LAC 2014 Volunteers In Mission

Volunteers In Mission (VIM)

The United Methodist Volunteers in Mission at the Liberia Annual Conference bring greetings of peace in the name of Jesus Christ our risen Lord. And, we are pleased to update you on our activities.

God has blessed us with two new partnerships that have come to fruition this year. The first being the Friends of Africa which, through Bro. Pryde Bass, Sr. of the East Ohio Conference, has begun the fulfillment of a long term commitment to working with the St. Paul River District area of the Liberia Annual Conference and hopefully beyond.  The second is Bethany UMC in the Virginia area whose fund for the Bopolu Mission was presented to Bishop Innis during the Liberia Summit, November 15-16, 2012, in Illinois; Harmony UMC, the third, also in the Virginia area made contribution for the Bopolu Mission development. John and Laurie Broglio have been very instrumental in raising both second and third funds for the Bopolu Mission. These funds are being utilized as shown in the photos.

Teams scheduled for the 2013 arrived accordingly.  The highlight of this report is Kathy Dickriede, East Ohio Missionary to the LAC and team leader. Kathy (with Dany Dickriede support) service had Bishop John L. Hopkins of the East Ohio Conference and three of his District Superintendents serving at the Camphor Mission to inaugurate the Judith Orlan UMVIM Guest House . We appreciate the below teams for mission services as well:

Date Team Leader Conference Mission Site
Dec 28- March 31 Deborah Moore Short Term Missionary Camphor Mission
Dec 28 – Jan 9, 2013 Stultz Costello Faith UMC East Ohio Camphor Mission
Jan 2-16, 2013 Pryde Bass, Sr. Farmer-To-Farmer East Ohio St. John UMC Harrisburg
Jan 6-May 27, 2013 Josh Low Solon UMC East Ohio Camphor Mission
Jan 6-13, 2013 Scott Low Solon UMC East Ohio Camphor Mission
Jan 6-Feb 3, 2013 Bunny Wolfe IGRC Gompa and Monrovia Districts
July 22-Aug 1, 2013
Jan 13-27, 2013 Don Richards Peddling Parsons East Ohio Camphor Mission
Feb 3-10, 2013 Connie Taylor Oklahoma New Hope School
Feb 3-March 3, 2013 Kathy Dickriede East Ohio Camphor Mission
Jan 2-6, 2013 Mary Blencowe & Jan Reynolds East Ohio Camphor Mission
June 16-30, 2013 Jason Hockran Andover UMC East Ohio Camphor Mission
Sept 15-29, 2013 Stanley Wertz East Ohio Camphor Mission

Challenges:Office equipment and the need for training cannot be over emphasized.  As such, training of the all volunteers within the Liberia Annual conference is a paramount concern to our department which we believe empower volunteers from local work teams to partner with VIMs, and help monitor and evaluate projects alongside our District Superintendents. Transportation has been an obstacle for years and we pray favorable response to this and other challenges to remedy this situation

 Mission Trip: On May 22, 2013, the volunteer secretary at Liberia UMVIM offices honored an invitation to itinerate in the Illinois Great Rivers Conference and promote projects being sponsored, and future projects in the partnership with the Liberia Annual Conference. The theme of her trip was “Extravagant Generosity”. She addressed the annual conference and several other gatherings.  As an outcome, the IGRC has recommitted to the pastors’ salary support, scholarship, the Guinea Ministry and reconstruction programs at the LAC.  Therefore, considering these acts of generosity, 2 Corinthians 9:11 which says” You will be made rich in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God” becomes alive in us all.

The VIM Coordinator also had an opportunity to make another mission trip to the United States during 2013 and got to reconnect with friends and met new ones in East Ohio, Virginia, Pennsylvania, North Carolina and South Carolina, Oklahoma and Texas.  An opportunity to attend the Liberia Summit in Alton Illinois, which I was not originally a part, turned out a very memorable and rewarding experience.  In this light, I wish to thank Bishop Innis and staff at the LAC for their moral support and encourage them make financial contribution towards our trips as we strive to fulfill para 633.6 b of The Book of Discipline of The United Methodist Church as:

The coordinator shall be responsible to:

  •  Match volunteers with mission opportunities;
  • Be responsive to volunteers’ desire to serve;
  • Train and mobilize volunteers for mission volunteers service;
  • Disseminate information on what is happening in the area of short-term volunteers-in-mission programs.

Gratitude: We wish to extend gratitude to the Oklahoma Team for its counsel during the loss of one of my sisters, Yamah. But least did I know that this would have continued: four others – a niece, a cousin, an in-law, and an aunt. These losses, all in the space of 37 days, had an impact on me. We are grateful to Kevin Schaner and team for handling their unhealthy experience during my trial time.  It was the first of its kind in LUMVIM’s history and we certainly regret the incident and pray not to have a re-occurrence.  To our friends and UM Churches, we remain grateful:

Churches: Family and friends:
Mentor UMC John Broglio and family
Andover First DS Steve Court and family
Macedonia UMC Ginny Logan and family
Solon UMC Danny and Kathy Dickriede
Wooster UMC Dr. Linda Morrow
Strongsville UMC Jack Hopkins
Coalburg UMC Rev. Dr. Paul and Janet Chilcote
Pleasant Grove UMC Dan and daughter Amber Jenkins
Round Hill UMC Rev. Dale Epple and family
Harmony UMC Prof. Joy Cowdery
Bethany UMC Prof. Brian B. M. Gardener
Brecksville UMC The Pewu family
Faith UMC Phillip and Fiona Haworth and family
Victory Memorial UMC Karen M. Jarrell
Stop Hunger Now
Alton Main Street UMC
Mt. Vernon Gay St. UMC

Also, special thanks to Bishop John L. Hopkins, Paul white and all of our friends for the time we shared together in the interest of the church.  Especially Bunny Wolfe and Laurie Fuller of the Illinois Great River Conference, who worked with Dehkontee in Illinois and Kathy Dickriede, whom, after planning our trip in East Ohio, tracked our travel till our departure.  May God bless you all as our interactions’ results are being enjoyed and celebrated to the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. To Rev. George D. Wilson, Connectional Director and to our volunteers especially Dehkontee P. Tarr, LUMVIM Secretary,  for working together as a team in moving the mission of God forward;  to my wife Aletha,  and our  children, Shaletha, Tahlor and Shaffa Jr.,  thanks for letting me use family time to serve our Master.

In mission, F. Shaffa Seward, Coordinator, UMVIM LAC/UMC