Dear GMF Class of 2015-2017

Congratulations and welcome to those serving as 2015-2017 Global Mission Fellows! You’re embarking on a grand adventure where God will work in, through, and in spite of you. As you are setting off to your new sites all over the world, we want you to know that there are 40 other current Mission Fellows (and countless alums) that have been through your transition and are praying for you!
Here are a few words from the 2014-2016 class to get you started:

Be open to new possibilities and opportunities. Ministry is always growing and changing and it will never be what you expected. Be open to how God will use you to further His Kingdom.

Katy Wrona, Mobile District of the United Methodist Church, Mobile, AL

Take time to soak in all the changes, to adapt, to know the city, meet people, and find a place of worship. When I got to my site I was excited and ready to start, but taking time to acknowledge everything is also important. The first few weeks (or months), don’t forget to breathe, take it all in, and don’t rush to get started in all that you have to do. Remember that you were called to go and serve and that taking your time to adjust is OK. Everything will start to fall in place at its own pace.

Paola Ferro, CREAS, Argentina (Blog)

Your GMF experience will be great, but I can almost guarantee it’s not going to match the idealized vision of your missionary experience that you have right now. It’s easy in training to say “oh, I’m sure I won’t have that problem.” Stop. Even if you don’t end up facing that problem, you probably will encounter another. These two years won’t be perfect. But that’s ok! Lean on your GMF community and know that these challenges will push you and cause you to grow in unanticipated ways. Hold on tight, adventure is coming!
Connor Kenaston, Racial Justice Advocate, Columbia, MO (Blog)

I love living in intentional community! Though here are differences in our colour, traditions, and home countries, we are all human being breathing the same air and living in the same world.  We have learned to rely on each other like family in sharing our burdens, happiness, and sometimes our craziness because we both act crazy sometimes.
A word of advice for my new colleagues is that in order to feel yourself a part of the community you live in, you must show strong faith, perseverance, and love to the community you are engaged in because sometimes good things come with struggle. I made it through the hardship and now I can fully call myself a Mozambicana from Maxixe/Chicuque.
Otshi Ombaku Rose, The Centre Of Hope,  Mozambique

Being on “mission” in this program can feel more like justice work or service-providing, rather than “ministry.”  Don’t give in to this myth!  You are doing kingdom work, filled with kingdom love.  Pray for the eyes to see it as such.  “The important thing is not how much we accomplish, but how much love we put into our deeds every day.  That is the measure of our love for God.” – Mother Theresa 

Tyler Smoot, Northcott Neighborhood House, Milwaukee, WI

Enter your new placement site or country with a set of new eyes, open and eager to see where the Holy Spirit is already working.

Maria Niechwiadowicz, Amity Teacher, China (Blog)

I have learned that Russian hospitality is spectacular and not to be taken for granted.  I have learned that exploring my faith involves lots of different people, that God is different for everyone, and to always ask questions.  There will always be stereotypes of all people, so be open minded when people want to discuss them. I have learned that talking about racism isn’t a simple conversation but one that must be explored.

Never turn down an invitation to share a meal with someone.  Take time to do all the things that locals do. Go to a restaurant alone when you begin learning the language, it will be tough, but you can do it.  Smile when someone is frowning, try all the foods, and become a part of different groups.  Be honest to yourself about how you feel. Lastly, remember to take time for yourself and regroup.  Living abroad can be draining and sometimes “you time” is a necessity. 

Kendra Twenter, Moscow Protestant Chaplaincy, Russia (Blog)

Enjoy the journey!

Sincerely, your colleagues of the 2014-2016 Class of Global Mission Fellows




  1. I am overfilled with joy and happiness by those tender words of encouragement. Thank you so much for drawing a path of success in front of us. May God bless you abundantly and give you the strength in all you do.


  2. Thank you so much for these words of encouragement, we believe that the love of our Jesus Christ is and will be with us so that we can serve according to his will. may God continue to bless and strength you for everything that you do.


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