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

Thursday, July 31, 2014


Firefighters are finally containing the massive Carlton Complex Fires in Eastern Washington (52% contained as of Thursday, July 24th). The other wildfires burning near Chelan, north of Wenatchee, and south of Cheney are also being contained. Thanks be to God . . . and thanks be to the firefighters!
Photo courtesy of the Washington State National Guard, by SFC Jason Kriess.

As the firefighters begin to stand-down and rest up for the next fire, the communities affected by the fires begin to seek relief and recovery. Hardest hit was the community of Pateros. Our Conference Associate Lay Leader, David Reinholz, posted a great report on the situation in Pateros yesterday. If you haven't read David's report and looked at the pictures he took, I urge you to do so.

Also hard hit was the Methow Valley, where the destruction was more widespread, the towns of Twisp and Winthrop being spared from a direct encounter with the fires. Throughout the more than 250,000 acres burned by the fire the power is out. Restoring power is one of the highest priorities of emergency managers.

Bahamas Methodist Habitat is looking for some Fall and Spring Semester Interns! We are looking for someone to help run teams, work in the office, and help with after school. If you or someone you know might be interested please email Brenda at methodisthabitat@gmail.com.


The General Board of Global Ministry seeks experienced volunteer to support agricultural work, manage finances NEW YORK CITY (GBGM) - Una Jones, Assistant General Secretary for Mission Volunteers at the United Methodist General Board of Global Ministries, recently issued an urgent appeal for volunteers to help fill the ministry gap left by the death of Tshala Mwengo (in an April car accident) until more permanent help is secured. There is a need for an experienced individual to support the agricultural work and manage the finances of the Mujila Falls project in Zambia. Interested volunteers available for three-to-six month short-term assignments can contact Una Jones at ujones@umcmission.org.


Please be informed on information from the CDC regarding the Ebola outbreak in West Africa. This is the largest outbreak in history and they are working hard but struggling to contain it. The CDC has urged that no unessential travel occur to Seirra Leone, Guinea, and Liberia. Here is a link to this "Level 3" Warning: http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/notices/warning/ebola-liberia. Note that there are only three warning levels used by the CDC (http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/notices) and this is the one urging the highest caution. Please be sure to keep your teams scheduled to travel to these areas or even near these areas within the next 6 months posted--share this information.


The current immigration crisis involving  adults, accompanied minors, and unaccompanied minors crossing into the U.S. along our Southwest border has been labeled a humanitarian disaster.

UMCOR’s has responded by supporting the conferences most affected with grant funds for hospitality, material supplies where needed, and collaboration with our ecumenical and governmental partners.

In the U.S.,  UMCOR always works on invitation of the episcopal leadership of the Annual Conference that has been affected by a disaster. In this instance, UMCOR has released emergency grants of $10,000 to the Southwest TX and Desert South West conferences upon request of Bishop Dorff and Bishop Hoshibata.

UMCOR is currently engaged in grant discussions for ongoing coordination of relief services for the areas of McAllen, Laredo, Brownsville , and Nogales.   Bishop Dorff  announced the appointment of Rev. Javier Leyva to oversee the coordination of Immigration ministry response for SWTX conference  - a position that will be supported with UMCOR grant funds.  The Holdings Institute – a UMW property –   within SWTX has been meeting the hospitality needs of immigrant arrivals in their area and will become part of a response plan with SWTX.  UMCOR is in discussion with the WJ Council of Bishops about ongoing coordination needs for the entire region including the Methodist conferences on the Mexican side of the border.

UMCOR has supported the Mexican Border Ministry Network (16 sites)  in the past with grants for blankets, socks, and medical supplies.  The MBMN  and the neighboring churches have been providing hospitality for the persons who have been processed through Immigration and then released to appear at  a later date.  The individuals (sometimes with children) are being dropped at bus stations and mission centers without notification to  the regional groups or physical resources to continue their journey.  UMCOR will be supporting these ministries through conference grants.  A delivery of 18,000 health kits was recently released in the areas of McAllen, Laredo, and Brownsville to help support the hospitality needs of those arriving.

UMCOR has been in continuing conversation with FEMA, ICE, DHS, HHS, and the White House Office for Faith-based initiatives to get greater access and insights to the processing of arriving immigrants to be able to provide needed services.  UMCOR will continue to support the faith groups in the area so that they are able to assist and offer hospitality.  At this time, the conferences are not asking for any outside assistance or donations of supplies from outside their region. UMCOR will work with them on the possibility of teams coming to assist to provide respite for the local church hospitality teams who have been tireless in their work. 

In the area of Unaccompanied Minors – UMCOR – along with most faith organizations – are included in a conference call each week with officials from FEMA, ICE, DHS, HHS, and the White House Office for Faith-based initiatives.   
Since their detention has been declared a “national security issue” the only persons with access are Dept. Homeland Security and ICE contractors.  NO groups are being given continual access for Spiritual and Emotional Care or visitation.  There has been limited access by our Episcopal leadership.   UMCOR and the Bishops are continuing to pressure our governmental agencies for access to little or no avail.. but we continue to dialogue. The government has clearly stated that the children held in detention facilities have no unmet needs and are not accepting donations of supplies or funding towards their care.

 JFON (Justice for our Neighbors) – which is supported by UMCOR is sending volunteer attorneys to the area on request of the government to help expedite some immigration proceedings with legal representation.   






Tuesday, July 22, 2014



Global Ministries no longer offers accident insurance as of January 2014.  However, there are other great options for your UMVIM team to be insured.  The NorthCentral, SouthEast, and NorthEast UMVIM jurisdiction offices offer accident and medical insurance for UMVIM teams.  Each policy is very good but each vary as to fees and costs.  To register to receive insurance through these UMVIM jurisidictional offices and to learn more about the different insurance plans, please visit the following links:

www.nejumc.org/vim - Northeast Jurisdiction

umvim.org/send_a_team/international/registration_insurance.html - Southeast Jurisdiction

www.umvimncj.org/ncjvim - Northcentral Jurisdiction


We welcome Jennifer and Victor Hammond as the new UMVIM Conference Coordinators for Desert Southwest Conference!  You can reach them at drdoowopp@cox.net.  We are very happy to have them join our UMVIM WJ team!

We also want to lift up the great work and passion that former Desert Southwest UMVIM Conference Coordinators, Chris Spencer and Bill Sanford, brought to UMVIM WJ!!  We thank you Chris and Bill for your service and many efforts on behalf of the volunteers in  Desert Southwest and beyond!  Both Christ and Bill have led and been active in leading teams from the Desert Southwest Conference to Mexico and Central America and building relationships between the churches between the US and these countries.  We are forever grateful for their Christian love in action and they will be missed!!


This is a very active and fluid situation," fire spokesman Chuck Turey said. Mr. Turey is a master of understatement.

In the old days, when a ship had sailed around in a circle, the sailors would say that the ship had "boxed the compass." The wildfires in Eastern Washington seem to be boxing the compass. The uncertainty of not knowing where the fires will head next is perhaps the worst part of the disaster unveiling itself in Eastern Washington and in several other locations in the West.

Here's what we do know:
  • Washington State Emergency Managers report only one fatality related to the fires as of Sunday morning, a firefighter or volunteer.
  • About 150 homes have been destroyed, including the United Methodist parsonage in Pateros.
  • About 200 homes are still threatened.
  • Thousands of acres and hundreds of square miles have been burned.
Click here to read more of Rev. Stanley Norman's updates....



Winston County, MS is in need of volunteer teams to serve in the county and city of Louisville, MS recovering from April's devastating tornado. Hundreds of homes were destroyed. Many that were not destroyed sustained major damage. Teams need to have trained team leaders. To serve contact Jeff Walton, United Methodist Volunteer Coordinator, at 662.617.1077; email jpwalton@hotmail.com. You may contact Rev. Larry Hagard, United Methodist Volunteer Scheduler,  as well at 662.803.5748 or lhd357@bellsouth.net.

Costa Rica, December 27, 2014-January 3, 2015. Spend your new year in Costa Rica! Rice & Means Ministries (Advance #3021052) are seeking volunteers to ring in the New Year while also engaging in missions, including working with children, construction, food ministry and medical opportunities. Price is $800 plus airfare. Please contact Fred Curry at fred@rabmin.org or their website for more information. 

Tuesday, July 1, 2014



Sierra Leone
The Sierra Leona Annual Conference has asked for prayers regarding the spreading of the Ebola virus within their country. If planning a mission or any other travel to Sierra Leone, please consult with the local ministry of health, the CDC and/or the US State Department to stay up-to-date on the latest information.

Dominican Republic/Caribbean
If traveling to the Dominican Republic or the Caribbean, please be aware of a mosquito-born virus that could potentially become a problem. Please consult the State Department for vaccination requirements before traveling abroad and check with the Center for Disease Control as well.

For more information, please check out the following link from Doctors Without Borders.  http://www.doctorswithoutborders.org/article/ebola-massive-deployment-needed-fight-epidemic-west-africa

In a joint venture with teams from the Susquehanna Annual Conference and the Baltimore-Washington Annual Conference we will be traveling to Salto, Uruguay November 6-18, 2014 for a Volunteers in Mission trip. We will be doing a renovation project with the congregation of the La Cruz Methodist Church in Salto (Northwestern Uruguay). The project entails painting, light construction and some plumbing. There will be ample time to learn about the Rio Del La Platte area and its rich culture. The cost is $2300 per person, which includes airfare from Baltimore-Washington International Airport to Montevideo, Uruguay, hotels, meals and ground transportation. For more information please contact Rev. Miguel Arenas at mh.arenas@live.com or Rev. Dr. Robert Cook at Kerygma5@yahoo.com