Bringing light to the world through a 'Solar Suitcase'

January 22, 2016
Solar Suitcase
Installing Solar Suitcase lighting at Shungu Clinic in Kamina, Democratic Republic of Congo. Photo by Neelley Hicks, United Methodist Communications.
"And God said, 'Let there be light,' and there was light.” - Genesis 1:3
Submitted by Marilyn Sexson
A tradition for the Mission Committee of The United Methodist Church of Johnstown, Colorado, has been to donate the Christmas Eve collection to charity. Over the years we have donated to both local and worldwide ministries and causes. But this year was different. We have tried to find a new cause each year to support, but this year we were struggling to find one. October slid into December and by the time of our Charge Conference on Dec. 20, a decision still had not been reached.

Let me just say that sometimes procrastination is a good thing! During the meeting led by District Superintendent the Reverend Walter “Skip” Strickland, our Mission Chair gave her report and mentioned that we were still looking for inspiration for our Christmas Eve collection. And the light bulb clicked! Rev. Strickland mentioned a new project called the “Solar Suitcase”, sponsored by United Methodist Communications. By the end of the morning he had located a website and information for our members to study. You know how “mission people” are ... mention the word suitcase and they are packed and on their way! So with such an appealing title, this project seemed the perfect fit! The only concern we had was that each suitcase is valued at $1,500 and that maybe that was a little out of reach for a one-time collection, but we could at least contribute toward the cause.

The project was announced, the details given and prayers were said. Is there a happy ending? Of course! The Christmas Eve Collection totaled $1,490! Yes, the last $10 did appear and our church was able to purchase a "Solar Suitcase" to be used anywhere around the world for the good of God’s people.

Light ... And God gave us light; the light to open our hearts and minds and resources to bring that light to those who live in darkness. 

For more information about the Solar Suitcase Project, click here.