Center for Missional Outreach News
The Louisiana Conference is ready to receive construction teams to help those whose homes were damaged during 2016 spring floods
In response to an unprecedented flooding event this past spring that affected much of North and Central Louisiana, as well as a number of the state’s southeastern parishes, Louisiana’s United Methodist churches are continuing to meet the needs of those affected by the devastating rains.
In the immediate wake of the floods, United Methodists and local churches stepped up to provide shelter and food, distribute cleaning buckets and health kits and to help with the process of mucking out flooded homes.
And now, Louisiana Conference UMCOR Long Term Recovery has been set up in three critical areas of the state to tackle the job of helping residents return to their once flooded homes — the North Shore (Slidell), Ouachita Parish (Sterlington/Monroe) and Vernon Parish (Near Leesville).
The Louisiana Conference is ready to receive teams from across the state and from throughout the country that are ready to give hope to those still counting their loss. Both skilled and unskilled volunteers are needed for the recovery effort. There will be skilled individuals to teach every level of volunteer how to do the work needed. And if you have a construction-related skill, we can put your expertise to good use.
Case management has been ongoing and many clients are ready to receive teams immediately. Team lodging is available in dorm type accommodations in churches and there are areas available to park recreational vehicles. Teams may be preparing their own meals; meal plans are available in some locations. Lodging and material costs are minimal.
Register Your Team
To register your team, contact Rev. Larry D. Norman, Volunteer Coordinator, by emailing email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 225-933-1881. At present, team registration is being handled individually.
Additional information and web site registration will be available soon at www.LA-UMC.org.
Thank you for serving as the hands and feet of Christ!
Sunday, August 21, 2016
7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
On August 21, 2016, First Methodist Mansfield will be hosting a presentation by visiting missionary Rev. Priscilla Jaiah. Priscilla serves at the Ganta UM Mission Station in Ganta, Liberia. Meet her and hear how this mission has flourished in spite of civil war and an Ebola epidemic.
The Ganta UM Mission Station includes a hospital, a school, a church, an eye clinic, an agricultural project, and a leper colony. It began in the 1940s, but suffered serious setbacks during the Liberian Civil Wars (1988-1996 and again 1999-2003). They had just begun making real strides in catching up from that devastation, when the Ebola epidemic struck. They are the only hospital serving about 600,000 people, and struggle to have running water and electricity.
As Ebola spread, they were advised that they were not equipped to handle this and should shut down. Instead, they transformed their eye clinic into an Ebola isolation and treatment center, began serious community education, and contained the spread of the disease in their area much more quickly than expected.
Ganta is a great opportunity for mission teams and for ministry support. Anyone looking for a mission partner would enjoy meeting Priscilla personally and learning more about the work being done there.
By Rev. Marji Hill, Associate Director
Center for Missional Outreach
Imagine my surprise when I asked the young American at the Methodist Guest House in Port-au-Prince where she was from and her answer was "the North Texas Conference."
"Really?" I said. "That is where all the rest of us are from, too!"
The guesthouse was packed with North Texans during the week of June 17-24, 2016, because four separate teams had all come the same week — part of a year-long plan to combine forces and fellowship.
The world really is a small place sometimes. Jamie Morgan's path to Haiti started in the NTC with a summer internship opportunity in 2015.
The Center for Leadership Development offers a summer internship opportunity for young adults wanting to explore ministry careers. Last summer, Jamie Morgan served as an intern at Greenland Hills UMC in Dallas.
This summer, Jamie applied for and was accepted into a global internship where she is serving in Haiti as a Global Justice Volunteer at Grace Children's Hospital in Port-au-Prince. The photo at right shows Jamie participating as part of a CPR class led by a group of North Texas nurses traveling on an UMVIM team.
The Global Justice Volunteer program is a part of the United Methodist General Board of Global Ministries Project Transformation program for young adults. These young adults find themselves in placement sites all over the world.
Dr. Suess once wrote a book around the concept "Oh, the Places You'll Go!" and for Jamie Morgan that has certainly been true!
United Methodists Visit Heifer Projects during June 2016 Mission Trip to Haiti
Girls at a Heifer Project "Passing the Gift" ceremony.
Heifer Project is certainly not new to North Texas churches. Established after World War II, many churches have been supporting this program for dozens of years. So how do you dig a little deeper into a ministry that might be, well, a bit stale to the congregation? Even, ho hum?
Rev. Janet Cavalier from First UMC McKinney was asking this very question. The church was getting more involved in Haiti and finally Janet decided to explore what Heifer was doing in Haiti. It made sense to tie into existing relationships where they were already serving.
After much conversation and planning, a delegation from First UMC McKinney visited several Heifer projects in Haiti. Next, Janet made arrangements for all the Methodists traveling in an enormous UMC team during the week of June 17-24, 2016, to also get to experience this marvelous ministry.
The concept is simple, really. Give two goats (or pigs or chickens) to a family and then when their goats mature and have offspring, give two of their goats to another family, perpetuating the gift on and on. Eventually, many families benefit from the first gift, transforming a community. While the concept is simple, the implementation is anything but simple. Our team learned this when we got to witness a "Passing The Gift" ceremony in Les Nippes district on June 18, 2016. Adassa Romilus, Communications Officer and Saphina Sannon, Departmental Agronomist, accompanied us and helped explain the project in more detail.
Heifer works primarily with groups that apply to be Heifer partners. This means the group already exists and has some kind of structure in place. This helps make the program effective because the group has relationships already and they are willing to commit, as a body. We visited the "Strong Women of Sodo Group." The group decides who receives the gifts being passed on. This strengthens the leadership of the local leaders and is more readily accepted than if outside leaders decided.
Lining up in two lines, the givers and the receivers face each other and promise, face to face, to take care of the animals being passed on in front of a huge audience. Much cheering, chanting, and singing accompanies this happy day. Through their energy and commitment, a difference is made in the lives of their community.
Heifer Project Contact
Join us in DFW for a Helping Without Hurting Weekend!
October 21-22, 2016
Through When Helping Hurts, the Chalmers Center has shaped the way more than 360,000 church and ministry leaders approach poverty. Join Chalmers for Rethink Poverty: A Helping Without Hurting Weekend, a two-day learning experience designed to transform your understanding of poverty alleviation and equip you to walk alongside the materially poor.
What to Expect
Led by Brian Fikkert, Rethink Poverty will equip you with a biblical framework for effective poverty alleviation. Through times of worship, prayer, small group discussion, and interactive breakout sessions, this event will reshape the way you view the materially poor.
Ready to build momentum in your church, community, and city to help without hurting? Here are two ways to save on registration for Rethink Poverty:
- Register before July 17, 2016. Early bird pricing is in effect until July 17, 2016 — register now and save $70 off full price!
- Sign up as a volunteer. We’re looking for friendly, hard-working people to join our event team for the weekend. Apply to volunteer and you’ll receive a discount code for 50% off to use when you register.
2016 South Central Jurisdiction Mission Academy
September 11-14, 2016
2016 South Central Jurisdiction Mission Academy registration is now open! Join us at Mount Sequoyah in Fayetteville, Arkansas, September 11-14, 2016, to learn more about Asset Based Community Response, Disaster Long-Term Recovery, Community Based Health Care, Connecting Neighbors in Disaster Response, and more.
The South Central Jurisdiction Mission Academy is an event where those who desire to serve others through hands-on mission service can come together to learn, share, and discuss healthy and effective ways to do so. The Academy offers a variety of courses relevant to all types of hands-on mission experiences. Review the courses and design your Academy experience to fit your mission interests. View all course options and register now at www.scjumc.org/mission/academy.
ERT Training by UMCOR
Saturday, September 10, 2016
8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
The United Methodist Committee On Relief (UMCOR) is offering a class training individuals to be part of an Early Response Team on Saturday, September 10, 2016, from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at FUMC Rockwall. This class will provide you with the Basic information you need about Early Response Teams. The trainers will be Bobby Aga and Alma Cone.
Early Response Teams (ERTs) fill a specific need in the early days after a disaster to clean out flood-damaged homes, remove debris, place tarps on homes, and otherwise help to prevent further damage, while providing a caring Christian presence.
ERTs are not a first-response group of emergency workers, nor are they recovery, rebuild, or repair teams. Under very specific guidelines, ERTs assist survivors, without causing further harm or being a burden to the affected community.
All ERT members are trained by authorized UMCOR trainers, and are given identification badges as evidence of successful completion of the basic class.
MINISTRY SAFE REQUIREMENTS
North Texas Disaster Recovery Case Managers at Work in Rowlett Office
Macy Crone, Recovery Office Case Manager
Since February 2016, North Texas Conference staff have been working in a new office out of First UMC in Rowlett. The first case manager hired was Macy Crone, a member of Tyler Street UMC. After attending two days of intensive training by UMCOR in Corpus Christi, Macy helped us to open the new office and started seeing clients right away.
Demand has been so great that in recent weeks we have had to tell new clients that they would have to wait because we didn't have the capacity to open any more cases.
Susan Dollar, Recovery Office Case Manager
As of June 13, 2016, a new case manager was hired to assist in this office, Susan Dollar, RN, BSN, CLNC. Susan is a member of Christ UMC in Plano and will be working alongside Macy. Susan was told "your job is to work yourself out of a job" assisting clients financially to overcome the disasters that have hurt many in Rowlett, Garland and Wylie.
If you know of any homeowners who are having great difficulty repairing their homes, please refer them to our Recovery Office.
- 469-243-1008 or 469-243-6906
Hours of Operation:
- Saturday, 9:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m.
- Sunday, 2:00 p.m.-7:00 p.m.
- Monday, 4:00 p.m.-7:00 p.m.
- Tuesday, 4:00 p.m.-7:00 p.m.
- Wednesday, 4:00 p.m.-7:00 p.m.