As the daughter of an ELCA pastor and church musician in Sioux Falls, S.D., Sarah Rohde grew up thinking about ministry as a career. But it wasn’t until she traveled to Mexico through the ELCA Young Adults in Global Mission program that Rohde felt called to be a pastor.
Rohde had just graduated from Concordia College in Moorhead, Minn., as a Spanish, music and religion major when she com- mitted to the 11-month journey to Cuer- navaca, Mexico, which began in August 2007. “I was craving an experience that took me to the limits of my understanding of who I am, who God is and how the world works,” Rohde said.
Mexico did exactly this. “The experience of living in a foreign country and culture was a big turning point for me,” she said. “During my year of service, I got to touch some of the foundations of Christianity— like rigorous love of one’s neighbor, reliance on community, trust in a strength beyond my own and the power of story.”
Rohde spent much of her time traveling to Cuentepec, an indigenous rural community, to meet with the women who lived there, most of whom spoke little Spanish (second to their native language Nahuat’l) and practiced an indigenous religion. She says her purpose was not to bring God to them but to listen, learn and notice how God’s Spirit was already present and at work in that place and in the people. More