UMVIM (United Methodist Volunteers in Mission) provides short-term mission opportunities for everyday Christians. These local, national, and international opportunities include disaster relief, medical missions, and building projects. VIM also offers training and insurance for teams going on mission trips.
In 2008, teams from Kentucky have traveled to many different places to demonstrate “Christian love in action.” Here are just a few Kentucky VIM stories.
From Kentucky to Kentucky
After a tornado struck Muhlenberg County in February, VIM teams from a number of Kentucky United Methodist churches helped with debris cleanup and rebuilding efforts. The recovery work continues, with more houses being built and roofing repairs made.
From Frankfort to Las Vegas
A team of 15 youth and adults from Frankfort First UMC traveled to Las Vegas in July to work at Seguidores de Cristo church. They worked hard and accomplished a number of tasks. Among other things, they gave the church a new nursery, painted the sanctuary walls, worked on the heating and cooling system, cleaned and organized a room used to distribute necessities to community members, and spruced up the building inside and out.
Read more about the trip and see photos here.
From Bowling Green to El Salvador
In January, State Street UMC (Bowling Green District) sent a VIM team to El Salvador to work with New Dawn of El Salvador. New Dawn’s focus is on working with families with HIV/AIDS to provide better housing for them. The team also held medical clinics where 100 patients a day were seen. A veterinarian who went on the trip examined and treated 200 animals.
Team accommodations were very good, and the food was healthy and delicious. Team leader Cindy Roberts reports that the people in Apostepeque (1 hour outside San Salvador) are poorer than she had ever encountered before and the housing conditions are deplorable. The Salvadorians were open and loving people who appreciated everything that was being done on their behalf. This was the first mission team to work in this area, and they would like to have more teams come.
From Berea to Honduras
A team from Berea UMC (Lexington District) spent nine days in July in mission in El Paraiso Honduras (approximately 1 ½ hours outside of the capital city Tegucigalpa). They took nearly 200 personal hygiene kits and boxes of children’s clothing. While in Honduras, they worked on construction of a church building. Their work including passing buckets of sand brigade style and dumping them onto the roof. Times of worship and getting to know the people of El Paraiso were highlights of the trip.
Read the blog relating to the trip here.
In October 2007, a 15-person team traveled from Kentucky to Uganda to help construct the First United Methodist Church of Namboole. (That story can be found here.) Another Kentucky VIM team will be in Uganda this fall for medical mission, among other work. Half of the offerings from the September 14 VIM Sunday will be used to provide life-saving medications for refugees and orphans in Uganda (event details).
Through VIM, Kentuckians are in ministry both nearby and around the world. If you would like to learn more about this organization and how you can get involved, contact Judy Neal (JJNEAL8801@aol.com).
Members of a VIM team from Berea UMC work on a church in Honduras.