Thursday, August 6, 2015

A Summertime Stretch for Your UMVIM Dollar
For many of us, midsummer is a time for relaxation, travel, and reflection. Will you take a few minutes to travel with us in your imagination to just two places, and, in these minutes, reflect on your contribution to UMVIM? 

First Stop: Belize
Belize, on the eastern coast of Central America, is bordered on the north by Mexico, on the south and west by Guatemala, and on the east by the Caribbean Sea.

Lisa Williams, who was first engaged in mission work while living in the Kentucky Conference - is now the UMVIM coordinator for Belize. Would you believe that, with your contribution, Lisa - an amazing "mission multi-tasker" - does all of the following?

- Gets to know the needs of local communities.These needs are ever-changing. Belize has the lowest population density in Central America, but the country's population growth rate is the second highest in the region.
- Places volunteer teams into the types of jobs that best utilize their skills.
- Meets with local village children to have Sunday School on Saturday mornings.
- Facilitates a weekly women's Bible Study.

Lisa's husband, Jamie, is the presbyter of the Corozal Methodist Circuit. He has three churches, and serves as chaplain for two primary schools with more than 700 children in attendance.

Before we leave Belize, take a moment to reflect on how many lives there will be touched by your contribution.

Second Stop: Florida, USA
A popular U.S. vacation state with theme parks and beautiful beaches, Florida is also in the throes of flood recovery. Did you know that 15,000 families in the state registered for federal assistance when floods struck in spring 2014?

 "These communities have a good roster of volunteers for the fall, but often struggle during the summer", said Amelia Fletcher, Disaster Response Coordinator for the United Methodist Alabama-West Florida Conference.

Part of the reason is the high cost of staying on site, she said. "Unless people stay in a church setting, hotels are very high during the peak vacation season. Even campgrounds charge the most during the summer."

Your contribution to UMVIM helps people learn about the “less visible” disaster recoveries happening in Florida and around the world, as well as the need for long- and short-term volunteer teams to assist in disaster response.

UMVIM stretches your dollar by placing teams in local church settings - and training both teams and church leaders to accommodate each other's needs.

Take a moment to reflect on the less visible disasters around you. Then consider a contribution to UMVIM to help keep people informed about the needs. You can help keep our teams going, no matter the location or the time of year.

Please prayerfully consider a generous donation to Advance #901875, or mail your check to: UMVIM, SEJ, 100 Centerview Drive, Suite 210, Birmingham, AL 35216.

Grace and peace,

Paulette West
UMVIM, SEJ Executive Director 

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