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Ubuntu Journey 2014: Lithuania

United Through Faith, Coming Together to Share Our Stories

May 12-19, 2014: Applications Closed.

Join us for an exciting Journey to this Baltic state in Europe. We will see churches rebuilt and lives restored since the country’s declaration of independence from the Soviet Union in 1990. Groups of Lithuanian women are currently meeting within their separate churches but desire a unified organization.

This Ubuntu Journey offers a unique chance for us to assist our Lithuanian sisters in establishing a United Methodist Women organizational structure appropriate for Lithuania. Interpreters will play a key role on this Journey; we will discuss topics such as how to build strong family relationships, the role of women in the family and in society, as well as raising teenagers. For additional information, contact team leader Debbie Vest at 913-568-8826 or vimscj@sbcglobal.net.

Itinerary: May 12-19, 2014

Monday, May 12

  • Arrive in Vilnius, transfer to waiting bus and travel to Kaunas.
  • Settle into lodging in Kaunas.

Tuesday, May 13

  • Sight-seeing in Kaunas.

Wednesday, May 14

  • Travel (approx 2.0 hours) to Siauliai.
  • Visit the Hill of Crosses.
  • Return to lodging in Kaunas.

Thursday, May 15

  • Travel (approx 2.5 hours) to Birzai.
  • Participate in a work project; hold mini-retreat with Birzai UMC women.
  • Return to lodging in Kaunas.

Friday, May 16

  • Free morning.
  • Travel to the Retreat Center (approx 40 kilometers from Kaunas).

Saturday, May 17

  • Hold retreat with large group of Lithuanian Methodist women.
  • Theme: “We are united though our shared histories, cultures and faith.”
  • Discussion of problems and challenges in common.
  • Discussion of issues (e.g. trafficking, abuse).

Sunday, May 18

  • Continue retreat with Lithuanian Methodist women.
  • Finish with Worship Service, followed by group lunch.
  • Travel by bus to Vilnius, take walking tour of the Old City there.
  • Pack and prepare for tomorrow’s return flight.

Monday, May 19

  • Transfer to airport at Vilnius.
  • Return flight to Chicago, and points beyond.

Team Leaders

Debbie Vest is the U.S. Ubuntu Team Leader from Missouri and has been involved in United Methodist mission work most of her adult life. She is the UMVIM Coordinator for the South Central Jurisdiction and the primary resource person for each of the thirteen Annual Conference UMVIM and Disaster Response Coordinators.

Helen Byholt Lovelace, Ubuntu Hostess Team Leader, is a missionary with the General Board of Global Ministries of The United Methodist Church assigned as director of diaconal ministry in the Lithuania United Methodist Church. She also mentors and assists church-related children's and family centers in Lithuania. Helen is a native of Norway, and an ordained deacon of the Norway United Methodist Church. 

Last Updated: 03/20/2014

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