Virginia Young Adults Called Across the Globe

//Virginia Young Adults Called Across the Globe

The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America’s Young Adults in Global Mission (YAGM) program invites ELCA young adults ages 21-29 into a transformative, yearlong journey in international service. This year, Virginia has four new missionaries from our Synod that have been called overseas.

Current YAGM country programs include: Argentina/Uruguay, Cambodia, Central Europe (Hungary), Jerusalem/West Bank, Madagascar, Mexico, Rwanda, Southern Africa and the United Kingdom.

Each of these Young adults are asked to raise funds before they leave for their year of service. To find out how you can support our Virginia YAGMs, go online here.

Meet Karen, Emily, Mary, and Emily- four amazing women who will be sent out this year across the globe serves communities in West Africa, Australia, and Southern Africa.

Karen GKaren Griffith is a recent graduate of Roanoke College in Salem, Virginia who is now looking forward to spending the next year in service to the ELCA in Senegal West Africa.

She heard about the Young Adults in Global Mission program from an alumnus of the program who visited campus, a chance encounter with another alumni across the pond in London, as well as through Roanoke College Chaplain Chris Bowen. It is because of their words and praise for the program that Karen was encouraged to apply for YAGM.

This was the perfect opportunity for Karen to spend a year serving the world after graduation who says she hopes her time in Senegal will not only help a community in need, but also provide further direction for her own life.


Emily Edmunds grew up in Rural Retreat, Virginia. She attended Roanoke College and graduated Magna Cum Laude with her Bachelors Degree in Theatre in 2015. Emily is a member, Pastoral Assistant, and Youth Director of St. Paul Lutheran of Rural Retreat.

This coming year, Emily will serve the Aboriginal community, Hope Vale in Queensland Australia.

Emily is looking forward to her time in Australia, and the global perspective it will grant her, “I hope to gain a better understanding of different cultures and ways of life. Having grown up in a very small town in the Appalachian Mountains I haven’t been exposed to a whole lot of diversity, yet there is such beauty in the differences between people and the way they live and view life.

I hope to have a better idea and a clearer path as to what I want to do and what God is calling me to do in the world as well. I expect to grow in a lot of ways and I hope I can help the community of Hope Vale in some way even if just by being open and allowing myself to learn from them.”

Mary PMary Proctor is a recent graduate from James Madison University where she received her Bachelors of Science in Exercise Science.

A member of Redeemer Lutheran Church in Bristol, Virginia- Mary will be spending her summer running over 4,000 miles from San Francisco, California to Baltimore, Maryland raising awareness and money for cancer survivors through the Ulman Cancer Fund for Young Adults.

In August Mary will begin her year of service in Port Lincoln, South Australia and the United Kingdom with Young Adults in Global Mission, and it is clearly another journey she is eager to embark on. Mary said, “I can’t wait to live in community with my neighbors of the world” Mary will be performing youth ministries, work in educational settings, and other volunteer opportunities while in Port Lincoln.

Emily D
 Emily Dietrick is a recent graduate of the University of Richmond where she earned her BSBA in Business Administration. She is now looking forward to her year of service to the ELCA as she journeys to Southern Africa.

Originally from Mechanicsville, Virginia, Emily calls Epiphany Lutheran Church in Richmond, Virginia her home congregation. Throughout her time at Richmond, Emily was an active member of Tri Delta Sorority.

Emily is eagerly looking forward to her time serving in Southern Africa, “I am hoping to gain a better understanding of what faith looks like in another culture and grow in my own faith through immersing myself in that culture.”

By | 2017-07-28T09:37:14+00:00 June 14th, 2016|News|Comments Off on Virginia Young Adults Called Across the Globe

About the Author:

Emily Pilat is the Director of Communications for the Virginia Synod. She is a graduate of the University of Mary Washington where she earned her BA in in English with a concentration in Creative Writing, and a minor in Digital Studies.If you have an announcement, upcoming event, or news story idea you would like to share, get in touch with Emily via email [email protected] or by phone (540) 389-1000