connectNmission: July 2011, Issue 9
July 2011, Issue 9Featured Resource Advocate of the Month
|Letter from Thomas Kemper
Training Community Health Workers in Texas
Encounter with Christ
10-Fold Event: August 10
Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,
I shall walk at liberty, for I have sought your precepts. Psalm 119:45
For many people, summer is a time of slowing down and relaxing. I am reminded every day, however, that God is constantly on the move, stirring us in mission.
I hope you will take some time to read this issue of connectNmission and hold these ministries in prayer. There are also opportunities for you to engage in mission through a number of special webcasts in the coming weeks:
· July 27-31: School of Congregational Development
· August 10: 10-Fold Justice for Our Neighbor conversation
· August 18: 26 Young adults will be commissioned as missionaries
This week, I received cheerful and encouraging correspondence from two individual volunteers serving in South Sudan. On July 9, 2011, South Sudan gained its independence. We celebrate with them and pray for peace and healing as South Sudan begins building a new nation. We lift up all of the people in the region and pray that God's love will lead and protect them.
While we celebrate liberty and take time to refresh, let's also take time to hear how God is moving in us to bring the Kingdom of Heaven to earth. May God continue to bless you in your ministry.
Gloria* did not want to leave her bedroom. She was depressed. Her diabetes was getting worse. She didn't understand English. A family member suggested she go to Pharr Literacy Project, a Global Ministries and UMCOR-supported program in Pharr, Texas. After some hesitation, Gloria signed up for an ESL (English as a Second Language) class at Pharr Literacy, where she was also referred for care and evaluation to a health care worker and a psychologist. She began to find her place in society and within the Pharr Literacy community. She is now training to become a community health worker.
When someone like Gloria comes to Pharr Literacy to learn English, he or she is given more than nouns and verbs. They are given resources to help turn their lives around. "We don't do everything; we can't," Ms. Kelly Michal, CEO, said. "But we can give opportunities to build people's self-esteem so they transform their lives."
The care is individualized because "every person has their own places where they're broken." Big life choices are offered, like the choice "to love yourself and to learn it's okay not to succeed at everything you do," Michal said.
Gloria is one of 20 workers enrolled in a 10-week Pharr training to become a health promoter through a community-based health care program, based on a similar Global Ministries project in Panama. The training is divided into four modules: spiritual health, mental health, alternative ways of healing, and physical health.
"We are teaching local people who are some of the most impoverished in the US to take control of their own health, their own bodies, their own emotions."
Pharr Literacy, located in South Texas, six miles from the US-Mexico border, is a faith-based organization supported by The United Methodist Church through Global Ministries, UMCOR, Communities of Shalom, the Community Developers program, and 17 partnering United Methodist churches. To learn more about this ministry, link to pharrliteracyproject.org or umvim4health.blogspot.com.
*Not her real name.
Photos: Top: Community-based primary health trainers at the Pharr Literacy Project teach one another about healthy lifestyles and healthy eating. Center: Patricia Magyar UMCOR, executive for health ministries (far right), visits the community-health trainers at the Pharr Literacy Project in Parr, Texas.
Photo Credit: courtesy of Leticia Gutierrez, Pharr Literacy Project
As a missionary in Bolivia, seminary professor, and pastor, Rev. Dr. Wilson Boots had seen it all, but he's never seen anything like "the sharing of mission" through Encounter with Christ, a network he calls "unique" because it is "a true partnership." The Bolivian church growth is one fruit of the union between Methodists and United Methodists in North, South, and Central America.
All decisions for where and how to disburse funds through Encounter with Christ are shared between the advisory staff of the General Board of Global Ministries, the Council of Evangelical Methodist Churches of Latin America and the Caribbean (CIEMAL), and the Methodist Church of the Caribbean and the Americas (MCCA).
The priorities for funding projects are three-fold: evangelism and new church development; women, children, and youth; and comprehensive community-based health care.
With a permanent fund of $1.7 million, only the interest is used to uplift, undergird, and fund, so far, 48 local projects in 21 countries, totaling more than $400,000 since its inception in 1992. Thanks to a $600,000 bequest from John L. Carl, a maintenance worker from Philippi, West Virginia, who never fulfilled his dream of becoming a missionary but gave to create Encounter with Christ. Many individuals have given during their lifetimes or through their wills or deferred giving.
Encounter with Christ is an uplifting presence for United Methodist mission engagement throughout Latin America and the Caribbean. Give to Encounter with Christ.
Photo: Top: Broghan, Brynne and Kara (left to right) present, on behalf of Piedra Viva Methodist church, candles to three youth who have attained the age of 15. The candles symbolize the charge to carry the light of God into the world. Center: Evan Bailey, Bob Stevenson and Carl Franson (left to right) lay rocks in the stone jigsaw puzzle to make sure the Sanctuary Floor at the new Luz de Vida is solid.
Photo Credit: courtesy of Encounter with Christ Bolivia Mission Project
Greater New Jersey
The Greater New Jersey Annual Conference raised $195,109 for a unique ministry, Wings of the Morning. Saving lives by transporting people, medicine, and supplies through small planes in Africa helps with safety, security, and operation excellence. Even though United Methodist airplanes have been flying for 50 years in the region, everyone runs outside to watch the plane descend in the remote areas of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Whether they run to the landing strip to meet Aunt Susan coming back from the hospital, a new supply of medicines, or a new seminary teacher,"the biggest and best thing to come out of every plane these days is not what is found in the cargo pod or in the passenger compartment, it's what's found in the front left seat, because out of every United Methodist airplane found in the Congo is a Congolese pilot. And that is a heritage well worth celebrating," said missionary Stephen Quigg at the Greater New Jersey Annual Conference.
Gaston Ntambo is one such pilot who has risked it all to save lives and pilot the small, ecologically-sound planes of the Wings of Morning in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Learn more about aviation missionaries:
Photos: Top: Steve & Gail Quigg are missionaries with the General Board of Global Ministries of The United Methodist Church, assigned to church aviation ministries. Center: (left to right) Rosa Williams, Gail Quigg, Steve Quigg, Bishop Sudarshana Devadhar, at the Greater New Jersey Annual Conference.
Photo Credit: Sushil Bhujbal. Video Credit: United Methodist TV.
Growing or starting a new church? Last month’s connectNmission invited you to attend the 2011 School of Congregational Development from July 27 to 31, 2011, in Dallas, Texas. And registration is still open for in-person attendance. But if you cannot join the hundreds gathering onsite, consider joining the hundreds gathering online.
Invite a team from church to watch the inspiring sessions of the School of Congregational Development. Tune in live at: gbgm-umc.org/scdlive.
Webcast Schedule (all times Central)
- Wednesday, July 27: 2:30 pm
From Crises to Christ Centered (Bishop Earl Bledsoe)
- Thursday, July 28: 9:00 am
From Attraction to Invitation (Fiona Maclead & Jim Ozier)
- Friday, July 29: 9:00 am
From Maintenance to Movement (Elaine A. Heath)
- Saturday, July 30: 9:00 am
From Ourselves to Others (Ruben Saenz, Jr., Danny A. Hernaez, & Andrew
- Sunday, July 31: 7:30 pm
From Giving up to Going Out (Tyrone Gordon)
Join them on Facebook and Twitter. The annual learning experience is co-sponsored by Global Ministries, Path 1, and GBOD. Go to gbod3.org to register or learn more.
Nationals in Mission (NiM)
Nationals in Mission are local leaders who serve in innovative ministries, loving their neighbors and proclaiming through word and deed the gospel of Jesus Christ through the worldwide Methodist movement.
The NiM program promotes a diverse missionary population through the emergence of local leadership in a variety of world countries.
NiMs are staffed by skilled workers from 54 nations. In 2011, 217 NiM projects bring about ministry with people in the four focus areas: leadership development, congregational development, global health, and ministry with the poor.
NiM projects receive support from congregations and individuals. Global Ministries offers a downloadable brochure (PDF, 3 pp., 61KB) as a resource to explain this cutting-edge ministry.
Photos: Rev. Kephas Oloo, National in Mission
Photo Credit: Matt Morgan
On August 10th, as on the tenth of every month, you are invited to join an inspiring online conversation through 10-Fold, an innovative ministry of The United Methodist Church.
August's featured 10-Fold project is JFON (Justice For Our Neighbors). For one hour repeating throughout the day, a video will profile volunteers, former clients, and staff as they talk to Danny Upton, the national program attorney, about the successes and challenges on the migration journey. At noon Eastern Standard Time, many participants from the one-hour video will join the online chat, answering questions and sharing their JFON stories.
Through JFON, immigrants receive free and professional legal services. JFON is a US nationwide network of churches that help people under the law. Through legal solutions, lives are improved immensely and profoundly. Tune in to meet a client from North Alabama, a volunteer from Northern Illinois, and a Church and Community Worker from Florida.
You can go to 10-Fold.org/live any time of the day on Wednesday, August 10, to share your story about local and global migration with other United Methodist church leaders.
10-Fold was launched on October 10, 2010. The online ministry gained momentum and became a monthly global gathering for friends and members of The United Methodist Church to share their mission stories. It is just one of the many ways that the General Board of Global Ministries is connecting the church in mission.
Photo: Danny Upton, the national program attorney
Photo Credit: Ronny Perry/UMNS