Venezuelan Missionaries Share Light in the Midst of Blight
By Eunice Arias and Luis Aramayo
In the tenth chapter of Matthew's Gospel, Jesus sends his disciples out in mission. Before they go, he warns them, "Stay alert. This is hazardous work I'm assigning you. You're going to be like sheep running through a wolf pack" (Matthew 10:16a, The Message). The image of being attacked by a pack of wolves simultaneously from every direction can be frightening. Even with this warning, Jesus goes on to assure them that those who serve God will never be alone.
Maracaibo, Venezuela, is like many cities. Some sections are blighted with crime and poverty. Global Ministries missionaries Eunice Arias and Luis Aramayo work to develop leadership in three poor neighborhoods as part of the Christian Methodist Community of Venezuela. Arias said, "These neighborhoods are considered very dangerous, public transportation is scarce, taxis won't take you there, and it is recommended not to go alone." Children and young people, with no safe places to be, are especially vulnerable. One might say that the pack of wolves is on the prowl here.
But those who serve God are not alone. Although there are no ordained Methodist clergy in Venezuela, Arias and Aramayo work with groups in homes for Bible study and prayer. Among those is the home of Adonys Perez and Patricia Garcia, who have a weekly ministry for children and young people. These lambs come together with real spiritual hunger. In 2010, the ministry has grown. Despite the presence of wolves, a core group of more than 20 boys and girls meets weekly. Someone new comes to visit almost every week.
Flowers can bloom in the desert, and lambs can thrive in the midst of a pack of wolves. And with the assurance that 100% of your gift through The Advance goes to the support of the whole missionary community, you can help ensure that not only is God's presence real but also visible to those in need.
With gratitude for her tireless efforts on behalf of mission, The Advance is pleased to recognize the Reverend Denise Honeycutt as Advocate for the Month of July. Dr. Honeycutt has served as the Conference Secretary for Global Ministries in the Virginia Annual Conference for nine years. This year, she was recognized by her annual conference for her achievement. The Advance honored Dr. Honeycutt and the Virginia Annual Conference for leading the entire denomination by adding 38 new Covenant Relationships with missionaries in 2009. Dr. Honeycutt is now serving as pastor of St. Matthew's United Methodist Church in Annandale, Virginia. The Advance staff is confident that she will continue to share a dynamic, mission-focused ministry.
A recent celebration in Edinburgh, Scotland, marked the 100th anniversary of a landmark worldwide mission conference held in 1910. But did you know that another notable centennial is happening this summer? July 1910 also marked the beginning of the Methodist Church in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Former Global Ministries missionaries Kay and Lynn DeMoss have returned to the DRC to participate in some of the celebrations. An integral part of mission in the DRC comes with Personal Energy Transportation (PET) hand bikes. PETs (Advance #982665) allow people who have lost the use of their legs (often the result of stepping on a land mine) to maintain mobility.
Were you one of the many donors to our sisters and brothers in Haiti? Have you wondered what those gifts are doing? You can find out! It is very easy to track your gift. An animated Flash Video presentation explains how it is done. This commitment to transparency and accountability means that you may rest assured that your gift will continue to make a difference to those in need.
Preparations continue for 10-Fold. This dynamic collaborative effort will raise support and awareness of 10 projects over 10 days beginning on October 10. You can sign up for electronic updates at www.10-fold.org.
The summer cross-country trek of Dr. Lauren Brown across the United States continues to raise awareness and financial support of Advance #3021179, Dormitories for Rural Children. This ministry serves children in need in India. Earlier issues of Advancing Hope reported on his start and progress. Currently, he's more than halfway through the journey and has raised over half of his goal of $25,000. Your gift in the homestretch can put Dr. Brown across the finish line! Continue to follow his progress on his website, Biking for Kids in India, at www.bfki.us.
Thank you for giving generously through The Advance. Your gifts truly make a difference!
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