Tuesday, November 24, 2015

#GivingTuesday 2015: GIVING Health & Safety


GIVING Health & Safety by Providing Training Resources The UMVIM, SEJ Team Leader Handbook is full of resources to make sure your team stays healthy and safe while traveling. From clean water advice and first aid suggestions to work area precautions, we are here to make sure your time serving isn’t hindered from a preventable health issue! (But if something does happen, and accidents certainly do, thank goodness for the UMVIM, SEJ insurance program!)

GIVING Health & Safety through our Insurance Policies Taking advantage of the UMVIM, SEJ supplemental health insurance program is one of the most prudent decisions a team can make for themselves. While all UMVIM projects are safe, working on the mission field can carry with it some inherent risks. UMVIM insurance is provided at a small cost to teams and individuals serving in the mission field, regardless of denominational affiliation. Not only does it ensure medical care should the need arise, but it also covers things like emergency reunions, trip interruption, and even loss of baggage. Click here to learn more about how we are easing the minds of missionaries and their families!

This year #GivingTuesday falls on December 1st, taking place after Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday. On December 1, 2015, United Methodist will join hands to support the work of Advance projects and missionaries to transform lives on #GivingTuesday. Every gift made online through The Advance on this day will be matched up to $1 million. (A maximum of $2,500 per individual gift to a project will be dispersed as matching funds. A project may receive a maximum of $25,000 in matching funds.) UMVIM, SEJ is Advance #901875.

Donations will start matching at midnight, CST on December 1, but in the meantime, please enjoy learning more about the heartbeat of our ministry in the days leading up to the big event! Don't hesitate to contact Landon Taylor, Church Relations, at 
landon_taylor@umvim.org if you have any questions at all.


Check out our original post to learn more about 2015 #GivingTuesday campaign, and follow us on
FacebookTwitterInstagram, and here on our blog all month long! 

Thursday, November 19, 2015

#GivingTuesday 2015: GIVING Resources

GIVING Resources through the UMVIM, SEJ Staff
Our staff is knowledgeable on all aspects of mission training and travel, and we are here to be a resource to you. Our offices are open 5 days a week so we can answer any questions you may have. If we happen to miss you, we will return your call or email within 1 business day. From assistance with registering and obtaining insurance, to helping identify the ideal mission project for your team, we’re here to help!

GIVING Resources through Social Media From travel advisories and heartfelt team stories, to the latest team openings and training opportunities, our social media strategy is simply to keep you in the loop on all things UMVIM. Every Monday morning, we send out our Weekly Update, and throughout the week, we update our Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, You Tube, and this very blog! Interacting with the UMVIM community on social media is a lot of fun for us, so please comment, like, double tap, retweet, and share away! Don't forget to use the hashtag #UMVIM to share your short-term volunteer experience with us all!

GIVING Resources through our website, UMVIM.org The UMVIM, SEJ website has a vast array of resources available to teams and team leaders. Whether it's a First Aid Kit supply checklist, icebreakers for team meetings, or valuable travel advice, we are here to make sure you are prepared to lead or participate in an UMVIM mission journey. Check out the Resources and Publications tab on umvim.org for all of the things that are available to you right now!

This year #GivingTuesday falls on December 1st, taking place after Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday. On December 1, 2015, United Methodist will join hands to support the work of Advance projects and missionaries to transform lives on #GivingTuesday. Every gift made online through The Advance on this day will be matched up to $1 million. (A maximum of $2,500 per individual gift to a project will be dispersed as matching funds. A project may receive a maximum of $25,000 in matching funds.) UMVIM, SEJ is Advance #901875.

Donations will start matching at midnight, CST on December 1, but in the meantime, please enjoy learning more about the heartbeat of our ministry in the days leading up to the big event! Don't hesitate to contact Landon Taylor, Church Relations, at 
landon_taylor@umvim.org if you have any questions at all.


Check out our original post to learn more about 2015 #GivingTuesday campaign, and follow us on
FacebookTwitterInstagram, and here on our blog all month long! 

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

#GivingTuesday 2015: GIVING Training

GIVING Training through the SEJ Disaster Academies
UMVIM, SEJ works in partnership with UMCOR to plan and facilitate the annual SEJ Disaster Academy. These academies are geared to volunteers on every level who are interested in serving in the wake of a disaster, whether as lay leaders, clergy, or on the Conference level. More details on the next Academy, which will be held February 28-March 2, 2016 at First UMC, Franklin, TN, are coming soon; be sure to sign up for our Weekly Updates for the latest info! (You can also read all of our blog posts regarding Disaster Response by clicking here.)

GIVING Training through the UMVIM Team Leader Training Program UMVIM, SEJ believes in effective Christian service, which we feel is first achieved through training team leaders on how to equip themselves and their team to make the most of their mission journey. Each Conference in the SEJ has UMVIM-certified trainers who educate team leaders using the UMVIM, SEJ Team Leader Handbook as their guide. For more information on UMVIM trainings in your area, please click here. To order your own copy of the UMVIM Team Leader Handbook, please click here.

This year #GivingTuesday falls on December 1st, taking place after Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday. On December 1, 2015, United Methodist will join hands to support the work of Advance projects and missionaries to transform lives on #GivingTuesday. Every gift made online through The Advance on this day will be matched up to $1 million. (A maximum of $2,500 per individual gift to a project will be dispersed as matching funds. A project may receive a maximum of $25,000 in matching funds.) UMVIM, SEJ is Advance #901875.

Donations will start matching at midnight, CST on December 1, but in the meantime, please enjoy learning more about the heartbeat of our ministry in the days leading up to the big event! Don't hesitate to contact Landon Taylor, Church Relations, at 
landon_taylor@umvim.org if you have any questions at all.


Check out our original post to learn more about 2015 #GivingTuesday campaign, and follow us on
FacebookTwitterInstagram, and here on our blog all month long! 

Monday, November 16, 2015

We are excited to announced that details and registration for Young People in Mission 2016 is LIVE! Click HERE to visit our website for all the info!

Monday, November 9, 2015

#GivingTuesday 2015: GIVING Relationships

GIVING Relationships with Each Other
Participating in a mission journey with your church or group is a great way to build relationships with those who live where you are serving, but also with your fellow teammates! We often hear stories where volunteers forged new friendships with people they have been attending church with for years, but never really knew before serving together. Strong relationships in your local church setting build a strong foundation for effective Christian service!


GIVING Relationships with the Local People
People are the heart of our mission. When a short-term team enters into the mission field, they are ambassadors of their home church, the United Methodist Church, and the missionary or project of whom they are working with. UMVIM encourages short-term missionaries to engage with the local people who live where they are serving, as it is a vital aspect of effective, caring, Christian service!

GIVING Relationships with Missionaries, Individual Volunteers, and Projects UMVIM, SEJ is the short-term mission sending agency of the United Methodist Church. We connect mission teams with GBGM missionaries, Individual Volunteers, and UMVIM projects across the country and globe who are working in an area on a long-term basis. We emphasis the importance of entering into covenant partnerships with these people and projects by committing presence, prayers, and resources on an ongoing basis.


This year #GivingTuesday falls on December 1st, taking place after Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday. On December 1, 2015, United Methodist will join hands to support the work of Advance projects and missionaries to transform lives on #GivingTuesday. Every gift made online through The Advance on this day will be matched up to $1 million. (A maximum of $2,500 per individual gift to a project will be dispersed as matching funds. A project may receive a maximum of $25,000 in matching funds.) UMVIM, SEJ is Advance #901875.

Donations will start matching at midnight, CST on December 1, but in the meantime, please enjoy learning more about the heartbeat of our ministry in the days leading up to the big event! Don't hesitate to contact Landon Taylor, Church Relations, at 
landon_taylor@umvim.org if you have any questions at all.


Check out our original post to learn more about 2015 #GivingTuesday campaign, and follow us on
FacebookTwitterInstagram, and here on our blog all month long! 

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

#GivingTuesday 2015: GIVING Opportunity


GIVING OPPORTUNITY: Medical Missions Medical-based mission trips make up a large percentage of the UMVIM effort. Doctors, nurses, dentists, and others from the medical field take their expertise to underserved areas across the globe to provide quality medical care. If you are a healthcare provider and would like more information on how you can volunteer your time and services, check out the Medical Missions page on our GO! tab for more information. You can also contact your Conference UMVIM Coordinator.



GIVING OPPORTUNITY: Youth and Young Adults UMVIM, SEJ pours a great amount of time and resources into Next Generation efforts. In 2013 we launched a Summer Internship Program where the brightest of the SEJ youth are able to serve in local and international placements. Our annual Young People in Mission event brings youth and young adults from around the Jurisdiction to Lake Junaluska for a week of fellowship and mission training. YPIM is peer-led and designed by the very students who attend each year.




GIVING OPPORTUNITY: Disaster Response UMVIM, SEJ works with UMCOR and Conference Disaster Response Coordinators to send volunteer teams to disaster-effected areas. Last year, a generous UMCOR grant allowed us to bring a Disaster Response Liaison onto our staff to further our ability to connect volunteers to the appropriate response. Click here to head over to the UMVIM, SEJ Disaster Response page.
GIVING OPPORTUNITY: Mission Opportunities Lists UMVIM, SEJ maintains the International Mission Opportunity List and updates it quarterly. All projects on the International and Domestic Lists have been approved by local pastors, area Bishops, and UMVIM to accept short-term volunteers to assist the project leaders with the extra hands and resources to see projects to completion. If you're not sure which Mission Opportunity is right for your short-term mission journey, we are here to help!


This year #GivingTuesday falls on December 1st, taking place after Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday. On December 1, 2015, United Methodist will join hands to support the work of Advance projects and missionaries to transform lives on #GivingTuesday. Every gift made online through The Advance on this day will be matched up to $1 million. (A maximum of $2,500 per individual gift to a project will be dispersed as matching funds. A project may receive a maximum of $25,000 in matching funds.) UMVIM, SEJ is Advance #901875.

Donations will start matching at midnight, CST on December 1, but in the meantime, please enjoy learning more about the heartbeat of our ministry in the days leading up to the big event! Don't hesitate to contact Landon Taylor, Church Relations, at 
landon_taylor@umvim.org if you have any questions at all.


Check out our original post to learn more about 2015 #GivingTuesday campaign, and follow us on
FacebookTwitterInstagram, and here on our blog all month long! 


#GivingTuesday 2015: GIVING Opportunity, Relationships, Training, Resources, and Health & Safety



As the holiday season draws nearer each day, we would like to take the month of November to tell you–our team leaders, volunteers, supporters, and friends–more about the heartbeat of UMVIM, SEJ. If you're not already, we hope you will follow us on FacebookTwitterInstagram, and here on our blog as we launch our 2015 #GivingTuesday campaign. If you're not familiar with this day, #GivingTuesday is a new movement that seeks grassroots support of non-profits and worthy causes. It's not only about refocusing holiday spending, but it is also a powerful way to raise awareness and resources for our organization. Our ministry is not dependent upon United Methodist apportionments, but rather grants and donations. We simply cannot do what we do without your support. 

This year #GivingTuesday falls on December 1st
, taking place after Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday. 
On December 1, 2015, United Methodist will join hands to support the work of Advance projects and missionaries to transform lives on #GivingTuesday. Every gift made online through The Advance on this day will be matched up to $1 million. (A maximum of $2,500 per individual gift to a project will be dispersed as matching funds. A project may receive a maximum of $25,000 in matching funds.) UMVIM, SEJ is Advance #901875.

Donations will start matching at midnight, CST on December 1, but in the meantime, please enjoy learning more about the heartbeat of our ministry all month long! Don't hesitate to contact Landon Taylor, Church Relations, at landon_taylor@umvim.org if you have any questions at all. Here's a sneak peek of what's to come!


Monday, October 12, 2015

"Verano de Servicio" - Our 2015 Intern Reflects on Her Summer of Service

In 2013, UMVIM, SEJ implemented an internship program to develop the leadership skills of a young person within the United Methodist Church. We were so pleased to welcome Lindsey Brown of the Memphis Conference as our 2015 Summer Intern. Lindsey is a nursing major at Union University, and despite her young age, has already traveled to Nicaragua 8 separate times on short-term trips. Read on to learn more about her summer as the UMVIM, SEJ Intern!

Domestic Placement
Lindsey began her summer at Alabama Rural Ministry (ARM), a project on the UMVIM Mission Opportunity List that works to end substandard housing and empower the young children in and around Tuskegee, Alabama. A quick look through Lindsey’s photo albums will show you how much she loves ministering to kids, and this really shined during her time at ARM. 


She reminisced about a young boy she met during ARM’s Sonshine Day Camp, who spent the first week of camp being polite, obedient, and helpful to the teachers, but behaved exactly the opposite the following week. As it turned out, this little boy’s parents were separated, and he had spent the first week with one parent and the second week with the other, which dramatically influenced his behavior. “This really got to me,” she said. “It made me realize the magnitude of how these kids’ home environment play into their behavior. However, we were able to look in his eyes and tell him that we love him, the Lord loves him, and that we both forgive him. Despite negative influences at home, through Sonshine Day Camp he was influenced by people who love him, and was exposed to God’s Word as well! I am thankful for my time here and the relationships that formed.”

International Placement
Lindsey’s international placement had her visiting Costa Rica for the first time, though she is no stranger to Central America. “I was extremely surprised by the differences between Nicaragua and Costa Rica, which I naively assumed would be more similar than they are. This realization is yet another reason I am so thankful for this internship.”

UMVIM, SEJ Executive Director Paulette West connected Lindsey with Rice and Beans, a ministry that engages in evangelism, feeding programs, and construction efforts. She spent much of her time leading Bible Schools, where once again, God was able to use Lindsey and her gift of connecting with children. She even had the opportunity to translate in a community where there are many Nicaraguan refugees. “It is so cool to see the Lord use my past experiences and passions in these moments,” Lindsey said.

Lindsey also recalls the rich spiritual and cultural experience she had during her first week. “There were people from Costa Rica, Mexico, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and the United States all in one place with the same mission to serve the people of Costa Rica in the Lord’s name. Hearing over a hundred of us sing out to the Lord in two different languages simultaneously was a beautiful thing. Yes, it was as amazing as it sounds! I have so many brothers and sisters all over the world, and have made amazing connections for future mission opportunities!”


Young People in Mission
Our summer interns are an integral part of our annual Young People in Mission event. Lindsey helped us behind the scenes in so many ways, from engaging with the speakers and workshop leaders, to assisting the Design Team in executing their vision. Lindsey also led a family group comprised of high school graduates who were preparing to enter college, and we invited her to lead a workshop based on her experiences at Alabama Rural Ministry. “It was humbling to trust in the Lord to give me guidance during that time, as public speaking is not something I typically enjoy!” 


We are so very grateful to Lindsey and the passion she brought to our team this summer. We wish her the best as she finishes school, and our prayers follow her as the Lord guides her on her career path. If you or someone you know might be interested in the UMVIM, SEJ Summer Internship Program, click here to learn more about our previous interns, or contact Paulette West at paulette_west@umvim.org for more information.


Wednesday, September 30, 2015

{Guest Blogger} A Unique UMVIM Trip That Empowers Women in Honduras

By Kathy Waller, Brunswick, GA
 

For some reason, it has taken a little longer for me to process our recent trip to Honduras. Perhaps it's because over the past year, this trip was ever changing and continued to be so until the very end, making it impossible to do things independent of God. I speak the truth when I say I found myself leaning on God's grace throughout the entire endeavor, and He carried me as I knew He would. I would also like to clear my conscience and admit that I cannot sew and up until a few months ago, I had absolutely no desire to learn. I consider my meager attempt at sewing a God driven skill that I am working to conquer...and I humbly admit I have a long way to go. Not only does God call on those that have no idea what they are doing, but He has a sense of humor about it. Thus the "Rags to Riches Menstrual  Mission" was born.


 God's hand was there from the beginning, convincing a small group of ladies to take on a huge task of sewing a product so personal yet so necessary in a community with limited resources. Knowing that WOW, the women's group in our church, took it upon themselves to finance the sewing project made it seem more like a "sisterhood" for everyone concerned. Of course it didn't take much for the men on the team to embrace our project as they are unique in their own right and are careful not to take themselves too seriously. One fella even strapped on his tool belt and tried his hand at making a Mama cloth. (Rest assure Todd, construction is your vocation). Not only were we planning to teach the ladies how to make their own "Mama cloth" pads, but we traveled to Honduras with just shy of four hundred pads beautifully stitched for the women of Subirana by a women’s sewing small group in our church.



We were a mere party of three, no one person really proficient in sewing, and only one of us able to speak their language. We met with several shy but eager to learn women who had never touched a sewing machine, as well as several children that came along to add to the chaos. (Once again, thank you Lord for Jessica, the piped piper of children, who is fluent in Spanish.) Some of the ladies were able to catch on quickly and move on to other sewing projects. However, no matter the level of skill, I believe every woman was able to experience a sense of accomplishment for their effort. They were polite, patient, and graciously expressed their gratitude for the opportunity to learn something useful for their everyday lives. 


Quite honestly, we had no idea what to expect. It turns out, there is at least one skilled seamstress among the ladies who was happy to continue the sewing group. I pray that this ministry will allow the women to continue to grow closer in Christ and support one another just like the small groups have in our church. It was through generous donations that we were able to leave two new sewing machines, along with a surplus of fabric and notions. Our final meeting consisted of twenty-three women singing God's praises, and ever since I have been thanking God daily for allowing me to be part of the "Rags to Riches Menstrual Mission of 2015."

Did you have an awesome experience on a recent UMVIM trip you'd like to share? Follow this link to submit your story!

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Carlton Complex Fire Recovery - Pacific Northwest Conference

Below is an email from Jim Truitt, the Disaster Response Coordinator for the Pacific Northwest Conference. He is currently seeking volunteers to help with the needs below:
 
In 2014 we suffered our states largest wildfire in history. 256,000+ acres were burned and over 300 homes were lost. 45 of those homes had no insurance and the Long Term Recovery Group has laid out a three year plan to rebuild the homes. We did not get a FEMA declaration so the materials have to be provided through donations and grants. UMCOR gave us a $270,000 grant for materials and we have pledged $237,000 so far.  We are partnering with multiple faith-based groups and  we are on track to complete the houses in phase one by next spring. We need skilled volunteers to help us finish the task.

Now, this year we suffered wildfires in the same general area that covered three times as much acreage. We don’t know yet how many homes were lost. We’ve heard estimates in the 200 range. The State and Federal agencies were in the field last week and will be again this week doing a preliminary damage assessment (PDA). We won’t know until the PDA is complete how many additional houses we will have to build but our guesstimate is in the neighborhood of 30. We also don’t know if we will get a Presidential declaration for Individual Assistance. Regardless, we are going to need financial assistance and volunteers to help us rebuild. 

We would really appreciate your help spreading the word. Anyone that’s interested can contact me (umvimdisasterresponse@comcast.net) or Ronda Cordill, r_cordill@hotmail.com for additional information. 

If you have any more questions, please don’t hesitate to let us know.

Thanks again for your support.

Jim Truitt
UMVIM Disaster Response Coordinator
PNW Conference United Methodist Church
Facebook.com/umvim.pnwumc
@PNWERT

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Large Group Prepares for United Methodist Young Adult Mission Service

By Elliott Wright

Thirty-seven young adults are [spent] most of August preparing in Zimbabwe for mission service around the world through The United Methodist Church.

They are from 16 countries and represent the 2015 class of international Global Mission Fellows, who spend two years in ministries focused on justice and community development. In July, 15 new Global Mission Fellows were commissioned for service in the United States. Global Mission Fellows is a program of the United Methodist General Board of Global Ministries and part of its Generation Transformation emphasis on young adults in mission.

The group undergoing orientation in Harare, Zimbabwe, will be commissioned on August 30 at the Revelation United Methodist Church there. Bishop Eben K. Nhiwatiwa, leader of the Zimbabwe Episcopal Area will preside. To be “commissioned” is to be designated by the church for a special purpose. Bishop John K. Yambasu of Sierra Leone, vice president of Global Ministries, will preach at the service.

Also...commissioned [was] Innocent Phrytoil Afful, a global missionary from Ghana, who is coordinator for orphans and vulnerable children for the Churches of Christ in the Congo, an ecumenical ministry based in Kinshasa in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
Of the 37 young adults, the majority is from Africa and many will be placed in other parts of the vast continent, none in their home countries. Missionaries are by definition “sent” by God and the church to cross borders and boundaries in taking the good news of God’s love in Jesus Christ to all places.

Some of the new Global Mission Fellows will also work in Latin America and the Caribbean, Asia, and Europe. A dozen are graduates of Africa University, a pan-African institution related to the United Methodist Church in Mutare, Zimbabwe. Alumni of the university among the new Global Mission Fellows are from across Africa. Four of the international fellows are from the United States.

Work sites are truly international. Relinjoy Pabrua, who is from Manila in the Philippines, will be working with a community development project in Grenada in the West Indies; Wakili Albert Abbo from Jalingo, Nigeria with a new congregation in Dublin, Ireland; Evans Ndadzungira from Chimanimani, Zimbabwe with an environmental protection project in the Philippines; Kelsey Gatza from Chicago, Illinois, USA with a community-based ministry in Johannesburg, South Africa; Dorcas Samantha Ewoodzie from Accra, Ghana in an ecological program in Kenya; and Edwin Castillo from the Dominican Republic as a communicator in a medical service in Nicaragua. (Click here for a full list of the fellows, including where they are from and will work.)

 “This is an exciting new venture in mission,” said the Rev. Dr. Judy Chung, Global Ministries’ associate general secretary for missionary services. “Global Mission Fellows is one expression of our Generation Transformation focus on young adults in mission. The young people leave their home environment, identify with a new community, and not only provide real assistance to their projects but also better equip themselves for leadership roles in church and society in the complex world in which we live.”

The United Methodist Church has organic units (regional “annual” conferences) in the United States, Eurasia, large parts of Africa, and the Philippines. It has mission partnership across Asia and Latin America/Caribbean, with personnel, projects, and partners in more than 125 countries. It has missionaries in 60 countries. U.S. immigration policy does not grant entrance visas to international short-term young adult missionaries.

The service of commissioning on August 30...was developed with the assistance of the Rev. Dr. Beauty R. Maenzanise, dean of the faculty of theology at Africa University.

UMVIM, SEJ is excited to congratulate the following Fellows commissioned from the Southeastern Jurisdiction:

Hilary Glover 
Mississippi Annual Conference 
Placement: Grenada

Barbara Rogers 
North Carolina Annual Conference 
Placement: Russia

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Eric & Liz Soard: Building Meaningful Relationships in Tanzania

 
In 2015, we are highlighting UMC missionaries who have been commissioned from the Southeastern Jurisdiction to serve around the world. Many of these missionaries accept volunteers to help with the important and necessary ministries they have established or are in partnership with. Contact UMVIM, SEJ for more information on how to serve!
 
Building Meaningful Relationships in Tanzania
Eric and Elizabeth Soard are a young couple on the forefront of the United Methodist effort in Africa. Together since college at Lambuth University, they felt a calling to Africa, and began their time on the continent as volunteers in a country that would eventually become their second home: Tanzania. Presently, they are commissioned UMC Missionaries in the Lake Zone near Lake Victoria, where they are church planters and discipleship trainers. Along for the journey are their 3 sons, Derrick, Kaleb, and Micah.
The Local Community
The Soards have many roles and responsibilities in the Lake Zone, including laying the foundation for the first UMC University in Tanzania. For the last three years, they have concentrated their efforts on building up the local church body, and have established 10 new churches so far.

"Our focus is on building the local community of Christ, to mobilize them to engage with each other and the community around them" says Eric. "We want them to be able to the answer the questions, 'Would your community notice if you weren't here?' and furthermore, 'Would your church members miss this part of their lives if you weren't here?'" Through intentional discipleship and leadership training, the Soards are ultimately leading these congregations to be self-leading, self-replicating, and self-sustaining.
UMVIM Teams and Building Relationships
While the Lord has equipped the Soards for their work in Tanzania, they cannot do it alone. The churches belong to the local congregations, but UMVIM teams are needed to help where they lack the resources to cross the finish line.

Over the last couple years, they have asked the members of their local congregations what they would consider the most valuable part of having volunteers serving alongside them. They answered, "knowing people are praying for us, taking the time to offer their knowledge to us, and building relationships with us."

A mission journey to Tanzania with the Soards might be filled with bumpy roads and a lot of dust, but it serves as the background to the warmth and hospitality you will experience while there. So many teams opt to stay in the comfortable cities and more developed areas of the country, but the extra effort you spend getting to this part of Tanzania will be rewarded with meeting the wonderful people, sharing meals with them, and being given the opportunity to sit down and talk to them about the place they call home. "The work is important," says Eric, "but it's secondary to the relationships."
 
Earlier this summer, UMVIM, SEJ Executive Director Paulette West traveled to Tanzania to personally visit with the Soards to become more familiar with their mission, and to help establish sister-to-sister church partnerships here in the SEJ. (Click the video above for a recap of her time there!) If you are interested in learning more about serving short-term in Tanzania, or what a meaningful partnership with the Soards could look like for your church, please contact Paulette West at paulette_west@umvim.org or Eric Soard atsoard.eric@gmail.com. You can also follow the Soards' journey on their blog, ingodslife.blogspot.com.