If you are interested in helping young adults grow in their faith by writing about your experiences, we are always accepting applications for new contributors. Learn about how youn can become a contributor here.
Current Contributor: Mary Kuronzwi
Mary Kuronzwi is a 25 year-old from Zimbabwe. She graduated from Bindura University of Science Education with a Bachelors’ Degree in commerce in Purchasing and Supply.
Mary is currently a Global Mission Fellow with the General Bboard of Global Ministries of United Methodist Church. As part of her mission work, she is working with children and youth at Tallinn Methodist church in Estonia. Mary decided to become a missionary because her experiences have made her very passionate about serving others.
Tau Jokonya is Global Mission Fellow based in Frankfurt, Germany. A native of Zimbabwe, Tau is a graduate from Africa University where he majored in English.
Tau’s many interests were nurtured during his time at Africa University. While in his second year, he founded a club that advocated for social justice, especially for young children born or living with H.I.V. He became the president of another club (Fairfield Buddies, now called Buddies) that worked with orphans living in nearby orphanages. He was also an active member of the Chaplain Committee, serving as the Sunday school teacher for one academic year, before being elevated to chairman of the worship. Tau had other responsibilities as well: he was the Faculty of Education Representative, the chairman of the Electoral Committee and a sub-warden in the halls of residence. He is interested in sports, especially soccer, and he became the first student to coach the Africa University soccer team. He also enjoys writing and has a yet-to-be published novel.
Tau is passionate about helping people, especially youth, realize their dreams. He speaks fondly about believing in the Lord, believing in oneself, hard work and the importance of being disciplined. Tau is also a Youth Pastor in Eternal Word Ministries International, where he has been a member for the last decade. In the future, he aspires to start an organization that works with youth and to open an orphanage.
Charlotte Upenyu Chitambo, “Charli,” is currently a Global Mission Fellow. In the two-year mission program for young adults between the ages of 20 to 30, Charli and others are called to serve in a different setting from their home context. In her case, Charli is serving in the Philippines as a Social Enterprise Officer at a local NGO called EcoWeb. Originally from Zimbabwe, Charli holds a B.A in Environmental Studies, with English as a minor.
Growing up, she was rather reserved. However, attending Africa University, a pan-cultural United Methodist Church Related Institution with students from over 30 countries around Africa, taught her how to respect people of different cultures and to use her skills especially for the ministry of God. She also had opportunities to serve (with) others through the various clubs and organizations, including the Peer Educators Club and singing in two choirs on campus. Her experiences at Africa University, both in and outside the classroom, have shaped her into the person she is today.
Charlotte enjoys being in nature and believes that humans should be good stewards of the environment by being accountable for the environment and for each other. Music is part of her life - she enjoys writing and poetry and believes that these can be used as tools for spreading the gospel as well as tools for development. Lastly, she believes that each and everyone was given talents that can be used for the glory of God.
William (B.T.) Gilligan grew up in Wellsboro, Pennsylvania. He attended Indiana University of Pennsylvania (IUP) where he earned a bachelor’s degree in Criminology and Religious Studies. While attending IUP he met his wife Amanda and they were married in December of 2004. B.T. then attended Pittsburgh Theological Seminary and graduated in 2011 with his Masters of Divinity. While in Seminary B.T. and Amanda were blessed with two children, Samuel and Olivia.
B.T. was ordained a United Methodist Elder in 2014 and now serves California United Methodist Church in California, PA. Outside of his church duties B.T. is a member of Rotary International, serves in the California Neighborhood Watch, and is active on the Western Pennsylvania UMC board of Higher Education and Campus Ministry. B.T. and his family enjoy traveling, reading, and Pittsburgh Penguins hockey.
Taylor Hathorn is a student at Mississippi College who hails from Waynesboro, Mississippi. She is currently pursuing a major in English (with a writing emphasis). She is involved in the campus Theatre department, and is a lover of reading (her favorite book is The Book Thief), writing, stained glass, and hymns (her favorite is Abide With Me).
Tayolor plans to pursue a Master of Divinity upon the completion of her college education, and she is thankful every day for the opportunities afforded to her by her family, by her home church (Waynesboro First United Methodist), and by the United Methodist faith community as a whole. You can visit her blog at www.ramblingsonredemption.wordpress.com, and you can interact with her on Twitter @_youaremore_.
Joy K. Kitanga is a second year student at Duke Divinity School who was born and raised in the United Methodist Church in her native country, the Democratic Republic of Congo. She moved to the United States in 2002 to pursue her education in the medical field.
In 2010, Joy received a call to ministry while working towards her Bachelor’s Degree in Respiratory Care at Salisbury University in Maryland. Before then, her faith journey had been mostly influenced by her parents and was then by the wisdom of pastors and congregations. Joy experienced transformation in life by overcoming many challenges. She is grateful to God for her faith and guidance, and to family and friends for spurring her through the journey.
Joy also loves music, enjoys family and friends, volunteering, doing mission work, and exploring new things. She is also a licensed respiratory therapist in Maryland. She attends church regularly, believing it is the best place to be because, “I am reminded that ‘like the clay in the hand of the potter, so [am I in the] hand of God’” (Jeremiah. 18:6). She is happy and blessed to know that her friend and mentor is the one God chose as her lifelong and spiritual partner.
Joy currently works as an intern at Durham Interfaith Hospitality Network (DIHN) in Durham, North Carolina, where she hopes to learn in-depth about her calling into women and family ministry. She is still working toward her goals, but believes God’s plan for her includes becoming an ordained elder in the United Methodist Church.
Jeremiah is a graduate of psychology in Cebu Normal University. After graduation, his passion to help people motivated him to pursue a Masters degree in Clinical Psychology. He has previously previously worked as a professor and taught psychology on a college level in Cebu, Philippines, where he also resides. He is also an active youth leader, acting as the vice president of a national youth organization in the Philippines.
Jeremiah also enjoys traveling, having already seen sites around the Philippines and Asia. It is his ultimate goal to roam around the world someday trying different street foods. He also enjoys playing musical instruments and has previously been a worship leader in his church.
Moreover, he is really fond of coffee and begins his day with a cup, a book at the side and a nice music.
Ann Lea Santiago
Ann Lea Santiago, 23, was born and raised in Bocaue, Bulacan, Philippines and is a graduate of Bulacan State University. There she served as a writer and editor for the university’s student publication, one of the leading student publications in the region. With her passion in writing, she's won several awards in writing competitions, worked as a young journalist, and joined a number of youth and social concern organizations in the Philippines.
Ann Lea has always wanted to be used by God in every way possible. As a lifelong singer, she also serves as a worship leader in her church (Dream Builder Ministries). She also acts as the Director of their church's Creatives and Designs Team where she manages to promote God and organizes church activities. She believes that all that she does is for God's glory and has never failed clinging to a very inspirational statement: "God enables the called". For her, these gifts were designed by God for a wider and better purpose, to bring more souls to Christ our God.
Floyd Alcantara is a young pastor from Manila. Floyd was originally an artist, graduating with a bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts (Painting). His faith and his artistic background inspired him to pursue a ministry that would encourage people, especially young people, to seek God in creative ways. Floyd developed a passion for ministering to the next generation while serving as a youth and worship leader in his home church.
Floyd finished his Master of Divinity at the Union Theological Seminary in the Philippines. Currently, he is the chaplain of the Kapatiran-Kaunlaran Foundation Inc. (KKFI), the social-outreach arm of the United Methodist Church in the Philippines, where he leads a student ministry for over 200 students living in the KKFI dormitory. Floyd lives in Manila with his wife, Jen.
Vanessa Small is a 2011 graduate of Indiana Wesleyan University with a degree in children's ministry and biblical literature. She currently resides in Florida, where she serves as the children's director at her church and enjoys spending time with her nephew.
Vanessa has written several books including a series of gift books for ministry workers, a children's chapter book series, a devotion book, and VBS curriculum. You can follow her blog at smallpublishing.wordpress.com.
Kyle is a graduate of Temple University, where he received his B.A. in English and Religious Studies. He also graduated from Wesley Theological Seminary with a Masters in Divinity. He grew up in Southeast Pennsylvania and recently returned there after spending several years New York. Kyle is currently seeking work in the Philadelphia area as he discerns his call and how best to serve God in the world.
He recently completed a residency as a hospital chaplain at New York Methodist Hospital located in Brooklyn. He is considering pursuing a career in counseling or higher education. He is passionate about how philosophy and existentialism impact our daily lives and the space for God in the postmodern world.
Additionally, Kyle is a lover of cinema, especially horror movies. He enjoys reading, exercise, and writing/musing on the vagaries of existence. Kyle also has a pet hedgehog named Zora, of whom he is very fond.
Jeaneth Dela Paz Panti is a Mass Communication graduate from Bulacan State University, Philippines. She grew up in Guiguinto, Bulacan and currently serves as the Editor-in-chief of Pacesetter, one of the leading student publications in their region.
She received awards in several writing conferences, a university journalist awardee and a regional finalist of the Ten Outstanding Students of the Philippines. Showing that everyone can share the talents God has given them, Jeaneth is a volunteer teacher in writing seminars and workshops and served as speaker-judge in writing competitions in her community.
As a broadcasting major, she has interest in creating short films and music videos and is in love with books, music and photography. She is passionate about the wonders of poetry, which has become an important avenue for her thoughts. Jeaneth loves connecting with other people through her writings, sharing her insights about the lives of young people, especially about the lives of students, and using her talents to hopefully reach more followers of Christ.
Sara is a musical theatre aficionado, reader of British sci-fi comedy, watcher of great (and not so great) cinema, world traveler, and an avid fan of baseball, especially her beloved Baltimore Orioles!
She also participates in the Center for Youth Ministry Training's (CYMT) graduate residency program and is completing her Master of Arts in Youth Ministry from Memphis Theological Seminary. Through this program she is contracted as the Director of Youth Ministry for First United Methodist Church Covington Tennessee, about 30 miles north of Memphis. Sara is completing her fifth year of professional youth ministry, which started in St Louis, MO where she also worked with students who spoke languages other than English.
Sara has two awesome sons who are 10 and 5. Recently, she married another youth minister and she and her husband are excited to share their love of God, youth, the United Methodist Church, and of course, baseball!
Dorothy Angeles is a 19-year old worship leader at Sta. Ana United Methodist Church and also a member South Bulacan District Prayer and Worship Team, both in the Philippines. Dorothy found her first calling to ministry as a young tambourine dancer. Since then, she has become a guitarist and lay servant in her local church. She loves to organize events as program director in the Happy Friends Fellowship, a mission area located at Sta. Maria, Bulacan, and in other local church, district-wide and even national events. Her love of writing led her to be a part of her campus publications from grade school to her first year in College. She is hoping to publish a book in the near future. She is also hoping that she can provide a house and lot, and a car for her family.
Three months before her high school graduation, Dorothy’s mother died from cancer -- that painful experience made her stronger and, on April 7th of this year, she graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a concentration in Management. Dorothy accepted Jesus as her personal Lord and Savior after a failed and untimely relationship. As she bounced back higher, she committed herself to disciple others for God’s glory. Her church mates often think about her when they hear Proverbs 4:23, which says, “Above all else, guard your heart for out of it flows the actions of life,” because she is so fond of using that verse, especially they talk about their love lives.
Monique Criddell Hoskins, 33, originally from Houston, lives in Waco, Texas. Monique moved to Waco in 2008 to pursue a her Masters in Divinity with a concentration in Youth and Family Ministry from G.W. Truett Seminary at Baylor University which she earned in May 2012. As a seminary student, Monique had the opportunity to serve as a chaplain for 300 freshmen girls at Baylor University. It was during this time, living and serving in a residence hall, that her love for young adults grew. Monique loves the rich journey that comes along with being an adolescent/young adult. She believes that both Biblical and global history attest to the untamed vision and potential of young people and Monique believes that great things will manifest when these are lined up with God’s call.
While in seminary, Monique met her husband, James, also a Truett graduate. They married in 2013 and have a baby girl named Madeline and one on the way. Monique currently works as a Success Coach at a community college in Waco. She sees her role there as similar to her role as a chaplain, guiding young adults and sharing God with people who may never claim Christianity or ever enter a church. Additionally, Monique loves to write, sing, and laugh and laugh some more. She is very close to her family and is discovering God all over again through her new role as a mother.