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Tag Archives: UMVIM

When God Reminds You Why You are Serving on a Mission Trip at a Kitchen Table

Note from the editor: In October 2016, a team of nine people traveled to Tappahannock and Montross, Virginia on a United Methodist Volunteers in Mission (UMVIM) Tornado Recovery Mission Trip. This post comes from one of the volunteers, J. Scott Nicholls. When disaster hits, even though it may take a long time, buildings, homes and businesses that were damaged or destroyed by nature can ultimately be rebuilt. Personal belongings can be replaced, though keepsakes cannot. It is hard to see the devastating impact these events have on the “individuals,” both ... Read More »

Teamwork and Roof Removal: Sandy Relief Mission Team Update

Our New Jersey trip started off on Sunday evening as we all arrived at Lacey UMC in Forked River, New Jersey. Many arrived early (or at least on time) and had a chance to enjoy their first meal together as a team, followed by the first team meeting led by our fearless leader Tim Wells. After some administrative items and a briefing by our construction team, Tim led us in an inspirational devotion about being a good neighbor and the story of the Good Samaritan. It helped set the perfect ... Read More »

What is Cuba Like? by Bill Gray

I’m frequently asked about my trips to Cuba. What we do there is the most popular, followed by a curiosity of the island, and finally the mystique of a communist country. The politics are just that and change in that country is inevitable. But why I go there isn’t an easy answer because there is something intangible and mysterious about the experience. The Cuban Methodist Church is like many outside the US or Western culture, LIVELY. Yes, the worship experience is unlike ours, maybe closely resembling gospel here in the ... Read More »

Bittersweet Goodbyes

Today was the last day at the CRC. The past two weeks have flown by in the blink of an eye. It seems like just yesterday we were meeting the kids for the first time and now we are packing our bags to leave. This morning we woke up and went right back over to the CRC to finish painting the last house. After four straight days of rolling, brushing and dabbing the paint onto the walls we have become experts and were able to finish all that we needed ... Read More »

Reflections from Cuba

On May 24, a team of 11 missioners left for Cuba for 12 days to build new and paint existing dormitories at Camp Canaan, a Methodist training and meeting center near Santa Clara, Cuba. While there, they did not have internet access.  Now that they are home, here are some reflections from their trip.  While I waited in Santa Clara for Aldo to update his Cuban passport (and thus able to leave the country), I waited outside on the busy sidewalk, which was very narrow. I stepped into an apt./house ... Read More »

Grasshoppers, Pineapples, and Monsoons Galore!

Today is Wednesday and our trip is coming to a close. I cannot believe that tomorrow will be our last day at the CRC with the children. I am trying to soak in every moment of Sierra Leone before we are on a plane back to the states. I woke up this morning to a beautiful sun rising above the MTC walls. It was already hot and there were clouds forming in the sky. Once I walked down to the dining hall I talked for a while to Gina who works at the MTC. ... Read More »

These Little Piggies Went to Market

Our mission today was simple: find fabric to make ourselves a skirt. In order to do that, we had to go into the Bo market. I should explain our desire for fabric: the women here look stunningly beautiful.  They were bright, vibrant colored pieces of cloth every day, as skirts, dresses and headscarves.  We look a bit shabby in comparison. Needless to say, we were all eager to wear our own Sierra Leonian cloth. As soon as we arrived at the market we were immersed in chaos. It is a ... Read More »

Sunday in Sierra Leone

Today started out as another beautiful day in Sierra Leone. At 10 a.m., after breakfast, we went to church. For the girls, getting ready for church here in Sierra Leone was different from our normal routine at home. To be respectful of the culture, we wrapped our heads with scarves. When we were all ready, we walked to the United Methodist Church and joined the congregation in worship. The whole 2 hours and 45 minutes at church was an amazing experience. All of the Sierra Leonean women looked beautiful in ... Read More »

You Showered Where?

After the medical trip yesterday, it’s hard to think or talk about anything else. It’s safe to say that today was a much calmer day. The children were off school today, so the day was more relaxed than we have been used to thus far. There are about six of us who try to work out in the morning before breakfast and I have to say that not one of us woke up to our alarms this morning, which kind of set the tone for my day. After breakfast and ... Read More »

Medical Team Adventure

Today half of the team went with the staff of Mercy Hospital to a local village near Bo to conduct a mobile Malaria clinic. The other half of the team will go to a different site on Tuesday to conduct the same clinic with Mercy Hospital. It was an eye-opening and rewarding trip that I will remember for the rest of my life. We woke up to another delicious meal from Fudia to get the day started. A delicious spread of mangos, bananas, fresh bread and hot porridge was laid ... Read More »

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