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Lifted up by faith and family

Kennedy Bowie faced many struggles and setbacks growing up, but that hasn't stopped her from pursuing her dream of becoming a surgeon.

The college student lost her father when she was 8 years old. She said her mother did her best to provide for her and her two siblings. Despite financial hardships, she remembers a house filled with laughter and love.

"The joys of growing up were celebrating the holidays with my whole family, and being able to be carefree and energetic as a young child. I didn't have to worry about much. I would go outside and ride my bike I got for Christmas, sit around the fireplace with my family, and laugh until my stomach felt numb. I didn't ask for much, because I felt like I had just what I needed," she said.  

As she got older, though, she began to worry about her mother and her future.

"Sometimes, the refrigerator and the kitchen cupboards were empty for long periods of time, and we had to depend on other family members for food. My mom did lose her job for a couple of years and we had to move out of our house. That was a big challenge in my life because I had to adjust to a new lifestyle."

Kennedy Bowie (bottom center) with friends having a little fun. Courtesy Photo.

Bowie said her close-knit family gave her the support she needed to stay strong and continue on the right path. She also credits her home church, Locus United Methodist Church in Columbia, Maryland, with helping her family through the hard times and inspiring her to reach for her dreams.

She said the church provided her with a "warm and loving second family."

"I have spent my whole life in The United Methodist Church, and built strong relationships with my church family, filled with people who will do anything to support me. The United Methodist Church has greatly influenced me to keep hold of my morals as I grow and mature, and to keep faith and trust in God. Seeing those older than me grow and achieve their life goals, it shows me that dreams can come true and goals can be accomplished," she said.

Bowie is currently studying biology at Hampton University in Hampton, Virginia. She received a World Communion Sunday scholarship, which she said allowed her to attend the prestigious university and gain new life experiences. She urges the church to continue to support this Special Sunday to promote religious unity and to help students reach their dreams and continue on their faith journeys.

She said she will use her faith daily to remind herself of why she's pursuing her medical degree.

"Doctors are responsible for saving people's lives. Therefore, they have the belief, hope and will to save someone's life, no matter what. I will use my faith to assure myself that God has chosen the right path for me and everything happens for a reason. This will drive me to never give up on a patient."

Julie Dwyer, general church content editor, United Methodist Communications

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.

When you give generously on World Communion Sunday, you equip gifted, qualified students from around the globe to become the world changers God created them to be. Give now.

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