Volunteers in Mission news

September 18, 2007

Rev. Tana McDonald speaks about the need for volunteers for Palestine-Israel Mission, December 29-January 11. “Christians historically have been the salt and the light of moderate theological views, non-violence, peace with justice, and a strong voice for interfaith dialogue in the Holy Land. For many centuries our Christian presence in the Holy Land was 20% of the population. The half century long occupation of Israel on traditional Christian lands and forced removal of many Christian families has reduced the population to just 2%. The importance of Christian travel to the Holy Land to stand in solidarity with our Christian brothers and sisters, worship with them, be a kind and thoughtful witness and support their essential ministries, is vital to health and wholeness of the land the three Abrahamic traditions call Holy.”


“Come,” says Tana, “walk where Jesus walked, among the people Jesus loves.” Download the itinerary, a reading list about Palestine and Israel, and specifics about the cost of this mission opportunity at the Volunteers in Mission website under “Teams Needing Volunteers.”


Volunteers in Mission teams to Tonga are forming for spring and summer of 2008. Judy Church, First UMC in Modesto, is responding to the needs expressed by UMC missionary Mary Kelley. Mary reports, "We can sure use some VIM teams here! We had NO teams this year. So far two are looking likely for 2008.”


Judy says, “I remember well my first trip to Tonga in 2002. Those classrooms we remodeled changed more than the school. The experience warmed my heart! Island hospitality is incredible. We again partner with the people of Tonga as we form two Volunteers in Mission teams next year. Schools need renovation. Medical/dental/optical skills are appreciated. You may work with the 700 high school students in their classes – industrial arts, sewing, cooking, science, English, computers. Our first work team is March 3-17, 2008. The second – a wonderful work/culture experience from July 7 to 21 – will include children. Approximate cost of the 11-14 days’ trip: $300 plus airfare, or about $1700-$2000. If we form a team early, the airfare will be low. You can make a difference!”


Look for more details on the Volunteers in Mission website under “Teams Needing Volunteers” and call Judy Church, juchur2@aol.com or (209)522-2565.


Global Justice Volunteers (GJV) applications are due October 15, 2007. GJVs are volunteers from ages 18 to 25 who are willing to make a short-term commitment to mission and who desire to explore the links between faith and justice. They live, learn and serve two-to-three months in a cross-cultural setting, working side by side with people whose lives are shaped by justice work. Applications for full scholarships are available now! Look for information about Global Justice Volunteers at cnumcvim.org and at the General Board of Global Ministries website, www.gjv.info.