Agness Pantaleo – Tanzania
Agness grew up well acquainted with challenge. Before she was born, her father deserted her mother and three older siblings. Six years later Agness’s mother found her husband and fortunately, he took the family in and provided for them. However, when Agness was 13 her father passed away and she was again left with her mother and siblings in a desperate situation. For many years, Agness and her siblings would have to beg for food and shelter. Her mom also got involved in making and selling an illegal alcoholic beverage in hopes of making ends meet. This was another major challenge for Agness and her siblings. For many years Agness’ life felt like a roller-coaster. Amidst it all, Agness found a deep passion for playing soccer. Through soccer, she eventually met a man who promised to marry her and help her face the never-ending challenges. Out of naivety and depression, Agness moved in with him. She felt relieved to be taken care of for once in her life! Soon after she became pregnant and this same man who offered her hope left her once again hopeless and alone. Agness was crushed. While she was pregnant she could not play soccer but she continued to coach a local team. It was during this time that she met a Young Life leader in the area who was also a soccer coach. She was so touched by how she saw this leader coach his soccer team – there was something different about him! This coach began to invite Agness to Young Life club and campaigners. Slowly, Agness’s life began to change by her involvement in Young Life. In 2011 Agness herself became a Young Life leader and took her own group of kids to camp!
Agness now serves as an area director in Arusha, Tanzania and oversees various programs within her neighborhood, including soccer teams, clubs, bible studies and other activities that allow for ministering to the local young people. In her time on staff, Agness has seen the power of the gospel at work in countless ways, both transforming the lives of individuals and reconciling entire families, including her own! As a single mother, Agness has been so blessed by the love and support of the people she has met through Young Life and she is incredibly grateful for the opportunity to have a job she is so passionate about.
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