Greetings from the heart of eastern cowboy country, Sebring, Florida. The MidMaine District UMVIM (Volunteers in Mission) team is three days into our contribution to Hurricane Irma recovery. Highland County suffered more damage than any other part of Florida except the Florida Keys. More than 13,000 homes were affected. We’re working on Nirmalla’s, a pretty one-story house surrounded by gardens with plants that we Mainers usually only see in a garden shop. Her family is originally Indian, by way of Guyana, and our construction coordinator, Hank, is from the central Texas cow culture, so we’re having a truly cross-cultural experience. (We have yet to hear the complete story of how Hank’s van was badly damaged by an angry alligator but have been promised details.)
Since 5am Sunday morning our intergenerational crew of 10 has flown 1,600 miles, driven another 2 hours, set up base camp in the beautiful Sebring UMC, been oriented to who we’re living amongst for the week and how Irma disrupted their lives, sanded the drywall mud in 4 rooms, learned to spray wall texture, hung dry wall in one room and cement board in another, taken down a ceiling to get at bad wiring, and miscellaneous carpentry projects. We are sleeping well. And so far we’re well on our way to achieving our three goals:
Bring back stories
Each evening we gather for reflection. We’re following themes from “Five Means of Grace, “ by Elaine A Heath. (Highly recommend). Heath’s packet sized guide is in the series that began with “Three Simple Rules.” It expands on Wesley’s ways of “Stating in love with God.” Helping us “consider how each of the five means of grace help us as communities of faith to pray more deeply and live more missionally as followers of Jesus Christ. These means are the ordinary channels that God uses to draw us into a fruitful relationship.”
These five means or channels are:
2. Searching Scripture
3. Receiving the Lord’s Supper
5. Conferencing (communion, fellowship)
We miss you all, can’t wait to share our stories with you when we get home, and THANKYOU for the generous donations to UMCOR (United Methodist Committee on Relief) that make this recovery effort happen.
In God’s Grace, Karen
Karen L Munson
A pastor and artist, I'm wondering while I'm wandering through God's marvelous creation.