Kirsten Laderach, '11
Mission to Madagascar
By Amy Olson, Correspondent
When Kirsten Laderach, ‘11, was drawn to the missional conversation, her sending congregation encouraged her to explore Luther Seminary.
“Luther Seminary presented me with what felt like an endless list of opportunities to experience and grow my faith,” says Laderach, who is now an ordained ELCA pastor.
While in seminary, she traveled and lived with communities in Iowa and Chicago’s south side. She spent winter break at the World Council of Churches in Geneva, and her postgraduate year traveling as Luther’s 2011 Graduate Preaching Fellowship recipient.
It was all valuable experience for Laderach’s current role as leader of a group of Young Adults in Global Mission (YAGM) volunteers in Madagascar. Arriving in the country in March of this year, she recently welcomed nine young adults who committed to confronting issues of wealth and poverty, racial privilege, economic disparity and globalization—all within the context of their faith.
“I work to connect these volunteers with placement sites where both the volunteers and sites can share and grow together,” she says. This includes traveling around the island, planning orientations and retreats and meeting with the FLM—Malagasy Lutheran Church, the third largest church in Madagascar and one of the fastest growing Lutheran churches in the world.
Laderach is one of four Luther Seminary graduates running country programs this year—all friends she met in school and can now count as colleagues.
“I am blessed with the opportunity to be in nearly constant conversation about faith—mine and that of others.”