[sam-ba-chra] blessed to be happy|happy to be blessed

Meet the YAGM Trailblazers

Sarah Adam:

Sarah will be going to Tôlanaro (Ft. Dauphin)

Sarah is a recent graduate from Concordia College in Northern Minnesota. She studied Communications and minored in Music. She wanted to do some sort of service experience after college and YAGM seemed to be a great fit. Music is a big part of her life – she loves dancing, singing, and making up songs on the spot. She hopes to learn some music of Madagascar, too! She enjoys playing games with her family, hiking, swimming, and eating strawberries. She is delighted to have this opportunity of living in Madagascar and is excited for great friendships to form!

Jane Gingrich:

Jane is headed to Fianarantsoa

Having completed my Masters of Divinity at the Lutheran Theological Seminary Saskatoon in Canada, I am very excited about the coming year of living and learning in Madagascar!  I was born in British Columbia (BC), Canada and have spent much of my life in BC before moving to Saskatchewan for my studies.  Ever since I was a teenager, talking about God’s presence and action in our world has been important to me and I enjoy relating those experiences in our lives to sources of meaning and hope.  For fun I like to play board games, go outside to hike and ski, and put together photo albums of events and travels.  I really enjoy traveling and living abroad as it gives me the opportunity to experience cultures different from my own and to meet new people!  I have enjoyed adventures all over North America and Europe as well as in Benin and Ethiopia, Africa.  My parents, two brothers with their families, and sister all live in western Canada and I will miss them during this coming year, but I look forward to telling them all about the wonderful people of Madagascar when I return.  After this year in Madagascar I look forward to continuing my ministry as a pastor in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada.

Kate Griewisch:

Kate will serve in Toliara

Hi!  My name is Kate Griewisch.  I am from a rural town in the mountains of North Carolina.  I have never moved, but I love to travel and be outdoors.  I have a brother named Kyle who is two years younger than I am.  We both have birthdays in March.  I studied biology in college, and my dream is to go to medical school to become a doctor.  I run just about every day and also enjoy soccer.  I grew up in the Lutheran church and still attend the church where I was baptized.  My pastor’s son participated in the YAGM program in Uruguay.  Hearing about his experience is one of the main reasons I chose to join YAGM. My father, who does mission work in Haiti and Mexico, and my mother who is the youth minister of my church, have both inspired me to serve others.  I also spent three weeks in Kenya with a doctor who held a clinic there.  My hopes for this experience are to gain medical experience, build relationships, and give glory to God.

Hannah Harman:

Hannah is going to Mahajanga

Hi everyone! My name is Hannah Harman, and I am currently a registered nurse at the University of Colorado Hospital in Aurora, Colorado. I work with cancer patients on an oncology/bone marrow transplant unit, and I could not ask for a better fit. It is by far the hardest job I will probably ever have to do, but I am consistently blessed every shift by amazing co-workers and amazing patients. I truly feel my skills and gifts are being utilized with this unique patient population.

I am a Colorado native, and besides a three month stint in Peru, I have lived here my whole life. But, while this is definitely my home base, I have been incredibly blessed to experience cultures from all over the world first-hand and have traveled to many different countries around the world. I have a passion for travel and a passion for new cultures and new peoples. And because of this passion, I am not surprised at all that I feel so called to be a part of YAGM. Ever since I can remember, I always knew that my heart felt pulled to live in community with other peoples abroad and to be fully immersed in a community different from my own. I am humbled by the opportunity to live and be present with whatever future community I end up in in Madagascar, and I truly feel as if I have been preparing for this unknown community for my entire life. What a blessing.

Other fast facts about me….my favorite color is pink (although that may surprise a lot of people); I LOVE ANYTHING outside including hiking, biking, running, soccer, and more; I am most looking forward to meeting new people in my host community next year and experiencing the true uniqueness of the country; my favorite number is 13; I have played soccer my entire life and really hope to play some next year; and my favorite food is my mom’s homemade chicken fajitas….I’ll probably have to wait a while before I get to eat them again! I am excited, nervous, ready, and anxious for all that is in store in Madagascar…, here goes nothing….I’m ready to take the leap!

Lee Kirberg:

Lee will be in Antananarivo

Lee Kirberg is so excited to be working in Madagascar with YAGM! He is from a small town called Conifer, located about an hour west of Denver, Colorado. He has a passion for people and the way we can help each other to be stronger as an entire world. He sees this opportunity as an amazing way to spread Gods love, and experience the world, learning and gaining valuable life understanding for future ventures! This summer he is working at Rainbow Trail Lutheran Camp in Colorado as counselor! He loves working there and it is his second summer on staff. Lee has a passion for outdoor ministry. His other interests are backpacking, singing, playing guitar, watching ESPN, and reading good books. His favorite color is blue, favorite food is Philly Cheesesteak, and favorite band is Pink Floyd. Lee is so grateful for this opportunity and cannot wait to see the ways the Spirit works this upcoming year!

Luke Stappler:

Luke will be serving in Ambovombe

My name is Luke Stappler, and I currently work as a Youth Director at Christ Lutheran Church in Fairbanks, Alaska.  I have spent most of my life in Alaska or Montana.  Both places are fairly rural, which has allowed me to spend a lot of time exploring forests and mountains.  I love outdoor activities such as hiking, biking, canoeing, kayaking, sailing, rock climbing, fishing, and hunting.  I studied Wildlife Biology in college because I love learning about the natural world and all the kinds of life out there.  In addition to my love of nature, I have been working in ministry for about 5 years, including bible camps and college campus ministries.  This work in ministry has given me a passion for service.  Young Adults in Global Mission is appealing to me because it will allow me to live a life of helping others while exploring a part of the world not many are able to visit.  Also, I love new experiences, meeting new people, and gaining great stories to tell.  While in the program, I hope to gain a greater understanding of both what it means to be a Christ-like servant and to learn about another language and culture.  I have spent time with other languages and cultures in the past, but never in a place so unique!  I hope to meet lots of great people, see some cool new animals, and eat lots of new food, preferably as much spicy food and chocolate as I can.  Also, music is a large part of my life, so I am excited to explore Malagasy music.  My goal is to learn to play a local instrument while in Madagascar.  Wish me luck with that task and on the year ahead of me.  Peace and Blessings.


They will arrive to Madagascar one month from today!


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3 thoughts on “Meet the YAGM Trailblazers

  1. Liz Propst on said:

    How exciting to meet the new YAGM’s in Madagascar. I will be lifting all of you in prayer as you begin this exciting experience in servanthood!

  2. Megan Mmapula on said:

    How exciting! This experience is going to be changing a lot of lives. I’m proud of these guys for taking the leap and moving across the world… and I’m so happy they get to work with you guys!!!

  3. Phyllis on said:

    This looks like a great team. I am sure you are excited about helping these young people to find their way around. I will be praying for you during this year.

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