Zaemelys Ramos is a member of the PSWR Youth Immersion Ministry (YIM)! YIM is an anti-racism and pro-reconciliation ministry focused on breaking racial barriers in the Pacific Southwest Regional Christian Churches. This is her first role as a leader in the region, which has given her a chance to consider the struggles of minority groups and how she as a youth has the power to recognize these struggles and spread awareness. Zaemelys says “I also learned to immerse myself into learning about new cultures and realize that even if PSWR churches have differences, we all believe and love God.”
YIM has led Zaemelys to other opportunities to spread the importance of diversity and the struggles that minorities experience through her artwork, and verbally in my school projects. Zaemelys says the Youth Immersion Ministry is an incredible opportunity for the youth of the PSWR to experience different cultures and realize the importance of spreading awareness about the inequalities of minority groups.
YIM is a regional anti-racism/pro-reconciliation initiative that prepares young leaders to do ministry in cross-cultural contexts. High School youth who are recommended by their pastors are interviewed and selected based on their passion and interest in promoting justice for all people. The ministry is designed to engage youth selected from among the North American/Pacific Asian Disciples constituency, Hispanic Convencion constituency, African American Convocation constituency, and Anglo/European communities of faith in cultural experiences from all over the world. Focusing on five areas of spiritual formation (Hospitality, Mentorship, Local Service, Global Mission, and Disciples Identity), these young leaders participate in one significant immersion experience per year, difficult conversations regarding race and culture, service projects in local settings, and advocacy on behalf of those whose voices go unheard. We pray that God will use this ministry to prepare leaders who have broad world-views, sensitive but bold voices for justice, and strong foundations in our Christian tradition.