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Monday, Oct 15, 2012
By Mariellyn Dunlap GraceE. Barte never expected to marry a missionary, let alone become one. Growing up in the Philippines, E. was, in his own words, a very ‘active’ young adult. “When the pastor came to lead Bible study at my house, I would escape from the house to play basketball with my friends,” E. recalls. But after meeting his future wife, then a student deaconess, his life would quickly change.B. Barte grew up attending a large, urban United Methodist C... (read more)
Monday, Oct 15, 2012
By Mariellyn Dunlap GraceMissionaries today come in all shapes and sizes, with varying backgrounds, job descriptions, and titles. With a background in finance and administration, Esther Gitobu may not seem like your typical missionary, but her gifts fit perfectly with the needs of the Methodist Church in Cambodia.After growing up in a Christian family in Kenya, Esther worked for 10 years at the Central Bank of Kenya before deciding she would prefer serving with... (read more)
Monday, Oct 15, 2012
“I’d rather attempt to do something great and fail—than attempt to do nothing and succeed.” -Anonymous“If you can believe it, YOU CAN ACHIEVE IT” -W. Clement Stone“If you can dream it, YOU CAN DO IT!” -Robert Schuller“If you’ve got the faith, GOD’S GOT THE POWER!” -Corrie Ten Boom“If you have faith…NOTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE!” -Jesus Christ"Dennis, do you have your passport? You are going with me to Vietnam in February!" -Joseph Bishman (Sept/09)In March of 2010, th... (read more)
Monday, Oct 15, 2012
“The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it.” Psalm 24:1It was Friday in Phnom Penh, the sun high in the clear blue sky. On this day of new life, we were reminded of dark days of Cambodia’s past. Our team stood in front of the Choeung Ek Memorial Stupa looking up at some of the 9,000 skulls that filled the memorial reminding us of the mass killings of Khmer Rouge. Following our guide, we walked around the mass graves stoppi... (read more)
Monday, Oct 15, 2012
By Mariellyn Dunlap GraceThree countries…one mission partnership.Three distinct and varied cultures and histories…one area of the world.Three peoples scarred by religious repression…one redeeming God.For years, the forces of poverty, violence, and war have plagued many countries in Southeast Asia. For instance, after nearly 100 years of French domination in Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh’s Communist forces drove France out of the country, and the land was split into Nort... (read more)
Monday, Oct 15, 2012
In the summer of 2010, I traveled to Russia as a member of a Volunteers in Mission team that was a mixture of VIM veterans and me, the rookie who had never been on a VIM team before.Members of my church, Hyde Park Community UMC, had been doing trips to Russia almost annually for over a dozen years.  I had often thought about going, but it always conflicted with one plan or the other, or so I convinced myself.  When the trip had been announced almost six months... (read more)
Monday, Oct 15, 2012
What a privilege it was for me to travel to the Russia Volga District with a wonderful group of young people representing Trinity United Methodist Church. It was such a joy to be in mission together uniting with our Russian brothers and sisters of Syzran United Methodist Church.There were so many “light-filled” moments on this trip, but the experience that touched me so deeply was our visit to the Syzran Baby Orphanage. This translated from Russian to English a... (read more)
Monday, Oct 15, 2012
Health and wellness programs provided by the Methodist Church in Mexico have expanded tremendously in recent years, and a recent VIM team’s experience proved what an effective outreach this can be. Serving together with the Manos Juntas Medical Clinic in Nuevo Progreso, Mexico, this past July, the Volunteer in Mission medical team from West Ohio helped provide medical care to 120 patients at the City Hall in Nuevo Progreso. Many of the patients were men who nor... (read more)
Monday, Oct 15, 2012
Ten servants from the West Ohio Conference, Maumee Watershed District, traveled to Concha del Ora, Mexico, in May 2011. Concha del Oro is a small mining town in the Sierra Linda Oriental Mountains, about 2 1/2 hours south of Monterrey, Mexico. This was the 2nd or 3rd trip for some and a first for others. Our purpose was to share the love of Christ, build relationships with those we would otherwise never know, be a model of peace, share the Gospel, and help peop... (read more)
Monday, Oct 15, 2012
I’ve just gotten back from my third mission trip to the Oriental Conference in Monterrey, Mexico - and each time I return with more blessings than I feel that I have left there. We had a team made up of Walt Goble (Pastor of McArthur and Albany UMC’s), Sheryl Goble (Supply Pastor of Asbury and Starr UMC’s), Cathy Powell (Albany), Casey Thompson (Locust Grove), and myself.Our journey actually started several weeks prior to our leaving. Our last trip had us build... (read more)