Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Hi, my name is Talita, I´m 18 years old and I live in the community of Vila Parque Cidade near Rocinha. I´m part of the Methodist Church in Botafogo where I´m currently the president of the youth. I participated in various missionary projects such as missionary trips to Bahia, Pernambuco , summer vacation bible studies with children from the Dona Marta community in Botafogo among others. One of my dreams is to become a psychologist and to be able to help others both in my professional life and in a nonprofit organization giving physiological assistance to youth and adults. Including when it´s needed for missionary work. I´ve graduated from High School in December as an honor student.
Even though I´ve always studied in privet schools I´ve done it with scholarships that have taken care of part of the cost of the courses. Because of it, I´ve have not been classified to received government grants such as PROUNI and not even have the possibility to apply to get into affirmative acts programs such as the Cotas for the Public Universities where I´m in the waiting list for reclassification. On the other hand, my dream almost became real when I passed the Vestibular for PUC- RIO in the first call and got 25% scholarship at UVA. Unfortunately, I could not get in college for psychology because I did not have the financial means to do it because I did not have the money to pay for the entering fee, monthly tuition, book, transportation. For PUC- Rio transportation won´t be a problem because I live near.
Because I passed in front of it every day on my way back home I was very motived to It was to study very hard and pass the Vestibular at PUC-Rio, it was a reminder to me of my great dream and never forget my goals.
My mother is retired due to incapacity of working and my father is unemployed and waiting for an answer from INSS, Social Security, to retire for time of contribution more than 35 years. Because of it, I´ve just started working part time to try to get funds for my future tuition.
Johannesburg, South Africa
My name is Oswald Van Der Nest. I reside in Eldorado Park, Johannesburg, South Africa. I attended Eldorado Park Secondary School. I am the third eldest of 10 children; my grandmother raised three of us, as my mom and dad did not have the means to raise 10 children on their own. I hardly know my mom and dad, but this made me even more determined to finish my high school and become the first ever grandchild and child of my parents to go to University and finish strong. I matriculated high school in December 2014.
In the next ten years I see myself as a lawyer and owning a business. The reason why I aspire to become a lawyer is to defend people’s rights and to ensure that justice is served without violence. I believe that violence is an act of weakness. I would like to achieve my goal so that I could help my grandmother who helped me a lot, by motivating and emotionally and financially. Being the first one of her grandchildren to matriculate, I believe that it is very important to make a difference in the lives of my family and those who look up to me and show people that something good can come out of Eldorado Park.
Cape Town, South Africa
Bianca Plum is 17-year-old young learner with a heart of gold. In June 2013, she was diagnosed with ITP, a blood disorder that can lead to easy or excessive bruising and bleeding due to unusually low levels of platelets. As a result, she had to stop playing netball and takes medication regularly. But this condition has not deterred her from pursuing her dreams. She is a talented singer, tutors and mentors other learners within her community and is in the debating society at school. Her condition has inspired her to become a doctor who specializes in Hematology to help other people diagnosed with blood disorders. Her favorite subjects are physical science, life science and history.
My short-term goal is to complete my masters degree program next year in December and gain an opportunity to work with a leading Aerospace Company working on an important project that will benefit the future of mankind and to see the project work and manifest successfully. My long term goal is to become actively involved with a non-profit organization such as Peace Corps or any other organization that participates in helping under-privileged societies with education, food, water, all daily living amenities that we may take for granted. Working with these organizations and gaining some experience I then plan to start my own non-profit which will start in the inner-city of Chicago, my hometown, and then hopefully branch out to other countries in Africa and around the world. It is a fresh idea which I had about a month ago and still needs development but I want it to somehow glorify GOD and at the center of all our benefits and assistance to spread the Gospel of Jesus.
I am 22 years old from Orland Park, which is in the south suburbs of Chicago, Illinois. Currently I'm living out in Melbourne, FL attending graduate school at Florida Institute of Technology studying Aerospace Engineering. I have always loved planes, jets, motorcycles, fast cars, basically anything loud and fast. But my interest grew in the Aerospace field one day when I saw a commercial on television of Astronaut Benjamin Alvin Drew. This commercial was very inspirational to me because he was a black man, someone that looked like me, in space and involved with the latest technology speaking to me saying you can do anything no matter who you are as long as you put your mind to it. He said be bold and courageous in following your dreams and it was so cool and inspiring that I chose to study Aerospace Engineering in pursuit of one day
I believe that God has a plan for my life and I hope to make a difference in the world!
Lonnie V. White III
Krystal Norman is a Global Mission Fellow of the United Methodist General Board of Global Ministries, serving a two-year term of service. She was commissioned in July 2014.
The Global Mission Fellows program takes young adults ages 20-30 out of their home environments and places them in new contexts for two years of mission service. The program grew out of the faith and justice emphases of the historic United Methodist US-2 and Mission Intern programs. Global Mission Fellows become parts of their new local communities. They connect the church in mission across cultural and geographical boundaries. They grow in personal and social holiness and become strong young leaders working to build just communities in a peaceful world.
Krystal is serving as intern in community development with the Cape Town Bold Empowerment Partnership in Cape Town, South Africa. The nonprofit partnership, established in 2011, facilitates economic development among marginalized persons and families, notably in an area known as the Cape Flats, comprising neighborhoods with high unemployment and low formal educational achievement. Krystal’s work is concentrated in the Lavender Hill High School and Hanover Park youth programs.
Krystal is from Houston, Texas, where she is a member of St. John’s Downtown United Methodist Church in the Texas Annual Conference. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in mathematics from Texas Southern University, Houston, and is completing a Master’s degree in cross-cultural ministries from Dallas Theological Seminary, Houston campus. She has taught 8th- and 9th-grade algebra and worked as a high school tutor. Her father is pastor of the Anointed House of Prayer in Houston.
Krystal experienced a call to mission at age 12, but did not realize the full impact of the call until at age 19 she was part of the first group of African-American students sent into short-term international service by Go Now Missions, a program of the Baptist General Convention of Texas. She went to Lusaka, Zambia. “My life was forever changed…I learned that my mission field is wherever my feet would take me, be it college, teaching, among family or friends, wherever.”
She says that she is “overwhelmed by God’s love that allows me to experience what I’m made for and also shows me how to be more like him in the process.”
Additional Information: Make an online donation to: Krystal Norman #3022023. Missionary Support Code: 3022023 Track Gifts for Current Year.
In 2011, I organized and coordinated a trip to Costa Rica for three amazing students from Canton, Mississippi. Only one of them had ever traveled outside of the state. It was a big deal, as no one at my school besides me had traveled internationally or were willing to lead the trip. Experiencing Costa Rica through the eyes of my students changed everything for me. I’ll never forget the excitement on their faces when we visited La Fortuna waterfall in all its beauty; they had never seen one before, let along swam underneath one. One day, as we rode on a small bus to our next destination, looking out at the stunning volcano, I thought, “I want to do this forever.” I felt so honored to have had the opportunity to play a role in providing them with a memory so great. I knew that the exposure gained from this trip would change everything for them and their lives would never be the same.
My interest in traveling and living abroad has only intensified since then. On a recent trip to Johannesburg, South Africa, I was blessed with the opportunity to encourage the faculty and students of Willow Crescent High School. Though I was only at the school for a day, I felt so fulfilled and began to truly seek international opportunities where I could use my gifts of training teachers and providing engaging learning opportunities for students. An associate introduced me to Global United Ministries where I learned about mission work. After speaking with a few people I completed my application to become what they call a “Missionary Serving Around the World”. I get so excited at the mere thought of this dream actually coming to fruition!
Jean is a singer, speaker and aspiring psychologist. Her dream is heal the wounds of sexual abuse by using her gifts of singing and speaking to inspire, encourage and impact girls and teenagers who are survivors of trauma. Though she was sexually violated as a child, she boldly shares her story to fight against oppressive stigmas and encourages hope, healing and restoration. Jean’s voice is prophetic. As a teenage advocate, she works within Lusaka’s slums to help girls share their story, overcome the trauma of abuse, and pursue their dreams again with new life. Jean is pursuing a bachelors degree in psychology in South Africa and will graduate in 2018.
During our trip to Cape Town and Johannesburg, South Africa we met with teachers, school administration leadership, and NGOs working to improve education outcomes for high schools and create pathways to higher education. The schools are located in communities trying to overcome issues related to poverty, unemployment, gang activity and substance abuse. During meetings, in Cape Town we provided financial support to Lavender Hill High School. Resources will be used to provide students with meals during school, tutors, and meals for after school programs. Lavender Hill High School has decreased the dropout rate by 25% as a result of providing students with meals. The additional support we provided will allow them to add more students to after school programs which will help keep kids of the streets and away from gang activity.
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We met with church leaders, youth pastors and NGOs working to meet the needs of poor children living in the gang infested favelas of Rio. During these meetings we discussed strategies for increased youth engagement in the community. We assessed current strategies/work that local churches are doing to reach youth in the community, infrastructure and capacity for expansion, successes and failures. During meetings with community organizations, we learned about the tactical work being implemented, communities they are engaging, needs being met, successes, outcomes, and strategy for expansion.
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