Celebrating Mission Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ, I give thanks for our United Methodist connectional system. It is a joy and a privilege to serve the Church through the General Board of Global Ministries. Global Ministries is the global mission agency of The United Methodist Church, its annual conferences, missionary conferences, and local congregations. Our purpose is “Connecting the Church in mission.” Global Ministries equips and transforms people and places for God’s mission around the world. The four mission goals are: • Make disciples of Jesus Christ; • Strengthen, develop, and renew Christian congregations and communities; • Alleviate human suffering; • Seek justice, freedom, and peace. The work of Global Ministries is the work that you do all around the globe. In the following pages, learn about your new collegiate ministry, a young adult in Cambodia, a partnership between United Methodists in Iowa and Malawi, missionary pilots in the Congo, and the continuing work of UMCOR responding to disaster around the world. I ask that you pray for the work, support a missionary, become an In Mission Together partner, volunteer for a mission trip, or find some other way to become involved in mission. May God continue to bless all that you do in God’s mission. In mission and ministry together,
General Secretary General Board of Global Ministries of The United Methodist Church
Jim Winkler (far left), general secretary of General Board of Church and Society, and reunion of former Mission Interns and Us-2s. Credit: Paul Jeffrey
New Collegiate Ministries Program for Young Adults
he General Board of Global Ministries (Global Ministries) and the General Board of Higher Education Ministries (GBHEM) have partnered to commission some of the young adults from the Mission Intern and US-2 programs as Collegiate Ministries Mission Interns (CM Mission Interns) and Collegiate Ministries US-2s (CM US-2s). The program will allow these young adult missionaries to focus on ministry to college and university students with a justice and service emphasis. Many young adults in mission are already working with this focus. For example, Mission Intern missionaries Nicholas Haigler and Katharine Steele are currently stationed in L’viv, Ukraine, where they work for a small Methodist congregation and a growing campus ministry called Youth to Jesus. Ashley Rosser and Wil Wilson, US-2 missionaries, work as associate campus ministers in Fargo, North Dakota. The new Collegiate Ministries partnership expands opportunities for young adults to do this kind of vital ministry. “This partnership offers the strengths of both agencies to better support young adults to engage in mission service through collegiate ministry and connect them to existing mission and collegiate networks,” notes Elizabeth Lee, executive secretary of the Young Adult Mission Service office of Global Ministries. CM Mission Interns and CM US-2s benefit from Global Ministries’ training, programmatic, and administrative infrastructure. They participate fully in events with other Mission Interns and US-2s, building a support network of peers. GBHEM provides additional training and resources specifically geared toward collegiate ministries. CM US-2s and CM Mission Interns are responsible for creating resources and Bible studies that will be offered to Global Ministries mission and Collegiate Ministry networks. The United Methodist Church has collegiate ministry programs on more than 1,000 campuses across the world. This mission is present on every continent except Antarctica. Many of today’s young adult clergy discerned their calls during their college years, often through involvement with collegiate ministries and mission opportunities. For that reason, collegiate ministries and mission opportunities are critical for the future of the denomination. — Julia Kayser
Celebrating Mission Homes for Hope in Cambodia
Farm Sustains Crops, Partnerships, and Faith in Christ
ission Interns spend 18 months abroad and 18 months in the United States working toward peace and justice. They are supported by Global Ministries, which places them with partner organizations. Joseph Bradley’s first assignment as a Mission Intern was working with orphans and street children and teaching English at the Methodist School of Cambodia. Joseph was inspired by his time in Cambodia to start a project called Homes for Hope. The neighborhood in Phnom Penh where Joseph worked stood in marked contrast to his previous home in Katy, Texas. One of the things that first caught Joseph off-guard was the omnipresent shadow of the Khmer Rouge. “There’s really not a single person in Cambodia who wasn’t affected in some way, shape, or fashion by the genocide of the 1970s,” says Joseph. For example, one of his coworkers at the Methodist School, Reaksa Keo, had been orphaned by the Khmer Rouge. His childhood was a collage of years living with monks, with a sick uncle, with friends, and on the streets. Reaksa shared with Joseph that with only an eighth-grade education, it was hard for him to find work that paid well. He and his wife struggled to make ends meet on a salary of only $125 per month. His young son, Jim, was almost school aged, but the family wasn’t sure they could afford books and uniforms. They spent $40 per month on rent. Joseph had an idea: perhaps the
Reaksa Keo (in the orange hat) helps with the construction of his new house. Credit: Joseph Bradley
family could eliminate this monthly expense by building a house on Reaksa’s mother-inlaw’s property. However, when Joseph reached out to local NGOs to secure funding, he was told that they could not help Reaksa because he was not the poorest of the poor. Joseph was left asking, “How is $125 a month not poor enough?” There is very little support for families such as Reaksa’s, who have a high enough income to pay for their most basic expenses, but are still far from financial security. With the generous support of Katy First United Methodist Church in Texas, where Joseph worked as a youth director before his time as a Mission Intern, more than $6,000 was raised to pay for the materials and labor for Reaksa’s house. They called the project “Home for Hope,” because having a place of one’s own is the ultimate symbol of hope for those who grew up homeless. By the time Joseph left Cambodia, the walls of Reaksa’s house Joseph (left) and Reaksa’s son Jim play with toys as they break were being painted. ground for the house.
Credit: Reaksa Keo
— Julia Kayser
t’s nearly harvest time in Iowa, and Lester Mhone, manager of the Malawi United Methodist Church’s farm, and Kephas Mtambo, a church member, have come to Ankeny First UMC to spend time with their In Mission Together partners. While in Iowa, they will also visit some small, organic farms, tour some Iowa livinghistory farms and a state fish hatchery, and go to the Iowa State Fair. “We wanted to show them things that could possibly be taken back to Malawi,” said the Rev. Martha Ward, Lead Co-Pastor of Ankeny First UMC. “They’re looking at smaller-scale agriculture, but we also want to treat them to a good time, to share the love and warmth we have for them.” The central Iowa church has been In Mission Together with the Malawi UMC for five years. Each continues to learn from the other. In July 2012, a 12-person team from Iowa traveled to Malawi to visit congregations and meet people throughout the country and help work on the church’s community farm. They returned just in time to greet Mhone and Mtambo. The Malawi UM Conference farm grew out of the Ankeny-Malawi churches’ partnership and their shared interest in agriculture. Ward said that as the congregations discussed ways that Ankeny UMC could be helpful to Malawians, they understood the need to focus on one area to avoid being spread out too thin. It didn’t take long to find common ground. Farm ground, in fact. During the first years of their partnership, Ankeny First UMC worked with Mhone on developing sustainable agricultural projects and establishing bore holes, or deep wells. There was so much water runoff from the wells, the partners hit upon the idea of planting gardens around the bore holes. Now, “instead of the water running off into a ditch, it’s irrigating crops,” Ward said.
He came to me to express his gratitude. To express gratitude, Africans take your two hands in ours to say thank you. But, as the man stood there, unable to speak, he started to cry. “I cannot express my gratitude,” he said. “I don’t have a left hand anymore. But please understand I am very grateful to you for saving my life.” I told him, “Just say thanks to God, because God is the one who provided.” GASTON NTAMBO
Pam Heilskov, center, a member of Ankeny First UMC, will spend a year in mission on the Malawi UMC. Credit: Ankeny First UMC
DR Congo Receives the Gift of New Wings by Jacques Umembudi, Gaston Ntambo, and Rukang Chikomb
JACQUES UMEMBUDI Members of Ankeny First UMC helped build a house for the Malawi church’s farm manager, Lester Mhone, and his wife, Rose. Credit: Ankeny First UMC
“That was our first dabbling in growing things in Malawi.” It only seemed logical, then, that the Malawi church would turn to the Iowa congregation for help with the purchase of farm land in central Malawi. Together, the Malawi UM Conference and Ankeny First UMC purchased a 59-acre farm in Mikumbi and put in a bore hole last July. At that time, winter in Africa, there wasn’t enough money to begin anything on the farm, and by the time the Ankeny congregation could send them money, it was late in the growing season. “They immediately planted,” Ward said, “and had a wonderful crop of soy beans and other crops.” What’s also starting is a new preaching point near the Mikumbi farm that has already grown to 50 members. “The church is starting because of the presence of the farm,” said Mtambo, a graduate of Africa University. — Sandra Brands
My name is Gaston Ntambo. I’m a missionary pilot for Wings of the Morning flight ministry based in the North Katanga Annual Conference. For the 17 years that I have been a pilot for Wings of the Morning, I have felt like a fireman. In the DR Congo, it takes about 12 hours to do a 60-mile trip driving a land vehicle. That is in the dry season. In the rainy season, you just don’t try it. The pilots of the UMC aviation ministry give people a second chance at life. It is not unusual for people to walk 60 to 100 miles to reach a hospital. The people we fly have already tried everything else available. Basically, we are their one chance to survive.
I am Jacques Umembudi, a Global Ministries missionary from the Central Congo Episcopal Area of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Perhaps you are asking, “Why are there three pilots from the RUKANG CHIKOMB I started working with the aviation program Congo?” The DR Congo is a big country, in 1990, helping to build a hangar from about three times the size of the state of scratch. After that, I worked in the shop as Texas. In all that space, it has less than a mechanic’s helper. 800 miles of road—all of it very bad. So transportation is a critical issue in the DR Congo—especially in times of emergency. Last year, we got a call saying that a schoolteacher had been attacked by a crocodile beside a river. When I arrived, I discovered that the crocodile had snapped off the man’s whole left arm, and he was bleeding to death. We flew in, gathered him up, tried to stanch the bleeding, and flew him to a nearby Presbyterian hospital. The United Methodist cross and flame logo marks the Wings About three weeks later, I was of the Morning hangar at the Lubumbashi International Airport in sent to fly him back to his village. DR Congo. Credit: Paul Jeffrey
Celebrating Mission My story is unique. Growing up as a kid, I helped the missionary pilots unload the airplanes and watched them load the sick patients. We kids prayed for the patients beside the plane. Then, after graduation, when I had obtained my pilot’s license, I became the pilot flying to a village in the DR Congo. The children still gather around the airplane when it lands, just as I used to do. When I saw them there, it struck me—I became emotional. Greeting those kids, I told them: “You can be me one day. I was you—standing right there. And the way I became a pilot was by listening to God.” Missionaries saved my life when I was a little one. I was very sick with malaria; I nearly died. The missionaries took care of me. On some days, I say I am paying back; but on other days, I say I am witnessing God’s love. That is what matters to us: to witness that God is love. Through all the difficulties and the joys, we get through this work only if we trust God.
Gaston Ntambo, missionary pilot for Wings of the Morning, North Katanga Annual Conference, prepares for a flight. Credit: Paul Jeffrey
Children in DR Congo watch with excitement as a Wings of the Morning plane makes a steady landing. Credit: Paul Jeffrey
health board’s first training session in February 2012. Board members were empowered to make specific and strategic plans to improve access to healthcare in rural villages. After the training event, West Angola leadership traveled to Bom Jesus with UMCOR’s Shannon Trilli, director of Global Health, and Ted Warnock, a Global Ministries missionary. They presented a symbolic gift of several bed nets to the Imagine No Malaria community, promising future collaboration magine No Malaria recently coordinated a to prevent malaria. Seven months after this large-scale net distribution in Bom Jesus, symbolic gift, UMCOR returned with Angola. Volunteers went door-to-door nets for everyone. and distributed a total of 9,000 insecticideNyamah Dunbar, UMCOR’s executive treated bed nets. Angola’s United Methodist secretary for Global Health, sat down with health board and the NGO Africare were some of Angola’s women leaders to discuss indispensable as local partners. The Rocky the impacts of this month’s net distribution. Mountain Conference provided funds for Lucrécia Domingos, the wife of Bishop the nets. Gaspar J. Domingos, is a physiotherapist This net distribution was foreshadowed with a degree in clinical analysis and health at the West Angola Annual Conference sciences. It was at her suggestion that the UMCOR delegation first traveled to Bom Jesus in February. She says that rural health posts have always been a crucial part of the church’s mission in Angola. “It is a joy that our American brothers and sisters are joining forces with West Angola UMC,” she says. Palmira Chilombo (left) and United Methodist Bishop Elaine “As a mother, my concerns are J.W. Stanovsky hang an insecticide-treated mosquito net at not only for my own children, Chilombo's home in Bom Jesus, Angola. Some 9,000 bed nets but also for other children and were distributed there as part of the denomination's Imagine adults who suffer from malaria.” No Malaria campaign. Credit: Mike DuBose
Engracia Fernando de Almeida Pescoal is the pastor of Bom Jesus United Methodist Church. She also has 10 years of experience working as a community health nurse. She’s one of the volunteers UMCOR has identified and trained, with help from Africare, the government, and the local church. So far, she has been to 19 local villages within the Bom Jesus commune to inform families of the distribution. “I have visited homes and seen the sick people— some have even died—so the nets could not be coming at a more critical time.” Maria Sonhi is a district superintendent overseeing 21 churches and their accompanying programs in Angola. She urges local churches in the United States to continue their partnership with West Angola. “What we have started is only the beginning,” she says. “There is so much more to be done: more communities, even more underserved than Bom Jesus, that remain in need of support.” — Julia Kayser
For general information, contact: General Board of Global Ministries The United Methodist Church 475 Riverside Drive , Room 341 New York, New York 10115 1-800-UMC-GBGM or 1-800-862-4246 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org