UMCOR is the humanitarian relief and development arm of the United Methodist Church and is run through the General Board of Global Ministries. It exists “to assist individuals and churches become involved globally in direct ministry to persons in need through programs of relief, rehabilitation, and service…” Every year since 2008, our church has sent a team of volunteers to be a part of this effort.
Located in Baldwin, Louisiana, The Sager Brown UMCOR Depot is a huge warehouse, packed floor to ceiling with supplies that are packaged and shipped to those in need. Our own “Sew and Sew” group has constructed thousands of school bags and knitted hundreds of baby sweaters that have been delivered around the world by UMCOR. When I was at a Methodist school in rural Zimbabwe in 2010, every child had a school bag filled with supplies. I saw, first hand, that these ministries make a difference!
In recent years, UMCOR has changed their approach to missions. They no longer ship supplies internationally. Instead, they are directly funding foreign relief which stimulates local economies and empowers those closest to the need. The Sager Brown Depot now focuses on relief within the United States and creates health kits, “flood” buckets, and school bags for domestic distribution. There are also opportunities for volunteers to serve in various ministries out in the Baldwin community.
A mission trip provides a chance to retreat from the business of life and spend time with like-minded Christians. It is a time of fellowship, camaraderie, personal reflection, worship, and service. It is also a great time to build friendships with other church members.
For those who have not been before, I encourage you to consider visiting Sager Brown April 26th through May 1st. We are assembling a group of 12 and would love for YOU to be a part of the team!
In Grace and Peace,
Cindy Kyser Buck