Center for Missional Outreach News
A deposit of $100.00 by October 7, 2014, secures your spot!
For more information, go to Christ UMC Missions travel.
To reserve your spot, please contact Missions Coordinator Linda Poole by October 7 by email or call 972-596-4303.
All clergy, mission leaders, health and welfare leaders, and interested parties are invited to a special informational meeting to learn how the UMC is helping with the Ebola outbreak and what more can be done.
October 6, 2014
10:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.
North Texas Ministry Center, Room 107
500 Maplelawn Drive
Plano, Texas 75075
The United Methodist Church has been present with the people of West Africa since the beginning of the Ebola epidemic this spring. As the disease picks up speed, the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) is ramping up its response. A total of $87,000 in grant money has been distributed, and UMCOR stands ready to fund additional projects.
For questions about the meeting, contact Rev. Marji Hill at 972-596-5000 x220.
Photo: Beatrice Gbanga (left), medical and health coordinator for the United Methodist Church's Imagine No Malaria campaign in Sierra Leone, is briefed on efforts to contain the Ebola virus by Mbalu Fonnie, head nurse in the hemorrhagic fever ward at the government hospital in Kenema, Sierra Leone.
About Beatrice Gbanga
Beatrice Gbanga is part of the UMCOR healthcare network, which has been activated to get the word out about prevention and treatment. Lifesaving supplies and protective equipment are on their way to Sierra Leone and Liberia right now.
Beatrice Gbanga serves as the Medical Coordinator for the Sierra Leone Annual Conference and supervises the work of KISSY Hospital and the seven medical clinics supported by the annual conference. Beatrice's responsibilities as coordinator also include supervising work in communities in Sierra Leone. She is currently staying in the U.S.
She earned the G.C.E. Level in 1967 from the Harford School for Girls in Freetown, and an R.N. degree in 1972 from Grantham & Kesteven General Hospital in Grantham, England. She received a master's degree in nursing in 1973 from the Leeds Maternity Hospital in Leeds, England, and a nurse tutor's diploma in 1989 from the Centre for Teachers of Health Sciences in Ibadan, Nigeria. She was certified in Advanced Health Leadership in 1997 by Global Health Action in Atlanta, Georgia.
For more information about Beatrice Gbanga, click here.
On September 7-10, 2014, 85 people from all over the South Central Jurisdiction met to attend some basic training classes about disaster response. Seven people from North Texas were in attendance. The event was held in Hinton, Oklahoma, at Canyon Camp and Conference Center.
The purpose of the event is to enable all people interested in the unique and important role of the faith community during disasters to gain an introduction to the topic. The Academy is an annual event so if you are interested in attending in 2015, please check our calendar next fall for details.
September 22, 2014
Noon to 1:30 pm
You are invited to a Better Neighbors presentation at White Rock United Methodist Church featuring Texas Impact staff and Dallas area guest speakers who have experience working in refugee services. Presenters will discuss how local congregations can better engage their local communities in refugee services, the Community Partner Recruitment Initiative (CPRI), public policy opportunities, and local efforts to end hunger.
Texas Impact is the state's oldest and largest interfaith network made up of member denominational bodies, individual congregations, and tens of thousands of individual Texans of faith. Texas Impact is a non-profit, non-partisan network promoting civic engagement around public policy issues of shared concern among our member denominations.
At the event, Texas Impact Board Member Rev. Wes Magruder will facilitate a conversation among a panel of local refugee service experts, including Bill Holston, Executive Director of the Human Rights Initiative, and Ashley Reimer, Resettlement Supervisor of Refugee Services of Texas. In addition, the Texas Interfaith Center's Associate Policy Analyst for Criminal Justice & Immigration, Piper Madison, along with Congregational Outreach Director Scott Atnip and the Dallas CPRI team (Texas Hunger Initiative Regional Director Marc Jacobson and Texas Impact AmeriCorps VISTAs, Tiffany Collins and Catherine Gilman), will offer brief presentations.
For more information on Texas Impact, the presentation, or to RSVP (preferred so we can prepare for a light lunch), please contact Congregational Outreach Director Scott Atnip.
You are invited!
Tuesday, November 4, 2014
11:30 am - 1:30 pm
Room 107, 500 Maplelawn Drive, Plano, TX 75075
About Willie: A missionary with the General Board of Global Ministries of The United Methodist Church, Guillermo (Willie) Berman Ramirez is serving in his home country of Mexico as the Mexican Methodist Border Mission Coordinator based in Reynosa. Serving in a similar ministry since 2001, Willie has worked with VIM teams from annual conferences in Louisiana, Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Ohio, Tennessee and Iowa.
About David: Rev. David M. Ceballos is a missionary with the General Board of Global Ministries serving as a church developer with the Evangelical Methodist Church of Panama (IEMPA), specifically in the area of Punta Delgadita, near Santiago de Veraguas. He and his wife, Cindy, also a missionary, previously served in Honduras and Barcelona, Spain. They were assigned to Panama in early 2012.
About Cindy: Cynthia D. (Cindy) Ceballos is a missionary with the General Board of Global Ministries of The United Methodist Church serving since early 2012 as community health coordinator for a ministry linked to an emerging church in Punta Delgadita, located in the central region of Panama. A nurse, she was formerly medical ministries coordinator of the Honduras Mission, and she and her husband, David, also a missionary, earlier served in Barcelona, Spain.
There are several areas where volunteers might serve in the Texas Rio Grande Valley area. Keep in mind that the need for volunteers in a specific area varies from day to day. Groups that volunteer need to be prepared to serve in any of the following areas:
- The Food Bank of the Rio Grande Valley in Pharr is the collection site for donated goods. There is an ongoing need for people to sort and organize donations. The various locations serving the immigrants notify the Food Bank of their needs on a daily basis, and the requested donations (if available) are then distributed to those locations. The greatest need for volunteers is in this area at this moment.
- The Salvation Army in McAllen prepares daily meals for the immigrants. They require volunteers to work in their kitchen with food preparation and in their warehouse and their store as well.
- Sacred Heart Catholic Church in McAllen is the welcoming center for the McAllen-Pharr area. Volunteers are needed there daily to assist with intake, sorting, distribution, and whatever else is needed. The number of volunteers needed on a given day varies, but some are always needed.
- The Salvation Army also needs volunteers at Sacred Heart with food service.
- Immaculate Concepcion Center in Brownsville is also a welcoming center where volunteers are welcome.
- If the interest is in serving in Laredo, there are opportunities there as well.
There is always a need for volunteers, but we cannot tell very far in advance where exactly the volunteers would be placed on a given day. The first four locations above are in the immediate McAllen-Pharr area. Wherever hands are needed, small as a job may seem, it all serves our sisters and brothers in so much need.
There are several churches in the area that can house volunteer groups as well as numerous local hotels.
Of course, the greatest need of all is monetary donations which should be directed to the McAllen District UMC Office!
Bishops Receiving Medical Supplies
Dallas-based MediSend International is partnering with West African United Methodist church leaders, Bishop John K. Yambasu of Sierra Leone and Bishop John Innis of Liberia to send emergency shipments of desperately needed supplies to be distributed to overwhelmed hospitals and clinics.
The Ebola crisis continues to rage in West Africa. Families throughout the region are living in fear and grief, watching their loved ones suffer and die. Healthcare workers are exhausted and running out of critically needed resources. They are working in dire circumstances and at great personal risk. The United Methodist Church has hospitals and clinics in the most affected countries, including Ganta Hospital in Liberia (Advance #15080N) and Kissy General Hospital in Sierra Leone (Advance #14536).
MediSend’s Containers of Hope – 40-foot containers filled with approximately 1,000 cases of medical supplies – are being prepared for delivery to the United Methodist Church in Sierra Leone and Liberia. The sponsorship of a 40-foot container filled with life-saving supplies is $25,000 including shipping.
If your church would like to support this effort, please feel free to contact Marji Hill at 972-526-5000, ext. 220, or Nick Hallack, CEO of MediSend International, at 214-575-5006, ext. 112. MediSend welcomes sponsoring groups to be part of the packing, labeling and loading of the containers that will deliver hope and blessed relief to our brothers and sisters in Africa suffering and dying from this dreaded virus.
In November, the North Texas Annual Conference will be visited by two missionary couples.
October 31 - November 14, 2014
November 4 – Missionary Lunch with the Ceballos and Willie Berman of Mexico at the North Texas Ministry Center. Details to be announced at a later date.
November 16 - 30, 2014
These missionaries are available to share their stories with youth groups, women's circles, men's groups, and all others. Sponsoring churches will receive priority.
Anyone interested in scheduling time with these missionaries and/or hosting them overnight can contact the North Texas Conference Secretary of Global Ministries, Serena Eckert.