Sunday, November 30, 2014

{#Giving Tuesday} Day 29: Carl Presley

http://umvim.org/about_us/givingtuesday.html

Meet Carl Presley of the North Georgia Annual Conference! (To go ahead and answer the question we know you're subconsciously asking, yes, he is pretty sure that he is distantly related to Elvis!)


We think Carl has one of the coolest jobs ever: he volunteers as one of the chaplains at the Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport in Atlanta. The Interfaith Airport Chaplaincy provides a multicultural ministry in the world's busiest airport. The Atrium Chapel provides a sanctuary for passengers, visitors, and airport and airline employees of all faiths for prayer and meditation. We have so many volunteers here in the Southeast Jurisdiction who travel through this airport each year, and we love knowing that Carl is there to provide spiritual support to any of the 95 million travelers who use this airport annually.

Additionally, Carl donates his time and talents to serve on our Board of Directors as our treasurer. Having someone who is so passionate about ministry work with us means the world to us, and we are so grateful for all he does!

We are so close to #GivingTuesday! It begins at midnight THIS Tuesday! We hope you have been prayerfully considering a donation to UMVIM, SEJ so we can continue our ministry of educating and equipping short-term volunteers. Making a donation is so simple! Just click here to donate through the United Methodist Advance to Project #901875. The General Board of Global Ministries will then match each person's donation up to $2,500, with a $25,000 max per project, totaling $1 millions dollars in donations overall to United Methodist Advance Projects. Unite with other United Methodists this Advent season and be part of this global initiative to rethink how we spend during the holidays. 

Saturday, November 29, 2014

{#GivingTuesday} Day 28: St. James UMC, Greenville, North Carolina

http://umvim.org/about_us/givingtuesday.html

We hope everyone made it through Black Friday and that you are enjoying your Small Business Saturday! 

Today's Giving Tuesday #UNselfie was sent to us from Nan Rogers of St. James UMC in Greenville, North Carolina. This church in the North Carolina Annual Conference has been sending medical teams to serve with the the Boca Costa Medical Mission in Guatemala since 2004. They primarily serve indigenous Mayan villages in the Western part of the country. During their mission earlier this fall, they held clinics in the villages of Paquila and San Antonio, provided children’s fellowship in two Methodist Churches in Paquila and La Toma, provided women’s fellowship in Paquila, painted a rest home in Mazatenango, and spent a day giving music and fellowship for residents of the rest home. 


This is a perfect example of how a mission team can draw upon the strengths of each member to provide more than just one type of service! What a blessing this team is to the Mayans in Guatemala; we look forward to hearing more from St. James as they continue their service in Central America!
 

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! The Advance will begin matching donations at 12:01am EST on December 2, 2014! (Up to $1 million dollars  $2500 per donor.)


See you tomorrow for another #GivingTuesday #UNselfie!

Friday, November 28, 2014

{#GivingTuesday} Day 27: Ryan Calhoun

http://umvim.org/about_us/givingtuesday.html

Today we'd like to introduce you to another member of our Young People in Mission Design Team, a dynamic young man named Ryan Calhoun. 



“The Design Team is the most humbling experience I’ve ever encountered. After attending YPIM for 4 years as a camper, seeing what happens behind the scenes and how much hard work and dedication goes into making this event possible has humbled me like nothing else before it.”

Thank you Ryan for the countless hours you have poured into making Young People in Mission such a success, we can't wait to see you at Lake J in 2015!

For more information on Young People in Mission, including registration information, please click here!


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! The Advance will begin matching donations at 12:01am EST on December 2, 2014! (Up to $1 million dollars  $2500 per donor.)

See you tomorrow for another #GivingTuesday #UNselfie!

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

{#GivingTuesday} Day 25: Butch Huffman

http://umvim.org/about_us/givingtuesday.html

Meet Butch Huffman, a missionary from the North Carolina Annual Conference. His ministry, By Da Sea, connects UMVIM volunteers with vital projects throughout Jamaica and Haiti. Additionally, he also has extensive experience working with disaster response and has worked with MERCI (Marion Edward Recovery Center Inc.) for many years. Butch was once the North Carolina Conference UMVIM Coordinator, and he now serves on our Board of Directors as the Administration Chair and Jurisdictional Disaster Response Team Chair.



Thank you Butch for understanding the importance of UMVIM, SEJ and being such a wonderful supporter of our organization!


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! The Advance will begin matching donations at 12:01am EST on December 2, 2014! (Up to $1 million dollars  $2500 per donor.)



See you tomorrow for another #GivingTuesday #UNselfie!

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

{#GivingTuesday} Day 24: English Speaking United Methodist Church, Prague, Czech Republic

http://umvim.org/about_us/givingtuesday.html

We are 3 weeks into our #GivingTuesday campaign, and one week from today is December 2nd...the big day! 

We love today's #UNselfie, sent it to us by Betty Yeomans-Barton of the UMC Johnson City District in East Tennessee. We'll turn it over to Betty and let her tell you a little more about this trans-Atlantic #UNselfie!



"This is an international #UNselfie via Skype between myself (upper right-hand corner) and the Redmond family – John, Denise, Eli and Ada. The Redmonds moved to Prague, Czech Republic in August 2014 to take over leadership of the English Speaking United Methodist Church (ESUMC) Prague (Advance #3021543). This church came about as part of an In Mission Together partnership between the Johnson City District and Czech Republic District. It was launched in 2011 by Rev. Michelle McKinnon-Young and her husband Gary Young. After three years in Prague, they returned to the US this summer and the Redmonds took their place.

John was licensed as a local pastor in June, and this is his first appointment. Denise is serving as his assistant, and their son and daughter, Eli and Ada, are enrolled in Czech preschool in Prague.

In addition to weekly worship services, ESUMC has an English Club ministry for Czech mothers and their children, and a ministry with college students who live in a dorm on the church campus.

As Office Administrator for the Johnson City District, I am honored to be part of their state-side support staff, assisting in fund-raising, marketing, travel arrangements and more. We have plans to send UMVIM teams to Prague in the coming year to help them with remodeling their sanctuary space, and to conduct Vacation Bible School.

You can learn more about ESUMC Prague on their website: www.esumcprague.org."

UMVIM, SEJ takes full advantage of the connectional system of the United Methodist Church by working with conferences, districts, churches, individual volunteers and pastors the world over, and empowering their programs by sending trained, equipped teams to serve with them. We love this #UNselfie this story because it is just another example of United Methodists connecting and, well, uniting!

Betty, John, Denise, Eli, Ada, and everyone else in the Johnson City and Czech Republic Districts, thank you for what you are doing to show Christian Love in Action! We are happy and humbled to do serve with you and look forward to being part of sending teams to serve in Eastern Europe!

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! The Advance will begin matching donations at 12:01am EST on December 2, 2014! (Up to $1 million dollars  $2500 per donor.)

See you tomorrow for another #GivingTuesday #UNselfie!

Sunday, November 23, 2014

{#GivingTuesday) Day 22: Marisa Duber and the Monticello UMC Student Ministry

http://umvim.org/about_us/givingtuesday.html

Welcome back to the UMVIM #GivingTuesday campaign! Today we would like to introduce you to yet another student who participates in our Young People in Mission event. 



"Young People in Mission has impacted my life in such a positive way. I've been going for four years and I grow in my faith more every year. If not for YPIM I honestly have no idea where I would be in my faith, probably down a path I didn't need to be down, doing things that aren't pleasing to God. YPIM also opened my heart up to mission and helped me realize what I wanted to do with my life, it made me realize how much I can do while still doing God's work. I've been so blessed with my experiences there and being given the chance to be apart of the Design Team. Being able to plan the event that in a way saved my walk and my future with God is such an amazing chance and I only hope more young people are changed the same way I am and that they fall in love with the camp and the atmosphere the same way I did." - Marisa Duber

It humbling for us as a ministry to hear words like this from a young person! Marisa, you are an amazing young woman, and thank you for being such an integral part of Young People in Mission! We can't wait to see you and the entire Monticello UMC student ministry next summer.

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! The Advance will begin matching donations at 12:01am EST on December 2, 2014! (Up to $1 million dollars  $2500 per donor.)

For more information on the 2015 Young People in Mission event, please click here.




Thursday, November 20, 2014

{#GivingTuesday} Day 19: Devon Dollar

http://umvim.org/about_us/givingtuesday.html

It's hard to believe that one week from today is Thanksgiving! Our #GivingTuesday campaign has been so much fun for us, and we hope you are enjoying it as well!

We are very excited about today's #UNselfie, because not only does it give us yet another opportunity for the story of our ministry to be told...but it also correlates with some exciting updates you'll see over on our website!

Meet Devon Dollar. She's a college student in Jackson, Mississippi, and is the Chairperson of the 2015 Young People in Mission Design Team. Young People in Mission is an event where youth and young adults from across our jurisdiction come together to become the trained, equipped leaders of the next generation heading into the mission field. Each year has a different theme and is put together by a group of young people called the Design Team. They work hard all year long to find speakers and workshop leaders across the United Methodist connection who have powerful messages that resonate with and inspire the young people of today.


http://umvim.org/go/youth-young-adults/young_people_in_mission/


"YPIM has impacted my life in so many ways, but the biggest impact would have to be the opportunity to be around so many people that show me how to be the best version of myself. I get to be around people who love to love the Lord just as much or more than I do. That is refreshing to see and be around for a short time each summer. YPIM has also shaped me to become a leader, something that I did not know I was. Being on the Design Team has brought me out of my shell a lot, but what is most important to me is the friendships that I have formed over the years attending YPIM. It is my safe place. A place where I know without a shadow of a doubt that the Lord is always with me. When I say place, I mean it’s wherever YPIM is being held, the people that attend are what makes YPIM so special."

Your #GivingTuesday donation helps keeps programs like Young People in Mission thriving. Like all other aspects of our ministry, we simply wouldn't exist with your prayers and support!

Head over to the Young People in Mission page on our website, the new updated information for 2015 is live! And check out the series of posts about our 2014 event starting here to give you an idea of how amazing these 4 days each summer are to young people in the Southeastern Jurisdiction.

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.)

Friday, November 14, 2014

{#Giving Tuesday} Day 13: David Newton

http://umvim.org/about_us/givingtuesday.html

Happy Friday, and welcome to Day 13 of our #GivingTuesday campaign!

Meet David Newton, the UMVIM Coordinator of the Mississippi Annual Conference and member of Dantzler Memorial First United Methodist Church. 



We are so appreciative of David's commitment to every aspect of short-term missions, and his #UNselfie posters perfectly says what our goal is for every mission opportunity that we have a part in putting together. Thank you David for ALL that you do for us at UMVIM, you are a blessing beyond words to our ministry!

Your generous contribution on #GivingTuesday, December 2, helps us train and equip volunteers to make the most of their mission experience. We offer team leader training, health insurance, and a multitude of resources pulled from what we've learned in 30+ years of being on the short-term mission field. 

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 matched 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.)

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

{Invest} Volunteers: The Backbone of Vital Ministries

A group of a dozen volunteers had spent four days painting a house in an urban area of Birmingham, Alabama. At the end of their stay, they realized they were not quite finished.
 
"It wasn't necessary that they finish," explained Danny Jones, Director for Volunteer Recruitment at Urban Ministry. "It's not like it wasn't going to get done."

Typically, volunteers on a mission trip work for several days or a week, then the next crew of volunteers takes over the job. But this particular group took extra joy in seeing their project from start to finish. "They got up at 6:30 in the morning on day they were supposed to leave in order to finish that house," said Jones.
 
Volunteering not only helps someone else, it also deepens that person's relationship with God. "I think when folks come and put their hands and feet, and sweat and labor, into their faith, that it just takes on a new meaning and a new perspective," added Jones.

Answering the Call
Volunteer training is an integral part of UMVIM because it is a key way to prepare yourself to answer the call when others are in need. In April of this year, tornadoes struck throughout North Carolina, killing one person and injuring 27 others. More than 327 homes were damaged or destroyed across four counties.
 
For many years, Ann Huffman has coordinated disaster response volunteers for the North Carolina Conference. In the wake of the tornadoes, she marveled at how quickly trained volunteer teams were able to help tornado survivors. "We had an Early Response Team that had just received training about two or three weeks before the tornadoes," she said. "They were responding within their own communities. The timing was absolutely perfect."

From City to Country
Whether volunteers are in the city, at a disaster site, or in a rural setting, they have a tremendous impact on the lives of others.
 
Rebecca Dean, who helps coordinate volunteers for Alabama Rural Ministry, says young people in particular are personally impacted by their own experience as volunteers. "I can honestly say that our ministry would not be possible without the vigor, love or joy that volunteers, especially youth, bring to rural Alabama," she said. "These young people come with such an eagerness to serve and love on families and children whom they have never met."

Did you know December 2nd is this year's National Day of Giving? Click here to learn more about #GivingTuesday, and follow us across our social media channels and blogall month long for our ongoing #GivingTuesday campaign, where we are sharing the story of our ministry through our volunteers. 

Beginning at midnight on December 2, 2014, GBGM is matching the first $1 million in donations made through the Advance, up to $2,500 per donor. Your generous donation will help support our ministry of empowering and equipping volunteers for the short-term mission field.

Words: Susan Kim | Photos: UMVIM, SEJ and ARM

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

{#GivingTuesday} Day 10: Clanton FUMC

http://umvim.org/about_us/givingtuesday.html

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.)

Sunday, November 9, 2014

{#GivingTuesday} Day 8: Aldo Gonzalez

http://umvim.org/about_us/givingtuesday.html

Welcome back to Day 8 of our #GivingTuesday Campaign!

Meet Aldo Gonzalez, the National Coordinator for UMVIM Cuba. While Americans are still not allowed to travel freely to Cuba, the United Methodist Church has an incredibly strong presence there. UMVIM teams build homes, renovate churches, provide medicine and clothing, and more. In fact, for the last two decades, the UMC has had a team present in Cuba every month. UMVIM, SEJ provides team leader training and team health insurance as these teams travel to a place that is so close, yet so far away!



We are so grateful for the Aldo's dedication and positive outlook, we love when he stops by our office for a visit. Come see us anytime, Aldo!

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.)

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

{#GivingTuesday} Day 4: Beth Menke


Welcome back to Day 4 of our #GivingTuesday campaign! Today we would like to introduce you to Beth Menke of Church at Cahaba Bend in Helena, Alabama. Beth's son was an active member of their youth group when he was in high school, and she loved volunteering her time to help support the student ministry. Ultimately she found herself going on mission opportunities with the group, and became the co-leader for the church's first international mission to Costa Rica. Her and her husband, Shawn, decided to make this mission journey their family vacation for the summer, and their two children were part of the team as well.


Beth is one of many of our wonderful team leaders who has taken the time to make the short-term mission experience a powerful one by taking advantage of the resources UMVIM, SEJ makes available. Thank you Beth for all you do!

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.)