Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Mission Highlight: Alabama Rural Ministry and M25

In an attempt to increase participation among youth and young adult groups, we have compiled a list of projects which we know would be excellent destinations for a mission experience. The full list can be found on our website, but we wanted to share the stories from two projects in the Southeastern Jurisdiction.
Alabama Rural Ministry (ARM) has been an UMVIM project for years and we are incredibly thankful for their ministry. ARM is based in Auburn, but serves in Livingston and Tuskegee with home repair and children's ministries for low income families. Lisa Pierce, founder and director, sent us some notes:
Mostly, they are extending great doses of love to incredibly warm and welcoming people. So bring your hammers, your hearts, your hands and let's build something awesome together in the name of Jesus!
Recently we built a wheel chair ramp and deck for Ms. Eddie who has a painful form of arthritis making it an agonizing experience going up and down small stairs. Now she is able to get in and out of her home more easily and enjoys sitting out in the beautiful sunset each day. Mostly, she talks about the love of the youth and college students who have come to help and how that has made her know without a doubt how much Jesus loves and cares about her. If you are at our day camp, our kids faces light up every time a youth comes and reads with them, tells them a Bible Story or just plays a fun game of UNO. They feel valued and like Ms. Patterson, know that Jesus loves them. It makes them want to help others also.
ARM can host up to 70 people per week and still has openings for the summer. They are also interviewing college students to help run the summer camps. To bring a team or interview to be on summer staff, send Lisa an email at and check out their website.
M25 Mission Camp based in Marietta, GA and serving as a relational ministry to those without residence in Atlanta has been an UMVIM project for the past three years. Over the course of our relationship with this project and the leaders, we have been incredibly amazed at how God is moving in their community. We recently received the following beautiful story from the director, Gabe Barrett:
A while back, we were serving at a soup kitchen in downtown Atlanta. We were making pancakes and inviting all of our residentially challenged friends in to join us for brunch. A tall, older man named Clark came in, and two of the students found out it was his birthday. So they ran into the kitchen, made a big stack of pancakes, and scrounged around for some birthday candles. The students lit the candles and brought the pancakes out to Clark. There were about seventy people in the room, and everyone stopped and sang "happy birthday."
Tears of joy streamed down Clark's face.
He blew out the candles and everyone clapped. A while later, when Clark got up to leave, I stopped him at the door and asked him how old he was that day. He said 60. Then I asked, "When's the last time someone sang you happy birthday?" He thought for a little bit and said, "I think I was 15 the last time someone did that for me."
45 years. It had been 45 years since someone had said, "Clark, it's your day. And since it's your day, we're gonna light some candles and sing you happy birthday." 45 years.
At M25, we let God worry about changing people's lives; we just try to change someone's day. Whether it's with a hug, a prayer, a kind word, a listening ear, or a stack of pancakes, we try to make sure people know they are loved and valued.
Did those birthday pancakes change Clark's life? Probably not.
Did they change Clark's day?
For all the details about serving with M25, check out their website and email Gabe They still have openings for the summer, so check them out!
As always, we would love to connect you with a project. If you have any questions or want to talk in depth about your group and potential mission sites, please do not hesitate in calling us (205.453.9480) or sending us a note (
Go and Serve in 2014!

No comments:

Post a Comment