Our Missouri Conference has responded! We celebrate the over 60 teams that worked alongside our brothers and sisters in Puerto Rico! Below is a list of teams that signed-up to serve before July 2019.
Team #178 from SWDistrict included: Mark Allman (Anderson UMC), Jody Francisco and Ron Saunders (Noel UMC), Connie Adams, Mary Mueller and Lark Hallum (Southwest City UMC), and Rev. Mark Kailbourn (Pineville, Noel, Southwest City charge). Our team worked from February 23-March 2, 2019.
Lafayette Park UMC of St. Louis, MO sent a team of 12 to Vieques Island, Puerto Rico April 6-13, 2019. Work was completed on 4 homes that included painting, installing paneling, baseboards and lights, concrete repairs to ceilings and walls as well as removing yard debris. It was a rewarding experience serving the beautiful people of Vieques who welcomed us at their church and throughout the island,
Thirteen volunteers from Marshall First UMC, Huntsville UMC and Nelson Memorial UMC in Boonville joined together to help rebuild two homes in Vieques during the week of February 9-16, 2019. Team members were divided into “Team Carlos” and “Team Maria,” names which corresponded to the individuals whose homes they helped restore. The roof of Carlos’ home had recently been replaced so the week for Team Carlos involved installing new ceiling masonite for this elderly couple’s home, adding new paneling to interior walls, and cleaning and painting both exterior and interior walls. Team Maria helped a lady who lived in her concrete childhood home that had suffered water damage over the years as well as from Hurricane Maria. Throughout the week team members cleaned, sealed, and painted her concrete roof, repaired and painted interior walls and ceilings, and power washed and painted the entire exterior of the house. Maria expressed her appreciation for the…
Sharing the week with another Missouri Team, the Palmyra Team consisted of five people from their church, plus five additional people, two from Kansas City, another pastor from the Mark Twain District, and two people from another denomination. The team made new friends between themselves, the other Missouri team, as well as with the people of Vieques. Breaking into two small groups, the teams worked on homes started by previous teams. They patched concrete, power washed, and lots of painting. While it may not seem like much, it made a difference, and shared love and joy to a widow and an elderly couple and their extended family. There is a great team of local coordinators, and it was a joy to work with them.
On January 12th-19th, King’s Way UMC in Springfield sent a of group twenty people to Puerto Rico. On the trip, there were participants born in every decade from the 1940s to the 2000s! On top of that, our group was joined by a group of fourteen college students from SUNY-Geneseo, a group with which we quickly bonded.
We had a great trip and felt like we made a difference in the family we helped as well as allowing the people of Vieques to change ours. Our team would go back again as we met some wonderful people! We tore a roof off and replaced it as well as tearing out all the wood on the second floor as it was moldy. We then painted all of the interior. The family we helped was a mom with two adopted children. As we had team members with adopted children we felt a bond was created.
On August 25, 2018, a five-member team hopped an early morning flight to Puerto Rico to serve our Lord by serving new friends on the small island of Vieques, Puerto Rico. One year after Hurricane Maria affected this island community with 175 mile per hour winds, water and debris, the recovery continues. This team included District Superintendent Londia Granger Wright, Manchester UMC Pastor of Administration and Generosity Phil Estes, Lay volunteers Mike Clement and Ron McCoy, also of Manchester UMC, and Susan Zahringer, Communications Coordinator at Arlington UMC.
The Neosho United Methodist Church sent 15 people to Vieques September 22-29. Besides the Neosho members, the group included members of Ashland Methodist Church in St. Joseph, as well as Cross Church of Neosho. Our projects consisted of:
This past June, Liberty UMC sent a team of five people to Puerto Rico for a week to serve alongside our Methodist brothers and sisters on the island of Vieques. With the damage from Hurricane Maria still evident on the Methodist Church in Esperanza, we worked with the foreman, our translator, and a few of the church members, to build and prepare pillars made out of rebar that will eventually support the outer wall and roof of the church. But we first had to dig out a 60' trench, 2' deep and 3' wide.
The service team from Keystone and Revolution United Methodist Churches in Kansas City were on Vieques from August 7-10. In addition to engaging with the community and worshiping with the Methodist Church in Esperanza, the team was able to work on both the church's second floor and on the medical clinic in preparation for the upcoming open clinic day.
Progress! As of the last week of July, the roof on the guesthouse is complete meaning the site can now use all 53 of its beds. The pillars to hold up the roof over the church are now also poured, and the rock and sand is ready for the next team! Some great organizational advances have been made as well:
A team of Missouri pastors and lay people helped replace a destroyed roof on the back of the guest house in Vieques in early May. Progress was also made on supplying and organizing the clinic.
In late March, a team of college-age persons served in Vieques and helped add a roof to the guesthouse.
Bishop Farr and an advance mission team visited Puerto Rico in mid-March. See the May issue of The Missouri Methodists for more on Bishop's trip the Conference's partnership in Puerto Rico.