Mission Field Beckons One of Our Own
Young adult Krystal Norman, member of St. John’s UMC, Downtown Houston, is just beginning a two-year adventure with Generation Transformation. As most leaders do, she is leaving her comfort zone to step out and experience missionary training and commissioning, serving with the Botswana Council of Churches.
Krystal Norman 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, which took her 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 shares.
In July, Krystal joined 41 other young adults from 11countries as Generation Transformation Global Mission Fellows of the United Methodist General Board of Global Ministries. At a service in the Philippines, they were each commissioned to serve a two-year term of service and assigned to different 15 countries. The Global Mission Fellows program takes young adults ages 20-30 out of their home environments and places them in unfamiliar mission fields. The program grew out of the faith and justice emphases of the historic United Methodist US-2 and Mission Intern programs.
One of Our Own
Representing the TAC, Krystal is from Houston, where she is a member of St. John’s UMC Downtown. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in mathematics from Texas Southern University 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.
Adds Krystal, “After college, I spent five years teaching and I fell in love with it. However, I knew God called me to serve Him outside of my comfort zone. I learned about Generation Transformation through my pastor at St. John’s UMC Downtown. I applied and am blessed to be part of such an amazing movement of God.”
Rev. Rudy Rasmus says, “From the moment I met Krystal at St John's, she told me of her passion for international missions. Her parents later confirmed that Krystal has wanted to serve the mission field since she was 12 years old.” He adds, “I was attending a roundtable discussion hosted by the General Board of Global Ministries last October when an agency staff member reported on how few young African Americans enter the mission field both abroad and domestically. Immediately I thought of Krystal and sent her an email that evening. Without a moment’s hesitation she had communicated with the GBGM representative and within months she was approved, assigned, and deployed.”
Pastors Rudy and Juanita Rasmus are beaming. He says, “She was the first international missionary to serve from St John's in our 22 years in ministry, and we are thrilled to see a capable, committed, and compassionate young woman take this huge step. Several weeks ago, we held a sending forth service where her mother and father laid hands and prayed a powerful prayer for their daughter's future in far away lands.”
Krystal shares, “The Lord has been teaching me through His Holy Spirit and allowing me to grow since I was 10 years old. Hardships and challenges have flooded my life but living with Him has allowed me not to be drowned by any of it.” 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.”
Krystal will soon be integrating into her new local community by connecting the church in mission across cultural and geographical boundaries. She is working with the Botswana Council of Churches in several ministries (i.e. women’s ministries, youth ministries, etc.) and will engage local communities in youth empowerment, justice, democracy, and skill development in local churches on mission issues. The Botswana Council of Churches is part of the West Africa Central Conference and is an ecumenical movement established in 1966.
“I am currently in seminary (cross cultural ministries at Dallas Theological Seminary). I have resigned from teaching, rented my house, sold/donated most of my possessions including my car and I’m preparing to travel to Botswana for two years. It's been a great transition as I find it to be an honor and an act of obedience. God has blessed me tremendously in this time as He continues to show me that He has gone before me and my spiritual growth has been incredible.”
She is eager to help anyone interested in exploring mission work of any sort. Adds Krystal, “I am excited to connect the church in missions as this has been in my heart for years. I am truly enjoying traveling and speaking to others about how they can get involved. I can't wait to learn a new language, meet new people, engage in a new culture and experience the transformation only God knows that's in store for me!”
Training and Preparation
The Generation Transformation leaders first spend three weeks being trained by mission staff — engaging in prophetic, vocational exploration while living together in a faith community. This year, the training coincided with The United Methodist Church’s Global Young People Convocation. The fellows participated in the convocation as non-voting delegates and were commissioned in Tagaytay, Philippines, as part of the Convocation. Bishop Hope Morgan Ward of the North Carolina Annual Conference, who is the president of Global Ministries, led the commissioning service on July 19.
How to Support and Interact
Follow @umcmissionGT on Twitter for training and commissioning updates. Keep these young adults in prayer along with the communities they will serve. Financial support can be made through their individual bio pages or through The Advance #13105z.
See more at: http://www.umcmission.org/explore-our-work/missionaries-in-service/missionary-profiles/norman-krystal#sthash.nQALrToP.dpuf
See the online video at: http://www.umcmission.org/learn-about-us/news-and-stories/2014/july/0710youngadultsheadtophilippines