Thursday, August 28, 2014

{Mission Highlight} Rural Opportunities Within the Southeastern Jurisdiction

August 28, 2014

The Southeastern Jurisdiction covers a beautiful part of our country, from the beaches of Florida to the mountains of Virginia. Today we'd like to share with you some of the mission opportunities in the rural parts of the Southeast. All of these United Methodist initiatives invite teams and individuals from all over the country to experience their local rich cultures while also serving its people and meeting the desperate social and spiritual needs of these rural areas. 

Check out the Mission Highlights tab on our blog to learn about more additional Mission Opportunities. 

Hinton Center, Western North Carolina Conference
The Hinton Center  offers a variety of service projects with the beautiful Lake Chatuge as its setting, and is the perfect mission opportunity for any team who wants to both serve and recharge. The cost of staying in one of the quaint but cozy lodging options actually funds home repairs and neighborhood development initiatives.

Hinton shows Christian love in action by offering affordable new-home housing to those who qualify, but what makes their service differen is that the families who are served in this way must commit to working alongside the teams who building their new home. It not only gives the homeowners a sense of accomplishment and independence, but it also promotes healthy mission model that helps break the cycle of poverty.

Mountain TOP, Tennessee Conference
What you need to know about Mountain TOP is summed up in their tagline: "Loving God. Loving People." Settled in the beautiful Cumberland Mountains in central Tennessee, this organization takes the humble and grace-filled love of Jesus Christ and reaches out to the hurting yet hopeful people around them. The staff and teams who engage in service at Mountain TOP strive to meet the physical, emotional, spiritual and social needs around them, while also building up the leadership skills and Christian growth within themselves.The opportunities to serve here are wide and varying, from middle and high school camps, to family weekends and adult opportunities.

SWAP, Kentucky Conference
Sharing With Appalachian People is a mission of the Mennonite Central Committee that is on theUSA UMVIM Project List. It depends on volunteers and work teams to help address the needs of substandard housing in Kentucky and West Virginia. The goal is to show the love of Christ as you work alongside the locals of the Appalachian region, building relationships while building homes.

Learning about a region and why these social needs must be met is an important part of a healthy mission model that is often overlooked in the midst laying concrete and repairing roofs. However, SWAP offers educational and cultural sessions to their volunteers so they can gain more insight in the Appalachian region. It provides a better perspective as to why they are there working alongside the locals, and is one of many reasons why this is such a strong, wonderful ministry.

Robeson County Church & Community Center, North Carolina Conference
Robeson County Church has been crusading for social justice in eastern North Carolina since the 1960s. Their mission is to involve people across all cultures, races, socioeconomic classes and denominations to join together and reach out a compassionate Christian hand to their neighbors. Robeson County is a culturally diverse area that is home to the largest Native American population east of the Mississippi River. Their volunteers assist with home repairs, wheelchair ramps and their food pantry, and the Center also provides emergency assistance, medical supplies, a senior citizen program and a Christmas gift initiative for local children.
Henry Fork, Virginia Conference
The Henry Fork Service Center began in 1967 with the vision of a caring and devoted United Methodist Woman and GBGM worker named Charlotte Seegar. The initial vision of Charlotte and the Center was to see the local students stay in school and become educated individuals. Over the decades, the Center continues to stimulate the community through a variety of educational programs, and is a place where the local children can see and experience Christ through playing, singing, creating and learning. There are many ways for teams and individuals to engage with this ministry; check out their website for all of the ways you can help.

CROSS,  North Carolina Conference
Christians Reaching Out in Sacred Service
 is a mission initiative of Plymouth United Methodist Church in Plymouth, North Carolina. Each day they work to ensure the citizens in their community can attain the dignity of living in and/or owning a home that is safe, warm and dry, and give the glory to God with each hammering of a nail and laying of a brick. The people and families they serve live at or below the poverty line, are the at-risk elderly, the disabled, or have experienced a devastating loss in the face of a natural disaster. It is their hope that bringing the tangible witness of Christ will revitalize the areas around them.

All of these wonderful mission organizations depend on UMVIM work teams and volunteers to help them carry out their good work. UMVIM, SEJ is here to serve you by offering resources such as Team Leading Training, developed over the last 3 decades of our organization's work in the short-term mission field. We also offer incredible team health insurance coverage for a nominal price. Let us empower you to make the most of your mission opportunity for your team and those you are serving. Check out our website for more info on how to get started, or call our office and talk to anyone on our staff to learn more.

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