Volunteers in Mission & Disaster Response updates: March 3, 2017

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.

Mission opportunity for youth near the Texas/Mexico border

The El Valle District of the Rio Texas Conference of the United Methodist Church is hosting Mission Service Project (MSP) from June 11-17, 2017. Middle school- and high school-aged youth and adult leaders are invited to travel to the area of McAllen/Mission/Pharr/Edinburg, Texas, for a week of experiencing relational ministry through home repair, daily devotions, meals and activities.

MSP is a mission experience where missioners come to share their God-given gifts of service with others. Visit www.missionserviceproject.org for details and to download paperwork, or contact Susan Hellums at shellums@mcfirst.com.

Central Texas mission for high schoolers and adults

The Central Texas Conference is looking for groups of three or more people from high school age (with adult supervision) to adults to work on 36 damaged homes in Hood County (Granbury area), Texas. The work varies: installing sheetrock and insulation, laying flooring, painting and more. On-the-job training is available. To inquire about possible work dates, contact volunteer coordinator/case manager Kathryn Meroney, kathrynmeroney@gmail.com.

The Corsicana area has 76 homes waiting for the same types of repairs. To serve in that area, contact Agustin Soto, floodrelief.navarroco@gmail.com.

Both locations have local United Methodist churches to house work teams, with showers and a kitchen included in accommodations.

Nearly a year past flooding, teams still needed

Southeast Arkansas is seeking teams to help with repairs needed as a result of the March 2016 floods. The damage incurred is a result of the same storms that devastated areas of Texas and Louisiana. Organization of long-term recovery was delayed for various reasons, but is now in place and operational. Projects are identified and funding secured, but volunteer help is little to none. When considering mission opportunities, please consider our neighbors in Southeast Arkansas. Several priority cases are waiting. To volunteer, contact Ron Jones, site volunteer coordinator, at woodrat3@live.com or Janice Mann, disaster response coordinator, at disaster@arumc.org.

Leadership development mission to Mexico in May

The South Central Jurisdiction of the UMC, which includes the Arkansas Conference, is offering a leadership development mission experience to Manos Juntas in Rio Bravo, Mexico the first week of May 2017. Scholarships are available in the amount of $300 per person for those willing to participate in partnership as described in the mission brochure.

For more information, contact the team leader, Audrey Phelps, vimphelps@gmail.com.

UMCOR’s Sager Brown Depot: Health and bedding kits needed

Because of your past generosity, UMCOR Sager Brown has been able to replenish its inventory of disaster relief supplies, better positioning it to respond to disasters. Although inventory has increased, they are still in need of health and bedding kits. If you and your congregation are able to assist with this request, that would truly be a blessing. Crisis can occur anywhere, at any time, just as with the recent tornadoes that hit Hattiesburg, Mississippi. UMCOR wants to be prepared to answer the call when our brothers and sisters need us. Visit www.umcor.org/reliefsupplies to find answers to questions about kit assembly.

Byron Mann is coordinating sending kits gathered with teams scheduled to travel to Sager Brown in the coming weeks. If your church is gathering kits, notify Byron so he can arrange transport before April or May.

Storm recovery in multiple states

Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Georgia storm recovery is ongoing. Updates may be received from Janice Mann upon request: disaster@arumc.org.

You can help by giving to Disaster Response, United States (Advance # 901670) through the Arkansas Conference office or at www.umcor.org.

Cuba mission opportunity in July

A Volunteers in Mission team is forming for a one-week journey to Holguin, Cuba, to lead Bible school in July. 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, craft projects and snacks are needed. Even a few dollars make a real difference in the mission team’s abilities to connect with students. Follow-up photos provided.

To keep up with these and future opportunities in Cuba, visit “Arkansas Methodist-Cuba Metodista Connection” and “Catedral Metodista de Holguin” on Facebook. Contact Nechi Fullerton at 501-766-8151 or nefullerton@yahoo.com to learn more about opportunities with the Methodist Church in Cuba.