Tonga Mission Trip Planned for Summer

April 30, 2009

Several members of First United Methodist Church, Bakersfield will participate in a mission trip to Tonga, planned for July 21-August 4, departing from Los Angeles. 


The team will be providing medical/dental and elderly care, doing repairs/construction, and conducting after school programs on one of the remote islands in the Kingdom of Tonga. Focus of the mission will be support of an elementary school, local clinic, and the local Wesleyan church.


"We are privileged to share hope along with medical attention, bring inspiration to the local teachers, nurses, and doctors, and spread joy with the children," reports a spokesperson for FUMC Bakersfield.


There may be room for two to three more participants on this unique mission team. Those with specific skills and those willing to be "utility players" are needed (medical personnel, skilled carpenters/builders, teachers, and those willing to help with cooking and serving).


Requirements are: good health, ability to travel the distance (the flight is 11+ hours, and there will be a short boat trip, as well), ability to stay in "rustic" accommodations, and a positive attitude and ability to get along with people under these conditions.  


The approximate cost per person is $2,600. If you are interested in joining the team contact the Rev. Richard Thompson, FUMC pastor, immediately. Travel deposits were due in April. Call the church office at 661.325.1267 for more information.


If you cannot go but would like to support this mission trip, monetary contributions (to help the team buy building materials) will be welcomed, along with donations of:


Non-prescription reading glasses ("drug store glasses"), over-the-counter pain relievers, Band Aids, antibiotic ointments, "sample size" toothpaste, soft  toothbrushes, small boxes of crayons, No. 2 pencils, erasers, white poster board, and blackboard chalk.


All donations may be dropped off at the FUMC Bakersfield church office, 4600 Stockdale, Bakersfield, CA 93309.


(Click here to read related story, "Mission Minute: Churches Partner to Ship Ambulance to Tonga.")