A Moment for Mission
"Surely God is my salvation; I will trust, and will not be afraid, for the Lord God is my strength and my might; he has become my salvation." — Isaiah 12:2, NRSV
Adopted as a six-month-old from St. Petersburg, Russia, Katrina Lewis grew up in St. Marys, Pennsylvania. "My parents," she said, "have always done all they could to provide the best life possible for me and my siblings, and I am so grateful. Growing up, I was always pursuing adventure. I was not afraid to go out on a limb to try something new."
Getting involved at First United Methodist Church, St. Marys, Katrina said, "completely changed the trajectory of my life.
"On a weekend retreat in sixth grade," she noted, "I gave my life to Christ. From that moment on, my church has been the backbone in my sanctification as a Christian." With "overwhelming support" from her church, Katrina participated in a six-week leadership program as a college sophomore.
She gained a renewed vision of God's path for her life. "I changed my major out of a program I was in for the wrong reason and into a major I deeply cared about," Katrina said.
Katrina's pastor and church family encouraged her to apply for a Gift of Hope Scholarship, funded by the United Methodist Student Day offering. "Their belief in me and what God has in store for my life," she said, "empowered me to apply, knowing I could not fund college alone."
Receiving the scholarship permitted Katrina to follow God's direction. "I know that God is calling me to team with him in restoring his beautiful creation," she added.
Loving God, you are our salvation. Help us to trust and not be afraid, knowing you are our strength and our might. In your name, we pray. Amen.
From Discipleship Ministries: Twenty Third Sunday After Pentecost — Holy God, giver of mercy and comfort, but also disruption: we are living in uneasy times, and our tendency is to hoard, hold back, and hide from the uncertainty of the world. Help us to see your light that shines through, even in unsettling times, to help us find our way to you. We offer our tithes and offering this morning, not to adorn a monument to you, but to be part of a living testimony: light will overcome darkness; hope will overcome despair; compassion will overcome injustice; and love wins over hate. In thankfulness, we give; and in thankfulness,we pray. Amen. Luke 21:5-19
Gift of Hope scholar Katrina Lewis is pursuing a bachelor of science degree in statistics and predictive analytics at Robert Morris University, Moon Township, Pennsylvania. Her minor is alternative energy and sustainability.
"Through these courses," she explained, "I examine the environmental, political and socioeconomic ramifications of conventional energy generation. I am gaining perspective on renewable energy technologies including biofuels, geothermal energy, hydroelectric power, hydrogen fuel cells, solar energy, tidal power and wind energy."
Her classwork and extracurricular experiences have given Katrina a deeper appreciation of natural resources and "our collective obligation to protect and defend those resources," she said.
"The scholarship," she continued, "has blessed me beyond comprehension. God has used that money in my life to truly transform my college experience and allow me to pursue opportunities I never thought possible. I will always remember the generosity poured out to me by my church, and the fruits God has grown through that."
— Barbara Dunlap-Berg, freelance writer and editor, retired from UMCom