Dear Friends in Christ,
As I write this letter to you, I am preparing to go with our UMVIM (United Methodist Volunteers in Mission) team to the UMCOR (United Methodist Committee on Relief) Depot in Salt Lake City, Utah. This is a 22,000 square foot warehouse that stores disaster relief supplies that are sent globally during times of disaster and crisis. I am excited to see for myself the inside workings of the relief efforts that our denomination is so well known for, and to see where we encounter Jesus during the week. We often become so immersed in our busy schedules and the noisy demands of our daily lives that the very act of going to a different place and leaving our ordinary lives behind can open us to hear God speaking to us. Isaiah 43:19a says in The Message version:
Be alert, be present. I’m about to do something brand-new. It’s bursting out! Don’t you see it?
I expect that God will change and transform us all on this trip and set our hearts on fire in some new ways. At our worship service on May 27, we will share our joy with you all and tell you about some of our experiences.
Thank you all for your generous donations that totaled $1000. We were able to meet our target and to purchase the bulk supplies to assemble and take 210 hygiene kits with us to the Depot. Our thanks also go to Grass Valley UMC for their generous check of $400 to cover the costs for toothpaste and shipping. Hygiene kits contain a hand towel, wash cloth, comb, nail clippers, soap, toothbrush, and band aids. A tube of fresh toothpaste is added to the kits when they are distributed. These kits are stored at the Depot until disaster strikes and then UMCOR ships them out to those who are most in need.
As we are learning about in our Revival sermon series, John Wesley preached that we are called to a deeply passionate faith that is then worked out in the world. Faith and good works are inseparable. Spiritual vitality requires a personal faith and God working through us to serve our neighbors.
Please hold our mission team in prayer asking that the seeds that are sown this week will take root in us and in due time bear fruit.
But as for what was sown on good soil, this is the one who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and yields, in one case a hundredfold, in another sixty, and in another thirty. (Matthew 13:23).
— Pastor Joan