Welcome Home: Two Young Missionaries Return from Two Years as Global Missions Fellows

8/30/2018

By SYBIL DAVIDSON

Two young missionaries from Noth Georgia recently returned from two years of international service through the UMC's Global Missions Fellows program. Trisha Manns of Impact UMC in East Point served in South Korea and Jessica Stewart of Glennhaven UMC in Decatur served in Capetown, South Africa. 

Trisha worked in the South Korean Department of Peace and Reconciliation as a liaison with English-speaking partners. The organization has been at work for 30 years to end the division of the Korean War. Her work was primarily in an office setting, but she shared that worshipping with Korean United Methodists warmed her heart.

"I enjoyed the very traditional way church happens in Korea," she said. Coming from Impact, a new church that from it's founding "does church differently," the experience was new to her. "And the church has dinner together every Sunday."

Jessica's passion is working with children and youth. She was assigned to work with young people in Cape Flats, a very poor neighborhood in Capetown. 

"Our work was to establish a program to motivate and tutor teenagers," explained Jessica. "Among other things, we offered English lessons, math tutoring, and  group counseling."

Toward the end of her time in Capetown, she worked to start a peer tutoring program so the work could continue after the Global Missions Fellows returned home. 

"The thing that captured me most was the enthusiasm for God," she said of the people of Capetown.

While visiting the North Georgia Conference Office, Jessica and Trisha discovered that, although they didn't know each other prior to their service, the very same person had mentioned the program to them. 

They too would encourage young people to consider serving as a United Methodist Global Missions Fellow. 

"It is hard and difficult work but the reward is so great," said Jessica. 

"Even if you feel like you *might* consider applying, go ahead and start the application," said Trisha. 

Neither of the women were specifically looking for this kind of opportunity. Trisha studied English Lit at Agnes Scott and Jessica had been active in social justice work through Georgia State University. 

There were more than 10 countries represented in their cohort of 45 young international missionaries with participants from Fiji to Barbados, The Phillippines to Germany. Truly "from everywhere to everywhere." 

The experience was eye-opening and life-changing for both women. 

"I have a new appreciation for world news," said Trisha. "In 2018 we're Global Citizens."

Both Trisha and Jessica are available to speak to young adult groups, campus ministries, church or even individuals. Contact them through Rev. Scott Parrish at scott.parrish@ngumc.net

On Thursday, Aug. 30, Trisha and Jessica passed the baton to more North Georgia Conference young adults. Asti White and Kristi Painter were commissioned as US-2 Mission Fellows at Grace UMC in Atlanta this morning. Julia Falgout recently completed her training in Johannesburg, South Africa, and will be serving two years in Poland.

"We give thanks for the places they will serve and for all who were part of bringing them to this Holy moment," prayed Thomas Kemper, top executive of the UMC's Global Ministries, at Thursday's commissioning service of 10 young adult missionaries.

And the people of the North Georgia Annual Conference say, Amen! 


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