Born in Puerto Rico, the oldest of three siblings, Olga Elsie González comes from a long line of Methodist pastors and church workers.
"My father and his siblings grew up in the Methodist Church in Puerto Rico. I also had an uncle who was a Methodist pastor for almost 20 years. I have another uncle that was a missionary for 50 years and now is a pastor in Costa Rica. My aunt was always a Sunday School teacher. So, from my Dad’s side I have my heritage with the Methodist church, said González.
However, there were challenges. González says, "my parents divorced when I was eight years old. So, as the oldest daughter, I helped my mom at home with my siblings. My dad passed when he was 44 years old. Growing up without my dad at home was always difficult for me.
Then during my teenage years, I stopped going to church. When I look back, my heavenly father was always with me. "But the greatest joy was and is when I had my personal experience with Jesus Christ in 1993. Since then I have been serving him and I don’t want to change the life he has given me for the life I lived before then."
After receiving a Bachelors’ degree in Secretarial Sciences and a Master's degree in Social Work, González became a Church and Community Worker missionary (CCW) with Global Ministries in 2012.
"Since then I’ve been growing in the knowledge of God more than ever. I served four years as CCW with a mission in the West Side of the city of Syracuse, New York. I helped plant a Hispanic church in Syracuse and served for 2 years with a mission for children and youth. Now I am serving at Lyndonville United Methodist Church in Lyndonville NY," she added.
Still, González had dreams of going further in ministry. "Because I was a Church and Community Worker with Global Ministries, I went to their website to find help to pay for college. I found out about the World Communion scholarship and made an application.
Now thanks to the churches who gave to World Communion Sunday offering I am working on a Master of Divinity at Northeastern Seminary at Robert Wesleyan College. To receive this scholarship has been a great blessing. It is because of this scholarship that I have been able to go to school. My plan is to be a missional pastor. My life has changed because of your support. May God multiply abundant blessings to our donors. Thank you for your generosity," said González.
Elsie Cunningham, freelance writer, UMCom retiree, now living in Jamaica
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.