connectNmission: Sept/Oct 2011, Issue 11
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
One of the joys of my work is to meet people around the world who are engaged in mission. Hearing their stories of transformation and knowing that God is working through The United Methodist Church is an amazing experience. The 10-Fold event gives you the opportunity to meet some of these people and interact with them online. This month's connectNmission offers a preview of some of the stories we will be highlighting.
Then, beginning Monday, October 10, 2011, join us daily for 10-Fold, a 10-day multimedia experience that spotlights 10 powerful ways The United Methodist Church is making an impact worldwide--from planting churches to eliminating death and suffering from malaria.
Log on daily to 10-Fold.org Oct. 10-19 to explore each day’s featured project. See live webcasts and videos, read powerful stories, and learn ways you can join the effort. Plus, when you click to "Be Counted," our sponsors will give $1 to the day’s initiative--just because you visited! We are blessed with a number of sponsors, and I am personally pleased that the Germany Annual Conference, my home conference, is participating and supporting the project dedicated to youth and young adults.
Please share 10-Fold with your constituents and use its resources to engage them in this online event. For your convenience, we have created a toolkit to answer your questions and provide you with suggestions for how to get people involved.
Mission never stops, so please spread the word and visit 10-Fold.org.
In mission and ministry together,
Thomas G. Kemper
10-Fold • Be Counted
Global Ministries supports United Methodist projects around the world during 10-Fold. Through live webcasts, streaming video, online chats, devotions, and resources for children at 10-fold.org, you are invited to see, hear, and talk about amazing efforts that are changing people's lives.
Learn more at 10-fold.org.
Imagine No Malaria
United Methodist Bishop João Somane Machado of Mozambique estimated that he had malaria at least 85 times. While it did not kill him, it drained him of energy and ability. Malaria drains the hospitals and health and lives of people all over. Imagine No Malaria is a worldwide effort to fight against a needless killer and an insidious drain on strength and health. Join the campaign to eliminate malaria in Africa by 2015.
Photo: Mwanze Feza looks after her daughter Monga Vasiy, who is sick with malaria, at the United Methodist Church's Shungu Health Center in Kamina, Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Photo Credit: Mike DuBose
Missionaries in the United States
Global Ministries missionary Sonya Luna, originally from Michigan, is sowing seeds of understanding through sharing her faith and ministries of The United Methodist Church with people who speak Spanish in the greater Detroit area. She is also encouraging people who speak English to pursue the study of Spanish so they can be better neighbors to everyone in the community.
Working in several languages, missionaries within the United States are among the ordinary people, dedicated men and women, who are living out their faith through extraordinary service. Sonya is one of more than two dozen National Plan for Hispanic/Latino Ministry missionaries who serve within annual conferences to engage and strengthen both established and new Hispanic and Latino ministries. Support Sonya Luna, Advance #3019618.
Missionaries Around the World
Among the global force for hope and change in over 60 countries, there are men and women like Dr. Albert Willicor, a Global Ministries missionary, who runs Ganta United Methodist Hospital, a hospital and clinic in Ganta, Liberia. A medical doctor trained in obstetrics and gynecology, Dr. Willicor is the chief medical officer of Ganta.
His life and work is dedicated to the health and healing of the staff, patients, and local community. Growing up and educated in Liberia, Dr. Willicor is acutely aware of people's needs in this region. While many may think of missionaries as those who cross oceans to serve outside of their own countries, some missionaries like Dr. Willicor stay close to home to make a world of difference. Support Dr. Albert Willicor, Advance #15151Z.
Photo: United Methodist mission personnel join with local church leaders to pray for a sick man in the Cambodian village of Pheakdei. The missionaries work with the Community Health and Agricultural Development program of the Methodist Mission in Cambodia.
Photo Credit: Paul Jeffrey
Church Planting Worldwide
Reverend Karen Vo-To offers skill-building workshops to coach women in leadership skills needed to grow the church in faith and love. Rev. Vo-To has helped dozens of women in Vietnam gain the confidence to step up, speak out, and make a positive difference in their churches, governments, and small businesses.
With love and guidance, Rev. Vo-To is a Global Ministries mission partner collaborating to plant 400 new churches. From Asia to Latin America, these partners introduce United Methodism and share the gospel through word and deed to new people. New churches are blooming in locations, such as Vietnam, Cameroon, Russia, and Honduras. Wherever and however the church unfolds and grows in Asia, Africa, Latin America, or Eastern Europe, the Good News of Jesus Christ is transforming lives to lead with love. Support Karen Vo-To, Advance #14174Z.
YAYA (Youth and Young Adults)
Alex Devoid, one of the 25 new missionaries, was sent forth in August 2011 to begin his three years of justice and accompaniment as a Mission Intern through Global Ministries. From North Carolina, Alex is now working and living with the community-based health center, Acción Médica Christiana in Nicaragua.
For young adults like Alex, there are countless ways to serve through The United Methodist Church. Whether one joins a weekend fast from technology to raise money for B1; gives a gap year of one's life to the Individual Volunteers program; learns from young community developers in the US through the JustUs Youth; or applies to become an international missionary as Alex did; Global Ministries offers a myriad of points and places to work for justice and find fellowship. More young people need apply.
Support the Mission Intern Program, Advance #13105Z.
Photo: Mission Intern Alex Devoid
Photo Credit: MaryBeth Coudal
Developing Community Leaders
Scholars supported by the General Board of Global Ministries invariably go on to become leaders. One such scholar is Bishop John Yambasu, the episcopal leader of The United Methodist Church in Sierra Leone. Bishop Yambasu received a scholarship years ago to complete his studies at Candler University in Georgia. Like other students, Bishop Yambasu is living out his commitment to The United Methodist Church's four priorities: elimination of poverty, global health, leadership development, and congregational development.
Learn more about scholarships.
Give to the United Methodist World Communion Scholarship fund.
Photo: Bishop John Yambasu
Photo Credit: Phileas Jusu/UMNS
Some researchers estimate that one billion people do not have access to clean water. Faced with this staggering need, what can one person, one community, one church do? The With* Kamina program in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) believes that small drops of clean water can multiply into a massive amount of hope for health and hygiene.
Through its work with the whole community, UMCOR is working with Kamina in the DRC to bring about sustainable changes. Over a three-year period, UMCOR is assisting in training 30 community volunteers/workers through the Kamina Health Center community volunteer initiative, bringing access and water to the lives of many. One such missionary doctor who is helping to teach and train and partner with people facing health challenges is missionary Dr. Guy Kasanka. Learn more about Dr. Kasanka, Advance #15163Z.
Photo: Residents of Kamina, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, clean an irrigation canal as part of an effort to destroy breeding grounds of malaria-carrying mosquitoes. The project, sponsored by the United Methodist Church, is part of a larger effort to eradicate the disease, which kills more than a million people a year, most of them in Africa.
Photo Credit: Paul Jeffrey
US Disaster Response
UMCOR prepares communities in the United States to recover from natural disasters, like the recent catastrophes of the Susquehanna River's rise and Hurricane Irene. UMCOR provides training, volunteers, and disaster preparation and response, in partnership with local churches.
When disaster strikes, the local church, when able, usually provides the first response. A local response provides UMCOR with a firm foundation to build upon.
Through strong partnerships, UMCOR arrives immediately to provide advice, counseling, and mentoring, always responding at the invitation of and through the local annual conference. For updates on UMCOR's latest overarching work, connect to gbgm-umc.org/umcor. Give to UMCOR's US Disaster Response, Advance #901670.
Photo: Residents look through their destroyed home after a devastating tornado hit Joplin, Missouri, May 24, 2011. A monster tornado killed at least 118 people in Joplin on May 22, 2011, when it tore through the heart of the small Midwestern city, ripping the roof off a hospital and destroying thousands of homes and businesses.
Photo Credit: REUTERS/Eric Thayer
With* the Philippines
United Methodist Pastor Leslie Dela Cruz is one of many United Methodist pastors teaching indigenous women and children to read and write. Families in the rural villages of the Philippines are challenged by long commutes to schools and lack of supplies and teachers.
As in other parts of the globe, Global Ministries, which includes UMCOR, is seeking to develop comprehensive and creative ways to address society's needs to educate its population. Along with Harris Memorial College, a Methodist College in the Philippines, the With* campaign is helping beyond schooling, by providing sustainable agriculture, community-based health care, and livelihood projects to the community.
UMCOR is also working with the Philippines Annual Conference to prepare people to respond in the event of disaster, including flooding and typhoons.
Support the families and community through the Comprehensive Community Development Project for Dumagat Communities, Advance #3021302.
Photo: Missionary Helen Camarce, Philippines
Photo Credit: Matt Morgan
International Disaster Response
UMCOR responds to ease human suffering and restore normal life in dozens of countries, including Somalia, Kenya, and Ethiopia, where restoring access to food, clean water, and shelter for those who have been displaced are immediate priorities.
Whenever a natural or civil disaster strikes, UMCOR is the primary channel for United Methodist assistance. Whenever possible, UMCOR partners with other religious and secular organizations to pool resources and coordinate relief efforts. This work is done with the central conferences of The United Methodist Church, other Methodist bodies, and international relief agencies to implement programs directly. Learn more about how UMCOR is responding to the hunger and drought in crisis in the horn of Africa.
Photo: School kit distribution in Zimbabwe
Photo Credit: Melissa Crutchfield, UMCOR
The Germany Annual Conference, under the leadership of Bishop Rosemarie Wenner, is committed to supporting the 10-Fold day dedicated to Youth and Young Adults. While this central conference is small, its heart for mission is big.
Bishop Wenner said: "Children and young people are a sign of hope. However, even in a rich country like Germany many of them are among the poor. As United Methodists we committed ourselves to serve with the poor and we do it as a connection which builds bridges over all kinds of boundaries. I am proud of being part of this connection."
"It is a blessing to be part of a global church. We can physically and spiritually support one another's ministries through the United Methodist connection, valuing the unique ministries and mission of each one, young and old, near and far," said Rev. Dr. Carol Ann Seckel, United Methodist missionary and coordinator of Language and Migrant Ministries, Germany Central Conference. Learn more about Dr. Seckel, Advance #14285Z.
Photo: Bishop Rosemarie Wenner at Oranienburg Mission Church Dedication
Photo Credit: Birgit Meinhardt
10-Fold was launched on October 10, 2010. The online community became a monthly gathering on the tenth of every month. 10-Fold has become a way for friends and family of the worldwide United Methodist Church to share stories of God's love and work in mission. 10-Fold is one of the many ways that the General Board of Global Ministries is connecting the church in mission. Tell a friend and tune in October 10-19, 2011, to raise awareness about the positive difference The United Methodist Church is making in mission throughout the world.
By going to 10-fold.org on any and all of the ten days in October, you help raise $100,000 to support United Methodist mission work.
Photo: Ken Cruz, a United Methodist missionary from the Philippines, Cruz works with the Community Health and Agricultural Development program of the Methodist Mission in Cambodia.
Photo Credit: Paul Jeffrey
Would you like to delve further into the details of the work of the General Board of Global Ministries? Check out the Annual Report; it's downloadable and easy to read. This resource is full of photos, stories, facts, and figures. The Annual Report makes a great guide or refresher to learn about the expansive ministries that are part of the mission agency of The United Methodist Church. Read or download the resource at: gbgm-umc.org/AR.pdf (PDF, 24 pp., 4MB).
Photo: Farm families construct a building to store their harvested grain, part of an UMCOR-sponsored community agriculture project outside Kamina, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Photo Credit: Paul Jeffrey