Hands and Feet
A story about our Regional Transformative Missions Ministry
Originally published in The First Edition - March 2015 Issue, cover story
Ten people from our church are travelling to UMCOR Sager Brown in April 2015 to give some relief to victims of natural disasters. UMCOR Sager Brown serves as a Christian ministry that provides hospitality, education, and hands-on mission opportunities to nearly 3,000 volunteers from across the United States each year. Led by Sharron and Terry Williams, our First United Methodist Church group will be assigned a task when they get there. Although they do not know the specifics in advance, they are going in response to a feeling that God has asked them to help.
Sharron originally went on mission trips with U.M. Army with her family because she was brought up to be a good steward of time and money and to help others by giving of herself. She says, “I have never gone without, wondered where my next meal would be, or had to sacrifice something I needed to have enough money to pay for necessities. I feel God has led me to be His hands and feet here on earth to help others.”
Sharron and Terry started planning for this April trip in December 2014, by asking people to pray about joining their team. They met with others to talk about what would be expected and how to plan for it. Then they started collecting supplies for health kits. These are one of the basic things that UMCOR offers in times of need and they include essentials for personal hygiene: towels, washclothes, combs, nail files, soap, bandaids, toothbrushes. In 2014, UMCOR distributed 214,958 health kits around the world and this is made possible purely by donations of the supplies and personal time commitments by teams of people like our group that Sharron and Terry are organizing.
Sharron first went to Sager Brown in 2005, right after hurricane Katrina. “Wow, what an experience. I knew then that Sager Brown was a sacred place set aside by individuals to use volunteers in such a manner that no matter the age, there is a job that can be done there. Missioner's hands assemble kits that go all over the US and world, thus spreading God's love with them. And now, there is a community outreach program to allow missioners to help in repair of homes also. “
After putting up posters and collection bins for supplies at church for the past month, a kit assembly party was organized following our Wednesday Night Live Valentine’s Dinner. Many attended the dinner and then helped make kits after the meal. Together, we made 85 kits in just 30 minutes! The assembly line was very efficient but it also allowed those who were building the kits to talk and think about these basic needs we are helping to meet, as they filled the plastic bags with the supplies. People of all ages enjoyed working together on the kits and were blessed by the fellowship experience.
Sharron claims, “My relationship with God has grown since I have committed myself to helping others. God has given me the ability to help others through Sager Brown and I want to share these experiences with others so they can feel and share God's love also. God is an awesome God.”
That is indeed our awesome God working through us in a very simple but generous way. And that’s a discipleship that can help transform the world.
For more information about UMCOR Sager Brown trips and how you can help share God’s grace, please contact Sharron Williams.