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Most Kentucky United Methodists know Jennifer Davis is the wife of Louisville Area Bishop Lindsey Davis. Those attending the 2012 Annual Conference learned she is also an advocate on behalf of the children of Carnizuelar Honduras.
“My first trip to Honduras was in 1998,” said Ms. Davis. “I fell in love with the people and especially the children. I think most people who do short-term mission work, whether at home or elsewhere, are drawn to the children.”
Jennifer Davis thanked Conference members for their generosity.
Last year 16 people, including Mrs. Davis, traveled to the village of Carnizuelar on a Conference Ministry with Young People mission trip. In addition to working on construction projects, members of the group taught Vacation Bible School. The kindergarten building where VBS took place was in bad shape. When it rained, water ran through the building and the roof leaked.
Mrs. Davis is a former teacher, and her parents were educators.
“My heart broke when I saw the conditions of the schools and the lack of supplies for the teachers and the students,” she said.
To help the students of Carnizuelar, Mrs. Davis organized a jewelry sale at the 2012 Kentucky Annual Conference. Proceeds will go toward construction of a new kindergarten building in the village. People donated enough bracelets, earrings, necklaces, and pins to fill several tables and displays. The sale in the Convention Center lobby proved a popular spot, with shoppers continually gathered at the tables looking for treasures.
The Ministry with Young People Delegation to Conference also wanted to help with the fundraising. They decorated a pair of Converse high-tops, which were presented to Bishop Davis at the June 11 plenary session. This gift came with a catch, though. The Bishop had to collect money from the Cabinet and others in attendance if he wanted to keep the shoes. Many people donated, raising $2,500.
Between the shoes and the jewelry sale, over $11,000 was collected for the Honduras kindergarten. The cost for the building itself was expected to be approximately $8,000, so there is additional money for other supplies.
Mrs. Davis appreciated the generosity shown: “God has opened the hearts of his people, and the kindergarten children of Carnizuelar will have a new building, new desks, chairs, and supplies. They will know that people in Kentucky love them.”
Another Ministry with Young People team is traveling to Carnizeular June 30-July 9. Conference Youth Ministry staff member David Sparks explained the plan for the trip.
“While there, our work is to build loving relationships in the name of Jesus Christ through Vacation Bible School, building concrete floors, building up latrine walls, and possibly building some chimneys that provide for cooking and heat,” he said. “Additionally we will participate in some community sport activities, and possibly help in the seed garden or tilapia pond.”
The group will also have the opportunity to begin work on the new school building.
A jewelry sale at the 2012 Annual Conference helped raise money for a new school building.
VBS in 2011 at the school building in Carnizuelar (Photo courtesy of Lesley Gookin)