By Yvonne Agduyeng
I had written another article for Channels and I thought I was done – another check mark off my to-do list, until news reports started coming in about the alt-right gathering in Charlottesville, Virginia.
Being all the way in Germany, not only am I physically far away from everything, but also I am not exactly sure where to turn or who to turn to all the way over here. On Sunday morning, I needed to hear words of lament and a call to stand alongside our brothers and sisters against the hatred that pervades in our world. I needed to hear words of affirmation that the Church is committed to doing justice work and that bigotry and small-mindedness has no place in the kingdom of God.
But I did not get any of that.
About a year ago, when I was still a Global Mission Fellow-in training in Atlanta, Georgia, I remember one of the speakers saying, “You will be homesick. That is a fact.”
And they were right. I knew they were going to be right. More than once I have been homesick. But I think sitting there on Sunday morning was the first time I felt alone. I needed to talk to someone about what was happening but no one knew what happened.
And so what do I do? I scrolled through Facebook and found live feeds from communities I have been a part of in Washington state and in Washington, DC. So I sat in front of my computer and listened to sermons and read blogs and was filled with overwhelming relief that I was not alone in feeling this. Whatever this is.
I still have way more questions than answers – and honestly, more anger than compassion. But I find relief in not feeling like I am alone in this. I may be all the way in Germany but I am glad that I can still find solace and comfort in the communities that I have been a part of at home.
I have been in Germany for almost a year and I cannot express my appreciation for the support I have received from the PNW Annual Conference. My work in Germany with refugees and migrants has not been easy (far from it!) but it has been so life-giving. But I always tell myself, this is the work that I have been called to do, and the PNW Conference has been a huge part in guiding and supporting me in my ministry.
Vielen Dank und Aufwidersehen!
Yvonne Agduyeng is a Global Mission Fellow serving with International and Migrant Ministries in Frankfurt, Germany. If you would like to support Agduyeng’s mission work, please send your gifts to the PNW Conference (P.O. Box 13650, Des Moines, WA 98198) with a memo “Yvonne Agduyeng, Missionary Support Code: 3022237”.
Special thanks to Marilyn Reid.