Tuesday, November 11, 2014

{#GivingTuesday} Day 10: Clanton FUMC


Welcome back to Day 10 of #GivingTuesday!

Meet Christi Mitchell, the Children's Minister at Clanton FUMC in Clanton, Alabama. We'd like for Christi to tell you in her own words about her church's role in serving with this vital ministry in Ecuador.

"Our pastor, Rob West, has been connected with these people in Ecuador for 10 years or more. Over the years, teams have built a church in El Centro and built and improved a camp in Rio Verde. This year, our team is composed of 4 of us from Clanton, several from north Florida, and even a couple from North Carolina.  We have worked on the third floor roof of the church this trip, and we have held VBS in 3 locations in the area: Montoneros (in a new, tiny storefront church that is now looking for a facility to meet regularly), in Congomita (a Tsachila tribe community where the congregation came to know Jesus through a rather amazing story), and in Chiguilpe, another Tsachila village.  The Tsachila people have only very recently begun to allow contact with missionaries, and they are so hungry for the word of God!  They told us how they love the Methodist church here because this is the first group that has accepted them as they are and not insisted they change their entire culture in order to experience the love of God.  They come in their ceremonial wear and body paint to be baptized.

We have witnessed 17 baptisms (2 of our pastors, Rob West and John Edwards, participated) in the river and worshiped with the congregation at El Centro.  We also visited El Carmen, where the Compassion International site is thriving in a mighty way.

Pastor Vivas is the local pastor that serves congregations at ALL of these places.  He is 73 and just amazing!  Dan and Lisa Godwin (our United Methodist connection) are our guides–they helped begin much of the work here but have relocated to another part of Ecuador.  Sharon and Graham Nichols are the local missionaries, from the Mission Society.  The Godwins and Pastor Vivas have gotten over 100 children sponsored to attend school.

The Lord's work is happening here in amazing ways. We are saddened to be leaving the area today and know that so many more kids could be helped with more donations and more workers, and this is something that our team will pray for often."

Amazing! Thank you so much for sharing this story, Christi! You, your team, and these churches truly are blessings to these wonderful people in Ecuador, and we are humbled to be even a small part of this journey.

Stay tuned here on the UMVIM blog and follow us across social media (Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram) this month as our #GivingTuesday campaigns continues. For more info on #GivingTuesday and the worldwide ‪#‎UNselfie‬ movement, and to make a donation of your own on December 2, 2014 through the Advance, please click here!

*(GBGM will begin matching donations at midnight EST on December 2, 2014, up to $1 million dollars, max $2500 per donor.)

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