Prakash, Priya

Country: Philippines
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Serving At: Board of Women's Work - UMC
Home Country: India

Priya Prakash serves as an international Global Mission Fellow with the United Methodist General Board of Global Ministries, engaged in a two-year term of service.

The Global Mission Fellows program takes young adults ages 20-30 out of their home environments and places them in new contexts for mission experience and service. The program has a strong emphasis on faith and justice. Global Mission Fellows become active parts of their new local communities. They connect the church in mission across cultural and geographical boundaries. They grow in personal and social holiness and become strong young leaders working to build just communities in a peaceful world.

She holds dual degrees in human resources: a Bachelor of Business Administration from Bishop Cotton Women’s Christian College in Bengaluru, and a Master of Business Administration from St. Joseph College, Pondicherry University.

Priya worked concurrently as a coupon operation executive in the marketing sector and as a business immigration analyst. Outside of her professional roles, she finds fulfillment through engaging with organizations like the Indian Campus Crusade for Christ, the Indian Development Fund and the Don Bosco Youth Center.

She is a member of C.S.I Divya Shanti Church, a Protestant congregation in Bengaluru, India.

“I joined the youth team, attending seminars and church activities,” Priya said. “As a church member, I took on responsibilities, connected with like-minded individuals, and contributed to fostering community, personal growth and community service.”

Raised in a Christian family, young Priya found great joy in participating in church activities.

“Over time,” she said, “ my connection with God grew stronger, and I always believed that whatever unfolded in my life was part of God’s plan. I spent ample time conversing with God, sharing my daily experiences and struggles, firmly believing that God would be my source of guidance and assistance.”

As the eldest daughter in her family, Priya assumed the role of providing both emotional and financial support. “While I have taken on these responsibilities,” she said, “I acknowledge ongoing improvement and growth in my ability to fulfill these roles.

“My life hasn’t always been easy for me, but God has been like a close friend, comforting me with his presence,” she added.

“Whenever I felt confused, I turned to the Bible for guidance. Reading it provided solutions to my problems and lifted my spirits. I truly believe that God is the one who showed me the true meaning of love.”

During the COVID-19 lockdown, Priya experienced depression.

“When I felt low,” she said, “going to church became my only source of relief. I would sit there, pray, and after a while, I would feel better. But there was a day when I got really frustrated and angry with God. I wondered why, despite being a good daughter and doing my responsibilities correctly, I had to face so many problems alone.” She eventually realized that her struggles molded her into the resilient and courageous woman she is today, capable of facing anything life throws her way.

“I started attending youth meetings and seminars,” Priya said, “and I felt a sense of peace within me. Being in God’s presence and serving him brought me joy.”

Seeking new ways to serve in ministry, she discovered mission work.

“Even during tough times,” Priya said, “serving God in this way brought me joy. That’s when I realized that this is what God wants me to do – be helpful to someone’s life by serving him in mission work.”

Growing up in a family marked by restrictions and limitations imposed on girls, Priya experienced the exasperation of being denied opportunities based on her gender.               

“Now, as an independent individual,” she said, “I take pride in my journey and accomplishments. My decision to fight for my rights has led me to a place of self-reliance, where I am not dependent on anyone but myself. I believe it is crucial to convey this message to young girls — that they are capable, strong and entitled to pursue their aspirations. It is our right to fight for equality, and we must stand up for ourselves, as no one else will come to our rescue.”

Being part of the movement to address and change gender-based issues is a source of gratitude, Priya continued. “By sharing my experiences,” she said, “I hope to contribute to a future where every individual, regardless of gender, can pursue their dreams without encountering unjust barriers.

“I want to offer love and compassion to those around me, bringing change to those who feel lost.”