Renewed Vows

Maria Niechwiadowicz


For the past six weeks I have been living at Emory University in Atlanta, GA as I have served as a trainer and facilitator for the 2016 Global Mission Fellows Training. Six weeks is the longest time I have been anywhere since coming back from China three months ago. Despite the work in planning, preparing, and facilitating, the busy schedule, and the long days, it has felt good to “settle” into a place.

Being here for six weeks and amidst a team of Global Mission Fellow alumni and candidates has been a wonderful time of reflection amidst the busyness. On a professional level, I have been able to learn about and practice different facilitation styles, understand my own skills better, and observe some wonderful professional facilitators. But on a personal level I have been able to reflect on my two years as a Global Mission Fellow in service. Being a part of this year’s training provided a time-capsule from my own training in the Philippines two years ago. It has been neat to sit in on sessions again with more experienced eyes and ears, reflecting on who I was then and who I am now. It is rewarding to see that newfound spark of passion in the faces of the new candidates as they delve into what being a missionary is in our 21st century and what justice seeking might look like in their placement context. It is thrilling to see them sitting in the tension of theology and injustice, just like my class of 2014 did, and to be reminded that this tension still exists and can bring so much growth!

More than ever I am understanding that the values of the Global Mission Fellow program are not limited to a two year service commitment, but in fact, they are now forever a part of me knowing that my journey is never over.

Being a part of the commissioning of the 43 young adults  who were at the training in Atlanta allowed me to affirm my own vows two years ago. The journey persists and I will continue to wander with Spirit-filled compassion, in pursuit of justice and community.

More about where I’m wandering to in my next post!

I am no longer my own, but thine.

Put me to what thou wilt, rank me with whom thou wilt.

Put me to doing, put me to suffering.

Let me be employed for thee or laid aside for thee,

exalted for thee or brought low for thee.

Let me be full, let me be empty.

Let me have all things, let me have nothing.

I freely and heartily yield all things to thy pleasure and disposal.

And now, O glorious and blessed God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit,

thou art mine, and I am thine.

So be it.

And the covenant which I have made on earth, let it be ratified in heaven.


-Wesley Covenant Prayer

Photo Credit: Mike DuBose, UMNS