United Methodist Volunteers in Mission
by Kathryn Witte, Conference Secretary to GBGM
“We know love by this, that he laid down his life for us -- and we ought to lay down our lives for one another. How does God’s love abide in anyone who has the world’s goods and sees a brother or sister in need and yet refuses help? Little children, let us love, not in word or speech, but in truth and action.” (1 John 3:16-18)
United Methodist Volunteers in Mission invites us into the world to be in connection with people across our communities and around the world. We are spiritually changed when we help others; and others are spiritually changed when we come along side them to work in mission, mercy and justice.
The primary purpose of the United Methodist Volunteers in Mission (UMVIM) is to live out our faith by serving on short term projects to create long term relationships with communities throughout the world. Volunteers are lay, clergy, young and old; all with different skills, abilities and vocations. UMVIM is in partnership with the General Board of Ministries and Mission Volunteers.
United Methodist Volunteers in Mission (UMVIM) is Christian love in action. For about 50 years United Methodists have offered a framework for people to engage in short-term mission locally, nationally, and globally. Volunteers are from all walks of life. Mission work varies from disaster response, community development, training, microenterprise, agriculture, Christian education, building construction, plus healthcare services. There is a place for everyone to serve and UMVIM has the proven track record and tools to help plan and execute a successful trip.
UMVIM Trainer Debbie Stone shares these thoughts: "We serve because Jesus said, “Go and serve.” We serve to make a meaningful difference in the life of someone in need, to work and worship alongside our brothers and sisters whose faith withstands the trials of poverty and disasters. We serve to renew our faith and to expand our awareness of how other people survive in the world. You can serve as close as your own state or as far away as Africa.
How can you serve? What can you do? There are many ways: UMVIM teams can be medical, dental, and health care volunteers. They can be construction teams or programs for children and youth (Vacation Bible School) or teach vocational skills. This is but a few. There is always something for everyone. A heart felt desire is the main ingredient!"