1.UMVIM is an approved United Methodist ministry.

2. The mission projects are vetted and screened.

3. Volunteer teams can continue their relationship with the project site they served at via The Advance and missionaries.

4. All are welcome to serve.

5. Training, forms, insurance, etc. available

6. It's simple. Contact umvimwj@hotmail.com to get started!

Faith in Action

Faith in Action

Monday, May 4, 2009



Several members of First United Methodist Church, Bakersfield will participate in a mission trip to Tonga, planned for July 21-August 4, departing from Los Angeles.

The team will be providing medical/dental and elderly care, doing repairs/construction, and conducting after school programs on one of the remote islands in the Kingdom of Tonga. Focus of the mission will be support of an elementary school, local clinic, and the local Wesleyan church.

"We are privileged to share hope along with medical attention, bring inspiration to the local teachers, nurses, and doctors, and spread joy with the children," reports a spokesperson for FUMC Bakersfield.

There may be room for two to three more participants on this unique mission team. Those with specific skills and those willing to be "utility players" are needed (medical personnel, skilled carpenters/builders, teachers, and those willing to help with cooking and serving).

Requirements are: good health, ability to travel the distance (the flight is 11+ hours, and there will be a short boat trip, as well), ability to stay in "rustic" accommodations, and a positive attitude and ability to get along with people under these conditions.

The approximate cost per person is $2,600. If you are interested in joining the team contact the Rev. Richard Thompson, FUMC pastor, immediately. Travel deposits were due in April. Call the church office at 661.325.1267 for more information.

If you cannot go but would like to support this mission trip, monetary contributions (to help the team buy building materials) will be welcomed, along with donations of:

Non-prescription reading glasses ("drug store glasses"), over-the-counter pain relievers, Band Aids, antibiotic ointments, "sample size" toothpaste, soft toothbrushes, small boxes of crayons, No. 2 pencils, erasers, white poster board, and blackboard chalk.

All donations may be dropped off at the FUMC Bakersfield church office, 4600 Stockdale, Bakersfield, CA 93309.

(Click here to read related story, "Mission Minute: Churches Partner to Ship Ambulance to Tonga.")


Your donation of cell phones at Annual Conference Session supports California-Nevada UMVIM teams through the Western Jurisdiction UMVIM program, providing travel expenses for part-time Jurisdictional UMVIM coordinator, Heather Wilson. Heather supports site assessments and communications with mission projects throughout the world. She is the "go-to" connection between Mission Volunteers, United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR), and Mission Personnel. She supports the UMVIM offices in California-Nevada and seven other annual conferences of the Western Jurisdiction.The hearing aids collected will be donated to the Rotary International project, "Help the Children Hear." This project collects and refurbishes hearing aids of all kinds and then provides them to needy children in the Tucuman Province of Argentina.

Some hearing aids are refurbished and sold, and the funds raised are used to purchase new hearing aids for the smaller children in the Province.

UMVIM Director Sue King, who coordinated the effort, thanks congregations for their willingness to help those less fortunate through these donations.

"Some of our UMVIM teams have distributed eye glasses and all of them benefit indirectly from the services of the Western Jurisdiction UMVIM program. Everyone donating is a part of UMVIM ministry through these important donations, even if they don't even leave home!"

(Click here to read main story, "Donate Cell Phones, Eye Glasses, Hearing Aids in Separate Bins at ACS.")


Volunteers are often needed to help in recovery efforts following a disaster in the US. In the initial weeks, and in some places, months, only specially trained volunteers such as those on Early Response Teams can enter an area. This is because immediately following a disaster there are many health concerns due to structural damage and water-borne illnesses. Additionally, disaster areas lack the infrastructure needed to host volunteer teams. For more information on how to volunteer in this area contact Heather Wilson at umvimwj@hotmail.com or at 818-333-6730.

When an area is considered safe and able to host volunteers, teams are welcomed through United Methodist Volunteers in Mission (UMVIM).Oftentimes volunteers are needed for several years following a major event.To find out about groups from your area, contact your jurisdictional or conference UMVIM coordinator