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Dear family and friends,

I was looking through my emails today and was in disbelief over how much time it feels has passed since my last newsletter from Mexico. Re-reading the letter I sent out, re-viewing all of the pictures that summed up my beautiful life in Mexico, and re-reading some responses from people filled me with so much love and gratitude. It is hard to believe that one year ago to the day, I got on a plane and arrived in Mexico.

Since returning home on July 7th, I have relaxed, visited with friends and family, and still have not completely unpacked my suitcases (sorry, Mom!). The past two weeks, I have been in Chicago with the YAGM program, before starting my new position as a Short Term Recruiter for the ELCA Global Mission department. I will be traveling throughout the Great Lakes Region sharing the stories of my year in hopes of making connections to send more young people out in the world to be the hands and feet of Jesus through the many opportunities (besides YAGM) that the ELCA has to offer. It was not until I went to the orientation in Chicago for the 93 (!) incoming Young Adults in Global Mission that I truly began processing that my year in Mexico was over and that the YAGM 2017-18 crew was going to be deploying.

As I listened in on topics of pre-deployment being revisited, I was left humbled and stunned by the opportunity I had to live and accompany the people in Mexico. Being a YAGM has truly changed the course of my life, and I have been received far more than I can ever give.

This year would not have been possible without the love, support, and prayers from all of you. This transition back into the States would not have been possible either. I would like to extend one last heartfelt thank you and immense gratitude for walking with me on this journey.

This journey does not end with me, however. Please keep those brand new 93 YAGMs who deployed to the 11 country programs in your thoughts and prayers as they embark on this beautifully complex and transformative journey. Please also keep the 85 young adults who have just returned from a year of service in your thoughts and prayers as well as they are adjusting back to life in the U.S.

Once again, I am humbled and so incredibly grateful. What a year it was, and I will always remember the network of love and support that sent me, then received me again.

Peace,
Anneka

© 2017 Greater Milwaukee Synod

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