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 email@example.com.
Ryan and Astine Bose
Ryan and Astine have been hired as the next BKB Program Coordinators to work with our companions in Iringa, Tanzania to ensure year-round representation of the Saint Paul Area Synod. They will provide support to the core work of our relationship in four key areas: administration, relationship building, hospitality, and project monitoring. Due to the COVID pandemic, they will be deployed after they receive the vaccine. They have already started working behind the scenes, monitoring transactions and responding to email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ryan served as one of the first Young Adults in Global Mission (YAGMs) in Rwanda in 2014-2015. Astine has a Master's degree in architecture and professional experience as a project manager. They both grew up in north central Kansas and are enjoying time with family there while waiting for the green light marking their move to Tanzania.
The ELCA Young Adults in Global Mission program invites ELCA young adults ages 21-29 into a transformative, year-long journey in international service. These young adults serve in the spirit of accompaniment, walking alongside global companions in a manner that practices mutuality, interdependence and solidarity. Areas of service include, but are not limited to, health and development, congregational ministry, human rights, education, homelessness, addiction recovery, women’s issues and children and youth.
Candidates for YAGM apply to the program at large rather than a specific country, although they may express preferences. Applications are accepted from November through mid-February each year for service starting the following August. Currently, YAGMs serve in Argentina/Uruguay, Australia, Central Europe, Jerusalem/West Bank, Madagascar, Mexico, Rwanda, Senegal and the United Kingdom. Learn more at www.elca.org/Our-Work/Global-Mission/Young-Adults-in-Global-Mission and/or follow @ELCAYAGM on Facebook.
Unfortunately, the seven young people from our synod who most recently served with YAGM were called home early due to the pandemic. They included:
Rebecca Martin comes from St. Olaf College in Northfield. She served in Montevideo, Uruguay.
She worked with Congregación Nuestro Salvador and the local non-profit Juventud Para Cristo in the area of children's justice initiatives. Rebecca is a native of Denver, Colorado, and graduated from St. Olaf in May of 2019 with a degree in biology. She heard about YAGM through a friend during her time at college.
"I hope to personally grow through the relationships and connections I form through my community, and to give back to my communities both at home and abroad," she said.
Emily Ronsberg is from St. Mark's Lutheran Church in North St. Paul. She served in Matimba, Rwanda.
She helped with English and other programs at Kagitumba Lutheran Parish's nursery school and the Bwera congregation's primary school. She also served the Matimba Lutheran Parish building relationships with pastors and communities in the surrounding region. Emily graduated in 2019 with a biology degree from Concordia College in Moorhead and plans to pursue her MDiv at Wartburg Theological Seminary upon her return to the United States. She is a triplet and knows how to juggle!
Emily was most excited for building relationships with her host family and community, learning how to speak a new language and navigate a new culture. She looked forward to seeing the beautiful and wonderful ways that God moves in and through the Rwandan friends and other Rwanda YAGMs that accompanied her. She is infinitely grateful for all the love and support from her home synod - thank you!!
"I hope to be pushed beyond my comfort zone, to see the face of God in every person I meet, and to be utterly transformed by the experiences and people I encounter," she says. "I wish to carry this year and these stories with me for the rest of my life so that my future ministry and life may bear witness to the beauty of God's creation throughout the Earth and God's call on all of our lives to be in humble service alongside our neighbors."
Nicole Schloesser-Becht's home congregation is Augustana Lutheran in West St. Paul. She served in the United Kingdom.
As an assistant at the Fellowship Afloat Charitable Trust (FACT) Centre in Tollesbury, England, she taught life and team building skills through sailing, ropes courses, and other activities. Nicole says, "I've had some troubles trying to figure out exactly what I want from life, and YAGM appeared as an option at quite an opportune time." She was excited to bring back what she learned from being abroad back home to share with her church community. She loves reading, Sudoku, and anything involving outdoor water activities (boating, kayaking, and swimming, to names few).
Nicole says, "I love the opportunity to walk alongside people of a different culture, and bring different ways of life and learning home with me....It'll be a great chance to meet people I would never have met before, and accompany (and be accompanied by) others in a new environment." She adds, "I'm so happy and grateful for this opportunity, and would never have been able to do it without the support of my home church."
Emily Shane is the goddaughter of the Rev. Jules Erickson of All Saints Lutheran in Cottage Grove. She served in the United Kingdom.
As a children's and youth volunteer at St. Barnabas church just outside of London, Emily helped with youth ministries and after school clubs as well as sang in the choir. She was born and baptized in Iowa. When she was five years old, her family moved out to Washington State where she's been a member of Poulsbo First Lutheran Church ever since. She graduated from Pacific Lutheran University in May of 2019 with a computer science major and a minor in music. Emily has a passion for teaching and spending time with kids and has been a camp counselor for the past two summers. In her free time, Emily can be found curled up under a blanket with a warm beverage and a book.
She says, "Service as a faith practice has always been a big thing for me. YAGM emphasizes service with an attitude of accompaniment which means that the goal is not to convert but to spread God's love and to build community with the global body of Christ." She adds, "In this year of service I expect to work, celebrate, mourn, learn, grow, worship, walk, and just be alongside the members of my new community. I look forward to seeing the ways in which I will continue to be transformed and led by God."
Emily thanks the people of the Saint Paul Area Synod for accompanying her with your prayers!