Growing up in Fort Worth, Texas, with parents who worked long hours to earn a living, Silvia Quezada found refuge at El Buen Samaritano United Methodist Church.
"My parents and I are from Mexico," Silvia said. "I came to the United States when I was 3 years old. My mom struggled finding a job that would help my dad with the bills. Thanks to the church, she was able to find one at a McDonald's restaurant. She has been working with them for as long as I could remember. She worked her way up to supervisor. My dad has had many jobs and has worked extremely hard to keep the family well fed and sheltered.
"Growing up," she continued, "I tried hard to please my parents in any way I could. I pushed myself hard academically because, as a child, I was always told that education was very important and that it would take me places."
She is appreciates the congregation that has embraced her and her family.
"The United Methodist Church," Silvia said, "has inspired me to keep pushing when all seems hopeless. El Buen Samaritano would work hard to create events to help the less fortunate around the community. The love and all the helping hands inspired me to lean toward social work."
Her pastor told her about the Ethnic Scholarship, and Silvia was relieved to receive it.
"The Ethnic Scholarship," Silvia noted, "is life-changing. I am a DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) student, and finding scholarships that work for me is a blessing. The scholarship not only helped my family financially, but it also helped me spiritually. It helped me build a better relationship with God and my community."
Your gifts on World Communion Sunday, supports the Ethnic Scholarship which enables The United Methodist Church to equip gifted, qualified students from around the globe to become the world changers God created them to be.
While Silvia was considering a helping profession, she said her school's career-connections center has been an excellent resource. "The center offered help building a resume and cover letter," she explained, "and they even helped find the career that best suited me."
An ambitious, motivated young adult, Silvia is involved in her campus and home communities and looks forward to the future.
"Since I now live in Denton," she explained, "I found it hard to return to Fort Worth every weekend to help my youth group. Every two weeks, I go back home and help my mother clean the church, and whenever I am needed, I go on field trips as a chaperone with the youth.
"I will strive to do everything in my power to help anyone, big or small, no matter how the system works," Silvia added. "I know this world has a lot of need, and I want to give my all and help others. My faith in Christ is going to guide me in the right direction, even when hope is lost."
Barbara Dunlap-Berg, freelance writer and editor, retired from UMCom
One of six churchwide Special Sundays with offerings of The United Methodist Church, World Communion Sunday calls the church to reach out to all people and model diversity among God's children. The special offering provides World Communion Scholarships, the Ethnic Scholarship Program and the Ethnic In-Service Training Program.