Dee is coming home soon! Read her blog about her service in Palestine: deeswalkthroughthevalley.blogspot.com
Dee and EAPPI
Dee is coming home soon! Read her blog about her service in Palestine: deeswalkthroughthevalley.blogspot.com
FUMC member Dee Poujade is currently serving as an individual Volunteer in Mission in Palestine with the Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel (EAPPI). She is stationed in Tulkarm, which is in the northwestern West Bank..
You can follow her mission journey on her blog at: deeswalkthroughthevalley.blogspot.com .
In June/July of both 2011 and 2012, I had the great pleasure of participating in a UMC mission trip to Kenya. Last summer’s team had 16 members, including our leaders, Jim Monroe and Sue Owen (both recently retired UMC ministers from Oregon). Jim and Sue have led teams to Kenya for each of the past seven years, and now are full time volunteer missionaries in Maua, Kenya. Many of us have felt compelled to go again, so it’s easy to understand Jim and Sue’s commitment to the Kenyan people. But, it’s hard to convey in a few words just what made this experience so special.
Our work focused around two towns, Maua and Meru, which are located in central Kenya, to the northeast of Mt. Kenya.
In association with the Maua Methodist Hospital, we built a 10 x 20 foot house for a family orphaned due to AIDS, mudded walls for a new residential building for hospital staff, funded the installation of wells in drought stricken areas, and visited inspiring young men and women who have turned their lives around through the Hope Companions program.
We visited many schools and supported their efforts in various ways – through physical work, funding of projects, or just letting them know that somebody cares.
We stayed one week at an educational farm, where we got to build a fence, plant over 1000 trees in little black plastic tubes, and participate in a training event at a working farm.
The accommodations were less than cozy, the schedule rigorous, and the experiences often heart-breaking, but this was without a doubt the best experience of my life! Amid all the hardships, I got to see the amazing resilience of these people, and their seemingly limitless sense of hope and faith that God would take care of them. I saw the impact that our “first world” society has had on them – some good, some definitely not. This has inspired me to take more responsibility for my actions and choices here at home. It touched my soul in a way that nothing ever has before!
See some of Renee’s pictures here: View photos
Join Renee Harber on January 13 in the Fireside Room at noon as she speaks about the accomplishments of the 2012 UMC Kenya Team.
She was one of 14 volunteers from Oregon, Idaho and Washington who worked on various projects at the Maua Methodist Hospital, and on housing for Aids orphans.
Renee will show photos of those projects, and of the Meru Bio-Intensive Farm, which trains local subsistence farmers in methods of growing food and forage crops more efficiently.
A light lunch will be available.
Dee Poujade is spending three months with the Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel (EAPPI). Concurrently, she will be serving as an Individual Volunteer in Mission with the United Methodist Church.
She is blogging her experiences, both as she prepares for her departure in late January, and while in the Holy Land.
She is asking for prayers for the journey, and also that her church family follow her on what promises to be an incredible “adventure.” deeswalkthroughthevalley.blogspot.com
Comments on Dee’s blog are encouraged.
We have good news: The next quarterly Olive Oil Sale will be December 9th in Collins Hall. Don’t miss it!
We will have Olive Oil, the middle eastern spice blend Za’Attar, and also Olive Oil Soap from Canaan Fair Trade to sell.
Plan on getting your family and friends this delicious gourmet Olive Oil for Christmas. The soap makes a great stocking stuffer.
All sales benefit Palestinian farmers and the Global Missions Committee.
This 3-day training session will focus on Long Term Recovery, and will guide participants in assessing recovery needs, partnering with the Coordinated Assistance Network (CAN), managing recovery supplies, the National Disaster Recovery Framework, and other issues.
Sign up today for the workshop at www.ResilienceNW.org. The cost is $20.
Here is a link to the event flyer: Recovery Flyer 10-12-12 (pdf)
United Methodist Volunteers in Mission
Interested in Missions? Learn about mission opportunities and how to prepare for a Mission Trip.
Come join us for an UMVIM Training session on October 20, 2012 at Forest Grove United Methodist Church from 10 am to 2 pm.
Bring a sack lunch. Forest Grove UMC is at 1726 Cedar Street, Forest Grove.
There will be a cost of $40-50 to cover the printed material and background checks as needed.
Please contact GlobalMissions@fumcpdx.org if you are interested or have questions.
United Methodist Volunteers in Mission have a training opportunity coming up:
Do you feel called to provide a caring Christian presence in the aftermath of a natural disaster? Do you want to give more than a financial donation to help the victims of a disaster? Then become an UMCOR certified Early Responder by attending our first conference Early Response Team (ERT) training!
The Basic Member Early Response Team training session will be held at Boise First United Methodist Church, Saturday, November 17, for anyone interested in volunteering for disaster relief help in the Western Jurisdiction (Western US). The course teaches basics of disaster relief, including how to stabilize and secure homes safely as you provide a caring Christian presence. It also covers how to work effectively with survivors and as a team. It is not for first response emergency workers, nor for rebuild teams.
Cost for the 8 hour training is $50 and includes manual, materials, background check for Safe Sanctuary and lunch. We should be able to offer a couple of scholarships if finances are limited. For more information or to register, please contact GlobalMissions@fumcpdx.org
If there is enough interest from Oregon, we will be able to offer an Early Response Team training course in the Willamette Valley as well!
On June 28, a team of 16 volunteers from Oregon, Washington and Colorado went to Kenya for 3 weeks to build a home for AIDS orphans within the community of Maua, aid in various projects within the Maua Methodist Hospital, and complete several tasks at local schools & an educational farm.
You can keep up with their work and see photos on a blog that they are maintaining here:
Today was our last day at the Depot. The “sewing team” (Kay, Frey and Dee) took an early train out so they could get almost a full day in – the “packers” (Pat, Cal, Betty and Sarah) opted to tour the beautiful Episcopal Cathedral, located next door to the retreat center where we are staying, before coming to the Depot.
Cal treated his “wives” (we’ve been calling ourselves “Cal’s Gals”) to another yummy lunch at Victor’s, and we had a blessing of the baby gowns that the sewing team had been making (we made a total of 70!)
After an almost-full work day, Frey left us for an afternoon flight back to Portland, and the rest of us went to “Welfare Square,” the Mormon equivalent of the UMCOR depots – on a much larger scale! – for a tour of their many enterprises. That was very interesting.
Sarah suggested a drive to Park City (about 45 minutes away) for dinner, a trip we thoroughly enjoyed, both for the scenery and the fun of seeing Park City (for some it was the first time; others had only seen it covered in snow on previous ski trips!)
Tomorrow Pat and Cal fly on to Phoenix; the rest of us will be back in Portland and hope to see you all in church on Sunday!
Three of our group enjoy taking the Metro (like the MAX) to the depot, and 4 of us get there in Sarah’s van, starting our “work” about 9am. Three go to work in the sewing room, making nightgowns and flannel diapers while three inspect layette kits which church groups bring or send.
This is necessary so that each kit has the exact number of items in it: a dozen diapers, 2 baby blankets, 2 nighties, 2 “onesies”, 2 wash clothes, a sweater, and 2 diaper pins. Then Cal fits 7 kits in each shipping box, tapes them shut, and stacks 28 boxes in each pallet.
At noon we walked over to nearby “Victor’s Tire Shop” which has added a lunch room where good wholesome inexpensive Mexican lunches are served. It was a pleasant day to sit outside and eat at a picnic table.
We finish working at 4:00 pm and head back to our “home” at the Episcopal Church Center. Tonight after going out to dinner we’ll go to the Mormon Tabernacle to hear their famous Choir rehearse.
Today was our half day “vacation” from the Depot – although, watching us at work this morning you wouldn’t have known it! Sarah, Betty, Pat and Cal kept filling boxes of layette kits – we’ll probably have another “pallet blessing” tomorrow. And Kay, Frey and Dee turned out another 14 baby gowns from the sewing room, some of which were immediately snatched up for inclusion in the layette kits! We’re coming home with LOTS of ideas on how our FUMC friends can continue to support UMCOR and the important work they do.
Our first stop after leaving the Depot was the local Methodist church (First UMC of Salt Lake City – the same nice folks who cooked lunch for us yesterday!) The historical building was built in the early 1900s and has beautiful stained glass, as well as an impressive mosaic mural in the sanctuary. A quick stop at “home” for lunch and we were off to the Great Salt Lake and Antelope Island, the largest island in the lake.
Pat, Sarah and Cal opted to visit the visitor center on the island and to try their luck at spotting the island’s population of antelope and bison, while Kay, Frey, Betty and Dee headed off on a 2.7 mile hike on the Lakeside trail, around “Bison Point.” We firmly believe that God was putting us on that trail today. About 2 miles into the hike, Betty, who was leading the group, met a young woman in need of help. We won’t share the details here, but, as one who was present, I can concur with the woman (Linda), who said that Betty was here “angel” on that path. And I will ask everyone reading this to please hold Linda in your prayers!!
Antelope Island lived up to its promises – it was a beautiful spot and we all saw antelope and bison, as well as numerous other birds and animals. And, finally, the weather was PERFECT!!
We ended our day with a lovely dinner at Cedars of Lebanon, which served the cuisine of both Lebanon and Morocco in a “casbah” type setting! Wonderful!!
Remember yesterday’s temperature of 108? Today it was 53, windy, and overcast, and we all shivered in shorts and sans sweaters.
Working at the UMCOR Depot really makes one appreciate its efficiency and focus on mission. The Depot (actually 3 spaces combined for a total of 22,000 sq. ft.) stores relief supplies nicely on new, partially funded shelving in orderly banks (named, of course, Mathew, Mark, Luke, John, Sarah, Deborah, et al.) The supplies are moved on a donated forklift. We had our orientation around an elegant conference table rescued from a recently defunct business. Ditto for most of the office and break area furnishings. The warehouse manager, Brian, reminded us that all administrative costs supporting UMCOR’s gathering, assembling, and shipping of these relief kits are covered by the One Great Hour of Sharing’s annual appeal and that the kits are distributed based solely on need and logistic considerations: not religious, ethnic, political factors. Brian mentioned that one of their latest shipments was layette kits to Somalia.
We are the only team working here this week, and we are split into two groups: Dee, Kay, and Frey in the sewing room making layette sleeping gowns, and the others, Pat and Cal, Betty, and Sarah re-checking and packing layette kits to be ready for shipment. Your scribe worked at the assembly table for a short time Monday morning and was quite impressed with the quality of the items in the kits: standard brand named pieces, handmade items showing both creativity and practicality. About mid-afternoon today we gathered at the work table to celebrate finishing a pallet (that’s 28 boxes of 7 kits each, or enough to lift the spirits of 196 families) by reciting the Pallet Prayer and joining in an all-hand “drum” roll (the drum being the boxes on the pallet)
The Brockmans flew in this morning and were picked up at the airport by Sarah and Betty. The rest of the group started work at the Depot at 9 am. A typical work day ends at 4 p.m. We unloaded the receiving blankets, baby sweaters, layette kits and supplies that we collected in Portland and transported to Salt Lake in Sarah’s van. We also turned in $250 from the sale of shares, and $350 donated by team members. This money will be used by the Depot to purchase kit components in bulk.
We met with Rev. Brian Digg, the Depot director, for a tour of the warehouse. He discussed the history of the Depot and the history of UMCOR (more details in future blogs). Our team of seven split into two work groups, one working in the warehouse and the other in the sewing room. Further details will follow in a future post.
The temperature gauge in the car at 4 pm was 108! Tomorrow promises to be cooler!!