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Reflections on Homelessness

From February 15 – 22 Floris UMC is hosting roughly 35 individuals as part of the FACETS Hypothermia program. The guests arrive at 5 and are fed, offered showers and various opportunities for entertainment e.g., watching television, playing games or reading. One of the guests wrote his reflections on what it is like to be homeless. When the snow falls on Northern Virginia, the bustling city stops to take a breath of fresh air – inhaling the solitude known only to a few. Dogs get more attention and families gather ... Read More »

Making A Difference – An Update on Hurricane Sandy Relief Efforts

[Editor’s Note: In 2012, Hurricane Sandy hit along the east coast causing significant damage to New Jersey and New York. Floris UMC has sent several teams to this area to assist with rebuilding homes damaged by the storm. Most recently, a team of nine people went to Brooklyn, NY for several days to volunteer their skills and help homeowners become one step closer to moving back into their homes.]  Well, we are half way through our trip and it seems as though time is racing by. We have a great team ... Read More »

Thank You Child Rescue Centre

“You miss him, don’t you, Mommy?” This is the question my daughter asked as she looked at my phone and saw the wallpaper picture of me and a little boy from Sierra Leone. “I do. I miss him a lot.” I think about him a lot these days. I think about how he and his brothers and sisters at the Child Rescue Centre (CRC) have been out of school while the country desperately tries to stop the Ebola virus from spreading in communities. I am thankful that he’s receiving support ... Read More »

The Holy Spirit in West Virginia

Praise the Lord, the Holy Spirit is alive and well at J.P. in Romney, WV! For our first four days here, Monday and Tuesday were workdays, Wednesday we had off for “free day” and Thursday was another workday. The work is going fine. The jobs are getting finished, and the kids are working hard (most of the time) as the crews work to be the hands and feet of Christ. But it’s not the work or the jobs that I want to talk about here; it’s the presence of Christ’s ... Read More »

Just One of the Family by Cathy Caviness

I’ve been attending Floris United Methodist Church since November, 2013. While I felt welcome, I kept feeling like I didn’t quite fit in. It is hard to make new friends just sitting in the worship services, or even attending the short-term Lenten study. When I heard about the opportunities to serve at “Camp Hutchison” this summer, it seemed like the perfect opportunity.  They were looking for someone to teach music one day a week (Tuesdays) for the month of July. I am an elementary music teacher!  So I went online ... Read More »

Halfway Through Camp Hutchison

So, let’s take four weeks of the summer, about a hundred kids, a comparable number of volunteers and see what we get! Overall, what we get is not “Camp Hutchison”; rather, what we get is “utter chaos.” This time, though, Floris UMC has really got it right. We’re halfway through the Camp Hutchison program, and we’ve had no serious issues or problems. Minds are growing, hearts are changing, and a community is moving toward God. I’ve volunteered with Camp Hutchison for the past four years. Even so, when I came ... Read More »

Harnessed in God’s Love

I’m afraid of heights so you can imagine the panic I felt when our crew leader on my recent mission trip to Memphis announced, “We’ll be working on the roof.” My mind raced frantically, “How am I going to do this? I’m going to have to go up there. What kind of leader would I be if I didn’t?” All the while, the thought of getting on the roof terrified me. The first day we were shown how to put on harnesses and how to “hook in” so that if ... Read More »

Thankful for the Memories

Sadly today was our last day of working and playing with the kids at VBS. At the church we were able to finish painting a wall that we had worked on plastering and sanding down a few days before, so it was really cool to see the final product. However, my favorite part of the day was definitely playing with the kids at VBS. Since it was our last day with them we had a celebration with cake, candy, and a piñata. They all loved it! I had a blast ... Read More »

Learning in Costa Rica

This is my second Costa Rica mission trip and I can honestly tell you I have never stopped learning. I have not only made relationships with the people here but I have also furthered my relationship with God and with my own missionaries on this trip. Every day is a little different since there is another church from North Carolina here working at the same church as us. Most of my mornings have been spent preparing for VBS with the kids in the afternoon, but planning and executing are two ... Read More »

A Costa Rican Roller Coaster

This is my first blog post from Costa Rica in the five years that I have been at this camp, which is sad but also good because at least you know that this week was important enough for me to write about. This week already has been a roller coaster ride for me; in particular, I found out that the young girl I have bonded with for the past four years has moved. But I found other girls that remembered me, and I found it humbling to focus not on ... Read More »

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