VIM and Disaster Response updates: Nov. 4, 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.

Update on Hurricane Matthew recovery in Haiti

From Audrey J. Phelps, director of Volunteers in Mission and Disaster Response for the South Central Jurisdiction:

Hurricane Matthew was a Category 4 storm that caused significant loss of life and property along Haiti’s Tiburon Peninsula. We pray for the lives that were lost and the families that mourn them. The communities most significantly impacted were rural and it is estimated around 200,000 homes were destroyed as well as crops, roadways, and more. Due to widespread damage and the scarcity of resources, Haiti is still in the emergency phase of response. Global Ministries and the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) are working with the Methodist Church of Haiti (EMH) to develop a response plan. As of Oct. 21, UMCOR had provided $85,000 to EMH for much needed food, water and supplies, and more grants are forthcoming for future response. Many teams will be needed to assist with EMH’s response; however, they need time to develop an effective response plan. Please be in prayer for EMH and the people of Haiti as they discern the best way to move forward. As plans for mission teams become available, they will be shared via your local Conference Coordinators. In the meantime, please continue to provide your prayerful support and donations to UMCOR’s International Disaster Response fund. Thank you for your continued prayers and support, and for your desire to serve the people of Haiti in the wake of this disaster.

Southeast Arkansas is ready to welcome your VIM team

Before flooding in the Baton Rouge area made national news, the southeast Arkansas communities of McGehee, Lake Village, Crossett, Dermott and others experienced significant flooding. Volunteers in Mission teams are needed now to repair these flood-damaged homes. To schedule a team, contact Janice Mann at disaster@arumc.org.

The climate-controlled host facility in McGehee has real beds (not cots), a kitchen and large common room. Several churches in town take turns feeding teams each evening.

Donations are still needed for continuing recovery efforts. Give to flood relief by sending checks to Arkansas Conference Disaster Response, 800 Daisy Bates Drive, Little Rock, AR 72202.

Help Mount Eagle complete the new Hermitage Cabin

Work teams have made great progress on the new Hermitage Cabin at Mount Eagle Retreat Center, owned by the United Methodists of Arkansas and located near Clinton. More tasks remain, though, to make it ready to accept reservations for one- or two-person retreats. To arrange a time to donate your skills, contact Sarge Leonard, sarge.leonard@arumc.org, director@mounteagle.org or 501-723-4580.

Cuba mission opportunities in July, November 2017

Contact Nechi Fullerton at 501-766-8151 or nefullerton@yahoo.com to learn more about these opportunities with the Methodist Church in Cuba:

• July mission: Another VIM team is forming to travel to Holguin, Cuba, to lead Bible school, with the one-week journey tentatively scheduled for July 2017. Now is the time to consider joining the team. In addition to morning Bible School, the team will worship with the 2,000-member Catedral de Holguin, visit missions, house churches, small groups and see the sights. Those not interested in volunteering at Bible school can be valuable team members, as well.

• If you cannot travel but would like to sponsor a child’s Bible school experience in Holguin, Cuba, supplies, craft projects and snacks are needed. Sponsorships of even a few dollars make a real difference in enriching the mission team’s abilities to connect with and teach the students. Follow-up photos provided.

• November 2017 mission: Be a part of a one-week November 2017 Mission Team to experience the Cuban Methodist revival while supporting and worshipping with Catedral de Holguin, the second largest Methodist Church in Cuba. This immersion experience includes large church services, missions, house churches, small groups and the sights of Holguin, Cuba.

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