Mexican-United States relations."
Erika Storvick of Resurrection Lutheran in Woodbury is serving in Madagascar.
Erika is a recent graduate from Luther College and is serving her YAGM year in Madagascar. Her placement is in Fianarantsoa, where she lives in the Tanana Ambony (Old Fianar) community, teaching English at Masombohoaka and at a deaf school. "Through this year, I am looking forward to learning a lot and growing in community with my Malagasy neighbors," she says. "In the future, I am considering working as a teacher, so I think this year will help me discern whether that path is the right fit for me."
Micaela Laurence of Gloria Dei Lutheran in St. Paul is serving in Uruguay.
Micaela is a recent graduate of Muhlenberg College where she earned a degree in neuroscience and public health. Her experiences serving as a camp counselor as well as studying abroad in South Africa fostered a passion for serving youth and securing access to quality healthcare. "I feel drawn to the YAGM program because of its mission to strive for social justice while walking alongside marginalized groups on their faith journeys," she says. She is serving in Uruguay's capital of Montevideo, at the Lutheran church Nuestro Salvador and at the non-profit organization Juventud Para Cristo, which equips teachers to respond to children's rights violations. "I'm most excited to discover how my faith will evolve in community with my Uruguayan brothers and sisters in Christ," she says. You can follow along at www.anuruguayanadventure.wordpress.com.