Global Mission Fellows: I am not alone

WSF_Global_Mission_Fellow_Yvonne_Agduyeng_700x466
WSF_Global_Mission_Fellow_Yvonne_Agduyeng_700x466

I had written another article for Channels and I thought I was done – another check mark off my to-do list, until news reports started coming in about the alt-right gathering in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Being all the way in Germany, not only was I physically far away from everything, but also I was not exactly sure where to turn or who to turn to all the way over here. On Sunday morning, I needed to hear words of lament and a call to stand alongside our brothers and sisters against the hatred that pervades in our world. I needed to hear words of affirmation that the Church is committed to doing justice work and that bigotry and small-mindedness has no place in the kingdom of God.

But I did not get any of that.

A few of the youth and I gathered to hear Chancellor Angela Merkel speak on August 15 where she mentioned that "it is more critical now that we learn to work together for the safety and peace of the world.

About a year ago, when I was still a Global Mission Fellow-in training in Atlanta, Georgia, I remember one of the speakers saying, "You will be homesick. That is a fact."

And they were right. I knew they were going to be right. More than once I have been homesick. But I think sitting there on Sunday morning was the first time I felt alone. I needed to talk to someone about what was happening but no one knew what happened.

And so what do I do? I scrolled through Facebook and found live feeds from communities I have been a part of in Washington State and in Washington, DC. So I sat in front of my computer and listened to sermons and read blogs and was filled with overwhelming relief that I was not alone in feeling this. Whatever this is.

I still have way more questions than answers – and honestly, more anger than compassion. But I find relief in not feeling like I am alone in this. I may be all the way in Germany but I am glad that I can still find solace and comfort in the communities that I have been a part of at home.

I have been in Germany for almost a year and I cannot express my appreciation for the support I have received from the PNW Annual Conference. My work in Germany with refugees and migrants has not been easy (far from it!) but it has been so life-giving. But I always tell myself, this is the work that I have been called to do, and the PNW Conference has been a huge part in guiding and supporting me in my ministry.
Vielen Dank und Aufwidersehen!

Yvonne Agduyeng, Global Mission Fellow serving with International and Migrant Ministries in Frankfurt, Germany.

One of seven apportioned giving opportunities of The United Methodist Church, the World Service Fund is the financial lifeline to a long list of Christian mission and ministry throughout the denomination. Through the Four Areas of Focus we are developing principled Christian leaders by building an understanding that everyone has a role in God's work to transform the world and move people to take action.