Posts Tagged ‘volunteer-in-mission’

Minot Mission

Thursday, September 1st, 2011

We went. We saw. We prayed. We worshiped. We cried. We lent a hand.

We were two teams. The first departed Southwest District Friday morning 12 August. The team received overnight accommodations from Lydia Zion UMC in Jordan , Minnesota. After a breakfast feast provided by the Rev Larry and Vicky Kasten we arrived in Minot, North Dakota on Saturday evening 13 August and were welcomed into the home of our hostess from Faith UMC, Kara Gross. The team worshiped with the Faith UMC congregation at the home of their sister church Vincent UMC on Sunday morning. After worship we met Judy Roed, the UMCOR project coordinator, who introduced us to the owners of the homes we were to assist. The house of Mr. Rhodes had been underwater up to the roof. The house of Mr. Silseth had suffered flood damage up 3 feet on the main floor walls. The team only worked at the Rhodes residence for one day as asbestos was detected to be present in the ceiling. The team decided to concentrate efforts at the Silseth house. The team finished its work and departed North Dakota on Friday.

Team #2 departed Southwest District Monday morning 22 August and arrived at the Gross home 22 hours later having driven straight through. On Tuesday morning we met with the project coordinator and Mr Ortiz the home owner. The Ortiz house had been under water up to the ceiling. We mucked out the basement and the first floor up to the ceiling. The team completed its work on Friday and departed Minot on Friday afternoon. Their trip to Lydia Zion had an extra surprise with the Southwest District’s UMCOR trailer getting a flat tire along the way. After a restful night, the Kastens greeted them with a good morning breakfast prior to their departure for Indiana.

We saw the aftermath of the Souris River flood that left over 4000 homes, many businesses, and churches in need of flood recovery assistance. Many homes and perhaps Faith UMC suffered extensive damage beyond repair. Teams from churches and charitable organizations are working together in hopes of getting survivors back into their homes before winter. Winters are extremely severe and come early in North Dakota.

We worked alongside the home owners. It isn’t hard to love people who have lost everything. They were so thankful for us. Their appreciation of us increased our faith. They became a part of us. Something very unforgettable happens when you help someone carry once valuable possessions to the curbside amidst the debris. Priceless treasures from spouses, parents, and children buried in a pile of useless clutter along the roadside awaiting the coming trash compactor to be taken forever away.

 Jesus asks his followers to teach others to observe his teachings. He only gave us two. Love God and love one another. Our responses to people in need reflect our love for God.



IOP Cistern Project

Saturday, June 11th, 2011

Ilula Orphan Program provides education and care for over 1200 HIV Aids orphans in the Kilolo District of Tanzania.  Student sponsorships from 16 countries are providing for this education and care through IOP’s orphanage and Foster Family Program.

Clean water is a valuable resource the world over. Every community is concerned about possessing an abundance of clean water. Inadequate, unclean, and unsafe water supplies are normal for most communities in Developing Nations. Four years ago a well with clean fresh water was completed and now provides an abundance of clean water for the Orphan Center.  

IOP continues to expand. We have experienced the need for clean water in a newer section of the orphanage property. The Guest House, the Internet Cafe, and the shops along the highway do not have access to clean water. We are planning to construct a cistern to meet the water needs of the newly constructed buildings.  

A 20,000 gallon capacity below ground cistern will provide an adequate amount of clean safe water. The project will require about 25,000 bricks with gravel, sand, and cement to make the concrete. Fine sand will be needed for plastering the inside walls. In addition we will need guttering, down spouts, and appropriate piping to transport the rain water to the cistern from each of the buildings. A pump and water lines will be needed to get the water from the cistern to the Guest House and other buildings.

 The estimated cost for the construction of the cistern, guttering, pump, and water lines is estimated at $11,000.

 We are thankful for your previous prayers and support for the Ilula Orphan Program. Your contributions to assist in the construction of this clean water source for the guests, workers, and vulnerable orphan children is greatly appreciated.

Contributions for this new water project can be sent to

Emerging Mission Mnistries, PO Box 116, Fort Branch, IN  47648



Advent 2

Thursday, December 2nd, 2010

        She was a young twenty-something Native American. We were told to watch out for her. She was suspected of pan handling personal items from other volunteer-in-mission work teams.

        In chapter 11 the Isianic writer relates a radical scene of future peace. Leopards, goats, wolves, and lambs relaxing together as life-long friends. Lions and cattle enjoying a feast of nutritious straw. Children and snakes playing together in total fear abandonment. It reads like a page out of a make-believe story book.

        One of the Advent themes is hope. The prophet is describing a day of hope. A righteous hope that redefines fairness and justice in terms beyond comprehension.

        Our team was rebuilding a burned out Community Center at Shiprock near Four Corners. She quietly joined our team meetings. We invited her to eat with us. Meal times are always spiritual occasions with mission work teams. She was invited to join our devotions and discussions. She began to express her doubts and questions about faith. As the weeks came to a close she had become one of us, part of our team.

        Grace is amazing! The peaceful scene among former enemies posed by Isaiah seems like fantasy running amuck. The change affected by grace in the lives of people is no less dramatic. The entire message from God through Advent/Christmas is summed up as, “I forgive you.” She was there as we were departing, with a gentle smile, exchanging her address for ours. I’ll not soon forget her. We shared Christian love with hope and peace and watched as faith began to germinate.

        What is your hope for this Advent?