Volunteers in Mission & Disaster Response updates: May 6, 2016

For information on any Volunteers In Mission (VIM) project, contact the individual listed or Byron Mann, Conference VIM coordinator: vim@arumc.org or 870-826-0268. For Disaster Response (DR) projects, contact Byron or Janice Mann, DR co-coordinators: disaster@arumc.org or 870-703-8359 (Janice). On Facebook, join the group “Volunteers in Mission & Disaster Response – Serving Arkansas & Beyond” for updates.

Flood recovery in Arkansas: Help and funds needed

With recent flooding in McGehee, Lake Village, Crossett, Dermott and other locations in the southeast part of the state, Volunteers in Mission teams will soon be needed to repair flood-damaged homes. To sign up your church’s team to help, contact Byron or Janice Mann at the phone numbers or email addresses above.

Funds are also needed to make these repairs possible. Send checks marked “Disaster Response” to Arkansas Conference UMC, 800 Daisy Bates Drive, Little Rock, AR 72202; or give online at www.arumc.org/arkansas-disaster-response using the button on the right-hand sidebar.

Mission Academy at Mount Sequoyah, Sept. 11-14

Mark your calendars for the South Central Jurisdiction’s Mission Academy, set for Sept. 11-14 at Mount Sequoyah Retreat and Conference Center in Fayetteville. It will include instruction from United Methodist Volunteers in Mission, as well as disaster response training from the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR). Course offerings are under development. To learn more about the event’s location, visit www.mountsequoyah.org.

Seeking help with Bible School, other missions in Cuba

A Bible School team is forming for Catedral de Methodist, Holguin, Cuba, Aug. 19-26.

The cost to depart from Florida is $1,400, which includes charter flight to Holguin with insurance, baggage fees, religious visa, housing, food, transportation, translation, a busy schedule and a love offering. A $700 non-refundable deposit is required in early May to secure religious visas and the charter flight. (The journey likely requires a Friday night return stay in Florida; the alternate dates of Aug. 23-30 might require a Monday night stay in Florida.)

Catedral de Holguin is the fastest growing church in Cuba, second in membership and attendance only to their bishop’s church in Havana. The more than 2,000 members have a music, dance and drama program that supports the children’s ministry and will provide plenty of volunteers. The Arkansas team will bring supplies and resources for Bible school, lead crafts and assist with games and snacks—and, of course, sing and dance along with them!

Bible School will be held in the mornings; in the afternoons the team will prepare for the next morning, sightsee or rest. Evenings include worship with Catedral de Holguin or home churches, attending small groups or visiting a mission.

If interested, contact Nechi Fullerton, nefullerton@yahoo.com. In the past three years, she has made seven visits to the the Methodist Church in Cuba, leading three UMVIM teams and staying two months last fall in the Catedral de Holguin.

Other upcoming opportunities for mission in Cuba:

  • An adult exchange and immersion is tentatively planned for September 2016. Costs and accommodations will be similar to those listed above for the August Bible School. We will worship with Catedral de Holguin and visit their missions, ministries, home churches and small groups. There will also be time for sightseeing. Deposit is required by mid-June for religious visa application.
  • The 2017 Arkansas UMVIM construction team will return to Havana Jan. 19-20 to Jan. 30-31 to build housing for the Methodist Seminary. Team is limited to 12 persons; deposits due mid-July.
  • March 2017 will feature a spring break retreat/exchange for college students and young adults with the young people of Catedral de Holguin. More information to come.

To learn about these and future opportunities in Cuba, visit “Arkansas Methodist-Cuba Metodista Connection” and “Catedral Metodista de Holguin” on Facebook.