UMVIM team from Reno revisits site of earlier project

March 20, 2008

A Volunteers in Mission team from First UMC, Reno spent March 8-14 working in New Orleans – and some members of the group found time to re-connect with CJ Probst. Probst’s home was the project focus when Bishop Beverly J. Shamana led Conference Ministry Staff and district superintendents on an UMVIM mission trip to the hurricane-devastated city in January, 2007.


It was the church’s first UMVIM team and 19 of the 20 team members had done no prior mission work. One of those who visited Probst said hearing about his experiences firsthand was the highlight of the trip for her.


The Rev. Deborah Grundman, Executive Assistant to Bishop Shamana, initiated the contact with Probst (shown at left and below) and provided photos of the visit to Instant Connection.


You can see that only the removal of the ceiling sheetrock was done after our time there,” she writes. “Some pics show the backyard through the broken windows of the back bedroom. He is hopeful, as the house will be restored by the next door family [planning to purchase the home from Probst and his elderly mother] and the neighborhood is making some progress to come back.”


UMVIM Director Dr. Sue King reports that her office has scheduled 49 Hurricane Recovery teams since last January’s Ministry Staff trip, with 23 of those teams serving in Louisiana last year.


Members of the next team to go in all likelihood will not meet CJ Probst. Says Grundman, “One of the most meaningful and poignant things CJ said after we thanked him for making time for us was, ‘This will probably be the last time I come out here.’ And for that gift of sacrifice of emotion I give thanks.”