Volunteers in Mission & Disaster Response: July 8, 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.

Seeking help, donations for Southeast Arkansas flood recovery

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 to train individuals, teams for VIM, Disaster Response work

Registration is now open 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). The Academy provides excellent opportunities for preparing individuals and teams to serve wherever they are needed. To learn more or to register, visit www.scjumc.org/mission/academy.

UMCOR responds to West Virginia flooding

Greg Forrester, who leads U.S. disaster response work for the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR), has indicated that the West Virginia Conference had taken significant steps in recent months to prepare to respond to disasters such as the flooding that began June 24. Earlier this year, UMCOR helped the conference set up a relief-supply depot, so there were already 1,400 cleaning buckets and 200 health kits on hand, ready to be distributed after torrential rains caused massive flooding and destruction

The West Virginia Conference disaster response coordinator, the Rev. Dan Lowther, said that trained local United Methodist volunteers are responding well to the storm and resulting flooding, despite the challenges presented by the extensive damage.

In addition to the training and new relief-supply depot, the West Virginia Conference also recently had put a new communications system in place. “It all worked just as we’d planned,” Lowther said.

Response teams from the South Central Jurisdiction, which includes the Arkansas Conference, have been asked to help with disaster response within their own areas until West Virginia makes a request for outside help. Visit http://www.umcor.org/umcor/resources/news-stories/2016/june/0628wvfloods for a more complete update.

Cuba mission opportunities through traveling or giving

  • The 2017 Arkansas UMVIM construction team will travel to Havana Jan. 19-20 to Jan. 30-31 to build housing for the Methodist Seminary. Only a few openings remain for this team.
  • Sponsor a child for an August Bible School in the rapidly growing Methodist Church in Holguin, Cuba. For $5, purchase a Bible School T-shirt for a child to wear over and over. For $10, add a Bible that they will read and cherish. Gifts of $15 would cover snacks for the six-session Bible School, as well. A $20 gift includes a T-shirt, Bible, snacks and crafts for one child. Follow-up photos provided.

If your church or group would like to plan a mission to Cuba, contact Nechi Fullerton, 501-766-8151 or nefullerton@yahoo.com. Fullerton has made seven visits to the Methodist Church in Cuba over the past three years, leading three UMVIM teams and staying two months last fall in the Catedral de Holguin.

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