PRESENTATIONS and WORKSHOPS
In Michigan during September and October I had the opportunity to present my mission experiences at churches, Mission U and UMW meetings. The fall colors in Michigan are beautiful! I enjoyed overviews like this as I drove around the state.
OUR GOVERNMENT- OUR INVOLVEMENT
As I think about my ministry in Palestine, I still marvel at the grace that was extended to me by the Palestinians even when it became know that I was from the USA. “Made in USA” is stamped on the bullets that are killing and maiming their families. Our government policies enable the violation of International Law that is causing much of the pain and suffering of our Palestinian Brothers and Sisters.
When we take seriously, “God so loved the world” we become a part of the dynamics of international relations. What is our responsibility and complicity in what our government does and what the governments of our US allies do? Seeing social and political realities that do not reflect God’s kingdom, we as Christian citizens are called to social action!
God calls us to work for justice!
Let’s humbly surrender to God for guidance.
CHANGES - CHALLENGES
Looking at my readings and actions through UMW Social Action lens gives much to ponder. I am so glad that United Methodist Women renew their minds through the UMW Reading Program.
Every year, UMW recommends a diverse range of books to broaden exposure to a variety of concepts. Books are organized into five categories:
The titles in each category may be obtained at www.unitedmethodistwomen.org.
Even for those not United Methodist Women, you would gain helpful insight joining in the reading.
United Methodist Office of Christian Unity and Interreligious Relationships is leading the way for congregations to be involved in this important work. www.OCUIR.org
As you know from prior postings, I am dedicated to service to refugees in the name of Christ. I will be serving this winter through Church World Service (CWS). I have this assignment as an Individual Volunteer in Missions with the United Methodist General Board of Global Ministries (GBGM). Donations to help refugees may be sent to UMCOR, International Disaster Response Advance Number 982450, www.umcor.org.
To donate directly to the Church World Service do so at www.cwsglobal.org.
I will be serving at a Church World Service office in Harrisonberg, VA. This office assists around two hundred families each year from several different countries. The information below is from the CWS web site explaining how CWS works with refugees, www.cwsglobal.org.
Building a Home
Before a refugee arrives in the U.S., CWS staff begin preparing for their arrival. We help to find affordable housing and furnish the apartment with all the essentials for all sizes and types of families. More than finding a physical home for a family, we also work to help newly arrived refugees navigate their local communities, from learning to use public transport to understanding how to shop and create a budget.
Going to School
In many refugee camps and urban locations, schooling is not an option for children, let alone continuing education for adults. When refugees arrive in the U.S., CWS helps parents enroll their children in school. We also work with families to make sure they have the supplies and support to make education a priority for both their children and for them as adults through English and vocational training.
Cultural Orientation begins when refugees are still overseas waiting to come to the U.S., but it continues from the second they arrive at the airport. Through formal sessions and personal interaction with CWS caseworkers and volunteers, our approach to cultural orientation helps to start refugees on the road to becoming integrated into the fabric of their new communities.
Following God takes us on many journeys. Please pray for the refugees I will be serving and for me as I serve.