UMVIM director's work guided by the story of the Good Samaritan

April 29, 2015

*By Dr. Larry R. Hygh, Jr.
"I never imagined that I would be in this place to do this…I was open to doing something different that ended up being very meaningful," says Phil Bandy, California-Nevada Conference Director of United Methodist Volunteers in Mission (UMVIM).  Bandy will retire on July 1 after eight years in this role.
In this part-time capacity, Bandy has coordinated and trained volunteers across the annual conference for local, national, and global mission work.  Bandy says the Biblical story of the Good Samaritan has guided his work.  "The Good Samaritan went down into the ditch where the man was," he said. 
Bandy believes the next generation of volunteers is very hungry to engage in mission in meaningful ways. "The world is a much different place and rapidly changing," he said.  "The greatest opportunity is to be able to plug in this whole new generation of people into this new world that we have." 
The Rev. Linda Caldwell, Conference Superintendent for Mission Collaboration, says, "Phil’s passion for reaching out to people in need is without boundaries…he is committed to helping people step out in faith to volunteer and bring hope to communities in need."
"Many volunteers in our conference have made lifelong commitments to specific mission fields because they participated in one of Phil’s mission trips or trips he helped to arrange," says Caldwell. "I am grateful for his years of service as Director for the Volunteers in Mission ministry in this conference."
Bandy has led teams from the conference and helped to coordinate recovery efforts around the globe in Fiji, Ghana, Mexico, Angola, Haiti, Japan, Cambodia, Jamaica, and Guatemala.  Recent domestic efforts have included the Napa earthquake and Weed fire.
Prior to his current post, Bandy had an extensive career in multiple aspects of network and computer security including reviewing system and software design for NASA and its Mission Control.  He earned a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Texas, Austin, and a Master of Arts from Texas Tech University in Lubbock.
The search for Bandy's successor will begin in early May. 
Bandy resides in Vallejo with his wife, Deborah, and they are the parents of two adult children, and two grandchildren.  He is a member of Wayside UMC, Vallejo.
Bandy says, "Everyone wants to do good, but as disciples we are called to a deeper place."  He added, "Doing good isn't enough…it's why we do good."
*Hygh is the director of communications for the 360 local churches and 78,000 United Methodists of the California-Nevada Conference.