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

Tuesday, June 30, 2009


Photo: Homes damaged as a result of Yukon River flooding, courtesy www.photos.syracuse.com.

In the past months, there has been ice flooding of villages along the Yukon River in Alaska and about 40 villages have been hurt. In particular, there are three villages that are in urgent need for teams near the Alaska/Canadian border.

The United Methodist Church along with the Alaska VOAD, FEMA, and the Mennonite Church, Church of Latter Day Saints, Catholic Charities, Samaritan's Purse, CRWRC (Christian Reform World Relief Church), the Lutherans, and the Interior COAD in Fairbanks are making a national effort to help in the recovery. The three villages are Eagle, Canana, and Stevens Village. Because of the ice, the damage to the villages is unique and the damage looks like a hurricane or tornado went through them instead of flooding. Cars are crushed and so are homes.

In Eagle, 24 homes were destroyed. Out of the 24, FEMA and locals have picked 13 that need to be rebuilt from the ground up. In Canana, there were 30 homes that have been gutted out by the locals but do need interior repair like dry wall and electrical. There are 2 homes there that need be rebuilt from the ground up as well. I am still awaiting news about the needs in Stevens Village. Eagle has access to roads but Canena and Stevens Village is accessible via barge or by flying in. Teams can fly into Anchorage or Fairbanks and Holland America is helping the recovery efforts by providing ground transportation from the airport to these villages for volunteers.

In addition, if serving in Eagle there is a support camp for volunteers to stay in and a school where they can shower. The local community there will be providing meals. In Canana, there is a building available for teams to stay in. Ideally, we need teams that can come in for 2 to 3 weeks at a time. This is more cost effective than if they just come up for one week. However, because the need is great those teams that can only serve 1 week will not be turned away.

Also, please no youth teams. Only teams with volunteers 18 and older are encouraged to serve here. If this changes, I will let you know. Please know that they are able to take volunteers as soon as mid-July and the window of opportunity to get these homes built is from now until about Sept. 15th due to the weather change and lack of sun in the winter months. The locals live mostly on what they hunt and gather so they will most likely not be too involved in the construction efforts as they have to prepare for the coming winter season.

Only LOG HOMES are to be built. The villages do not want any other homes built but LOG HOMES. In fact, there is a kit called "Kit Homes" which will be used for the rebuilding process. People with construction experience are needed most. For further info feel free to contact me at Heather Wilson, umvimwj@hotmail.com. Thank you.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

International Disaster Response; New Mission Volunteer Brochure Available; Honduras Summit; Equipment Needed in Haiti, Restoring Homes in WA State

Photo: A girl plays with a string in front of her family's tent in a camp near Mardan, Pakistan. Church World Service tents and blankets are helping to shelter displaced children and families in Pakistan. Church World Service-Pakistan/Afghanistan

In the past month, UMCOR sent more that $250,000 to support disaster response efforts around the globe. Nearly half went to assist people displaced by the fighting in Swat, Pakistan.

UMCOR also supported an emergency food distribution to 4,200 displaced people in Myanmar.
The International Disaster Response Advance allows UMCOR to provide financial support to disasters when it is needed.

Please help keep the Advance funded so that UMCOR can continue to quickly respond to those left vulnerable when a disaster happens.
Download and share Responding in Time of Need, UMCOR’s new church bulletin or present UMCOR's power point slide and collect a special offering on Sundays. By doing so, you allow UMCOR to respond immediately and comprehensively to disasters in our world. Give to International Disaster Response, UMCOR Advance #982450.
There is a new informative brochure available for the Mission Volunteer program. In the past many received brochures and information via the "Call to Serve" brochures. These are no longer in print. The new brochures are now available. If you would like to order some for your local church, district, or annual conference event, contact Heather Wilson, UMVIM Coordinator for the Western Jurisdiction at umvimwj@hotmail.com or 818-333-6730.
The 2009 Honduras Mission Summit will be held at Christ Church United Methodist in Louisville, Kentucky, September 10-12. You will hear from Bishop Elías Galván, from pastors and leaders in Honduras, and experienced work and medical team leaders from the United States churches. You will also explore ways that our US churches can more closely work together and help strengthen the Methodist Mission churches of Honduras.

To find out more about the conference and to register, visit www.ccum.net/HondurasSummit . You can register online or by mail.

Please contact Janet Hundley, janeth@ccum.net, if you have any questions or problems regarding the online link.
In January more than 30,000 people were evacuated from their homes due to massive flooding in Western state of Washington. Dozens of highways were closed and shelters were opened to house those in need. Nearly 4,000 families registered for federal assistance for home repair.
UMCOR is assisting the Pacific Northwest Annual Conference in their disaster response ministry. UMCOR is supplying building materials, financing homes, replacing lost household appliances, as well as providing emotional and spiritual care to those coping with their loss.
You can help Washington residents recover by giving to U.S. Disaster Response, Advance # 901670.
Dr. Pressner Louis is a gynecologist working in the border region of Dominican Republic and Haiti. Though his specialty is gynecology, he sees all kinds of patients in his clinic.
Dr. Louis has requested specific pieces of physical therapy equipment listed below. His clinic was evaluated by a recent exploratory team from the UMVIM, SEJ office, and his operation is an officially recognized VIM project.
1. muscle stimulator
2. TENS unit
3. ultrasound
4. paraffin bath and paraffin
5. hydroculator and compresses
6. whirlpool
7. chair or table for strengthening the quadriceps muscles
8. table for traction of lumbar and cervical spine
Please pass this list along to any who might have available equipment for donation. If you have available equipment, please contact Dalton Rushing in the UMVIM, SEJ office at dalton_rushing@umvim.org or 404-377-7424.

Monday, June 8, 2009

News From Cambodia; What Is An UMVIM Team?; Ways To Serve

Photo: Volunteer working at Vacation Bible School, courtesy www.missionvolunteers.org.


On Tuesday, my sister Janet, Piseth, Irene and I went down to Kantebopa Children's Hospital to donate blood. In order to get a transfusion, the family of the patient has to supply donations of blood equal to what is transfused. When school is in session, CHAD facilitates students at the Methodist Bible School to volunteer to help needy families. You can read more about the young boy, Viriak, that CHAD has been helping to get quarterly transfusions in a story by Irene at http://chad-cambodia.blogspot.com/.

There is also a story by a volunteer from the recent UMVIM Medical Team from Colorado. Thanks to the whole team! You can continue to support medical welfare for children like Viriak and those in Kratie with a donation through http://secure.gbgm-umc.org/donations/advance/donate.cfm?code=3020542.

It has been great to have my sister Janet volunteering here for the last month. We've been working with the small-business development at Mau Bourn's church, and following up on some of the recommendations in the mid-term evaluation of the CHAD program by our partners in the Methodist Church in Finland.

-Katherine Parker, Global Ministries Missionary to Cambodia


An UMVIM team is one that serves locally, nationally, or internationally where it is invited, works in a ministry endorsed by the host Methodist church, partner church or agency, or Non-Government Organization (NGO), and serves in cooperation with the local host group. The intent of these guidelines is to insure that the presence of the team will not interfere with the authority and integrity of the church leadership, hereby strengthening and upholding the local church. The team will have an UMVIM trained leader who provides training for the team, insures completion of proper forms and insurance coverage and is in communication with annual conference and jurisdictional UMVIM leadership.


Individual Volunteers - Individual volunteers, either single or as married couples, are needed for short term projects. The usual length of service is from two months to two years. The individual volunteer is expected to cover the cost of transportation and personal expenses in the place of assignment. Because they are viewed as missionaries by the host community, the individual volunteer should possess a growing Christian faith and understanding of mission. Strong interpersonal and cross-cultural skills are of great benefit. Contact the Individual Volunteer program or email Landon Taylor at ltaylor@gbgm-umc.org.

Work Teams -Ten to twelve persons from a local church, district, or conference commit themselves to work on a construction project in a mission setting (usually a church, school, or clinic building).

Disaster Response Teams - After a major disaster such as a flood, hurricane or earthquake, volunteer teams initially respond to help with clean-up and assessment, and over the long term assist in reconstruction of damaged areas.

Medical Teams - Teams of physicians, dentists, and other medical personnel serve one to three weeks in places where medical attention in needed. Medical personnel may also accompany a work team.

For more information about any of these programs contact your UMVIM Annual Conference Coordinator listed on the left-hand side of your screen. You are needed!


"Slumdog Millionaire" swept the Academy Awards. Yet the subject of the movie is not new to the Methodist Ministry in Mumbai, India, which has been helping street children for decades.
Tune in to this three-minute video to witness the real-life story of hope for street children in Mumbai.

The Methodist Church in Mumbai supports 20 centers for street children in 13 impoverished communities. Children from 1 to 14 years old have a safe place to receive a meal, health care, recreation, and a simple education. Older children are taught technical skills like chalk making and weaving. The children also learn Bollywood dance steps. After all, Mumbai is home to the largest film industry in the world.

"As portrayed so well in the movie, 'Slumdog Millionaire,' many street children are forced into a life of begging either by family members or by unscrupulous adults who used them for their own gain," said Max Marble, Office of Creative Ministries, The United Methodist Church, Missouri Conference, and the maker of the series "MissionCast." "It is my hope that the movie will continue to draw attention to the plight of street children the world over."
Support these United Methodist Advance projects to continue providing hope to the street children of Mumbai.

Friday, June 5, 2009


PHOTO: Bishop Elaine Stanovsky, Rocky Mountain Annual Conference and Jamie Michaels, US-2 missionary for UMCOR West assists Depot Director Brian Diggs as he cuts a ribbon marking the official opening of the UMCOR West in Salt Lake City, Utah.Melissa Hinnen/UMCOR


Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not men, because you know that the Lord will reward everyone for whatever good he does, whether he is slave or free. (Ephesians 6: 7 -8)

1) “Salaam” to the Individual Volunteer serving in Palestine: Dec.15 - June 2009
Yvonne Turner of Sierra Pines UMC is volunteering as an English teacher for youth at Hope School in Palestine through June of 2009. Yvonne first visited Palestine as part of an UMVIM Team led by Rev. Tana McDonald (Feather River Cooperative Parish) last year and felt personally challenged to offer her service and presence in solidarity with the Palestinian community. Yvonne has established a blog for family, friends and well-wishers to stay connected with her there. http://yvonnepalestine.blogspot.com/

2) Medical & Connectional team serving the Ray of Hope Foundation in Kenya May 22 – June 5
Team leader Craig Wood of Glide UMC – San Francisco will be leading Glide UMC’s first UMVIM team! Glide UMVIM volunteers are doctors, nurses, teachers, photographers, videographers and social workeworkers. The mission of Ray of Hope Foundation is to promote health, healing, medicine and education to the global community through the exchange of volunteers, technology, training, medical supplies and educational programming. Craig will be joined by Katherine Burke, Mark Hespeth, Joshua Biddle, Karen Oliveto, Travis Woodard, Robin Ridenour and Stephan Chase.

3) Care – A – Vaners construction team works in Mt. Shasta, CA: May 26 - June 3
Rod and Gloria Castor head up yet another group of nomadic volunteers who will go in mission, living out of their RVs while working on light construction and repair projects throughout California-Nevada Conference. The Care-A-Vaners has worked this year at Laton UMC and The East Salinas Family Center. Other locations are scheduled for this year—give us a call if you want to join them in this work.

4) San Ramon Valley UMC High School Youth Team to Laton, CA: June 20 - 27
Michael Stephenson and 4 other adult volunteers will lead a team of 18 high school aged volunteers to Laton UMC to continue repairs there. See the UMVIM website for photos. Projects may include exterior painting, the sanding and staining of church pews and the replacement of window screens. Michael will be joined by Mackenzie Dimler, Keegan Dimler, Matt Donatelli, Spencer Farady, Lindsay Garnick, Nick Johnson, Justin Koos, Ali Kuelz, Thomas Mannell, Lizzy Miskovetz, Lauren Nakaso, Evan Preece, Jack Schramm, Paige Steffy, Ben TenElshof, Mark Warwick, Annette Warwick, Trevor Willis, Kevin Dimler, Crista Farrow, Paul Kuelz and Debbie Koos of Alamo - San Ramon Valley UMC.

5) Epworth UMC-Berkeley heads to Nicaragua: June 21 – July 3
Lloyd Elliott from Epworth UMC – Berkeley will take a second team of volunteers to a newly created UMVIM site in Nueva Guinea, Nicaragua to continue their relationship of support and friendship with the Ruben Dario High School. They will also be exploring possible mission opportunities related to health and healthcare as well as water quality and water erosion. Lloyd will be joined by Annette Cayot, Jim Lockwood-Stewart, Charles Lynch and Christina Kellogg of Berkeley - Epworth UMC Lynne McCoy and Pat Stout of Los Altos - Los Altos UMC.

6) Mother and daughter volunteer to join missionary daughter in Cambodia:
June 23 – August 12
Martha Parker of Mill Valley – Mt. Tamalpais UMC will join her daughter Katherine Parker ( A GBGM UM Missionary) in Cambodia to aid with projects there. Martha’s other daughter Janet Parker has been serving in the region since April 28th and will continue through June 12th. Martha’s background is in nursing and she has a community health and advance practice as the Mill Valley School district nurse. You can check out all the Parker’s activities at Katherine’s missionary blog:

7) Multi-Church VBS & Connectional Team to Swaziland, Africa: June 30 – July 14
Becky Perry from Boulder Creek UMC will take a team of 11 volunteers to a newly created UMVIM site in Bulembu – Swaziland. They will be leading VBS classes for Enduduzweni children and connecting with many other ministries in the area during their time there. Becky will be joined by Heather Bishop and Hallie Greene of Boulder Creek - Boulder Creek UMC Donna Brandt, Jane Cross, Mary Davis, Farida Melia and Mary Melvin of Pacific Grove - First UMC Christian Knox of Galt - Galt UMC Ruth Matthews of Milpitas - Genesis UMC Rosemary Steenhausen of San Jose - Alamaden Hills UMC and Chris McLain of Texas - Round Rock UMC.


UMCOR Sager Brown now has company! For years, this warehouse in Baldwin, LA was the only place where UMCOR would keep all of its kits and is still an amazing place to volunteer. Now, there is such a warehouse in the West, called UMCOR WEST OFFICE & DEPOT. The director is Rev. Brian Diggs and they are open to accepting kits, donations, and volunteers. You can connect with them at 1479 South 700 West, Salt Lake City, UT, 84104-1605. The phone number is 801.973.7250 and the fax number is 801.973.7916. You can also email the depot at westdepot@umcor.org.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

News from Indiv. Volunteer - Kathy Staroksa; Individual Volunteer Training

Photo: Children in orphanage in Georgia where Individual Volunteer Kathy Starotska serves, courtesy Kathy Starotska.


Went to the orphanage with the "girls" today. They have about 100 kids ages 6-16. They were very enthusiastic, to say the least, to meet an American. They are speaking some English already and Marina has introduced the brushing of teeth. Some of them are doing this for the first time. Marina said some of the staff is a bit put out because the brushing causes them extra work. I only stayed for about an hour as the kids were getting all wound up and had to start their lessons. Thought I could stay to see how the teaching is going but I was too much of a distraction. Kids looked good and immediately started the "clinging" we experienced in Russia and didn't want me to go. The facility is nice in that the buildings are separated with lots of grass and trees and includes a jungle gym for the little kids.
Interested in serving for 2 months to 2 years as an Individual Volunteer? Come to the training held at Aldersgate Retreat Center in Pacific Palisades, CA June 25th-28th. For more information about this amazing ministry contact Landon Taylor at ltaylor@gbgm-umc.org.