OutreachWe are excited about missions at Berwyn Methodist Church! An overview is presented below, and more specific programs are located to the left. There are many levels on which you can be involved, from planning a trip to an area in need, participating in any of the missions and outreach at BUMC, or lending a hand around the community. There are also other active seasonal mission projects that you can be a part of.
Peru ProjectThe Berwyn United Methodist Peru Mission Fund sponsored its 2nd annual food for the families in need in Azpitia, Peru. Monies were sent from the Peru Cookie Fund to buy food that is used almost every day in the homes of Peruvian families. Rice, pasta, sugar, cooking oil, canned milk, tuna fish, tea bags, and laundry soap were placed in a plastic bag along with a flyer from Berwyn Church. The flyers, written in Spanish, said, "From the United Methodist Church of Berwyn, PA, USA, for the people of Azpitia, Peru. This food is sent with loving care." These bags of food were distributed by the Chumpitaz family to 33 needy families in Azpitia. The people, who received the bags of food, were very grateful and wanted to send their blessings to the church and its people.
Feed the 5,oooFor the past 15 years during the first 4 Sundays in Lent, Berwyn United Methodist Church conducts a "Feed the 5,000" food drive. Church members fill grocery bags with a list of non-perishable food, enough food to feed a family of 4 for three days. Once the many bags are filled they are taken to the United Methodist Neighborhood Services where the food is distributed to families in need in Philadelphia. Berwyn United Methodist Church contributed more than 50 grocery bags and over $100 for United Methodist Neighborhood Services. That’s enough to feed over 200 people for a week! As you can see by the smile on his face, Jeff Barger was more than delighted to fill his car to the brim and drive the groceries down to North Philadelphia. Without the generosity of our members, over 50 local families may have gone hungry during the Easter season.
This year the food distribution project was spread to a small village, Azpitia, Peru. Azpitia is a village of close to 1,000 people located about 80 miles south of Lima. In cooperation with Berwyn United Methodist Church, Eliza Chumpitaz, a daughter of Azpitia and a resident of Berwyn, recruited her family to buy beans, rice, sugar, tuna, milk, tea, laundry soap and pasta and to take these bags to the needy people, mainly the elderly and single parents, of this small South American village. The project was called "Project Easter: Feed the Hungry" or "Comida para los Necesitados." One villager wrote, "Muchas gracias, Eliza, por acordarte de nosotros--muchas bendiciones para tu iglesia." These villagers, even though the distance to the city of Lima is not far, live an economic life far removed from the opportunities that we take for granted. Most work on farms that are no more than an acre. Having a church so far away reach out and touch them helped these people feel the spirit of Easter; they know they are not isolated from God's caring grace.
Educate & Empower Street Children in KenyaThe Children and Youth Empowerment Centre, an organization for street children in Kenya that has been supported by BUMC members, has been invited to participate in an online giving challenge through Global Giving. If we raise at least $4,000 from 50 donors or more by the end of September, we will earn a permanent spot on their site. Please go to: http://goto.gg/6241 GlobalGiving to donate, then pass it on to your friends!
–From Janelle Larson.
"Operation Healing Hope" helps to address Obstetric Fistula across the Developing WorldBUMC member Carol Cherry, M.S.N, R.N., is a health educator, Research Project Manager, and Cancer Risk Counselor at the Fox Chase Cancer Center. Through Carol's connections at Fox Chase, we welcome Mark Morgan, MD, Chief of Gynecologic Oncology at Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia to share his volunteer work in Africa.
Dr. Morgan’s work addresses the little-known but widespread birth injury of obstetric fistula, which afflicts more than 2 million women and girls in poorer nations worldwide. Obstetric fistula affects primarily young women and girls who experience prolonged labor without access to emergency medical care. Their babies are stillborn, and the mothers are left with fistulas or holes in the birth canal. Without treatment, victims lead sad lives of enormous discomfort, social isolation and emotional pain. Dr. Morgan regularly travels to Africa to perform surgeries to help these women.
Dr. Morgan’s presentation prepared us to participate in “Operation Healing Hope,” an initiative sponsored by the General Board of Church and Society and funded by the United Nations Foundation. The yearlong campaign is aimed at raising awareness and inspiring advocacy to help eradicate obstetric fistula.
Part of Operation Healing Hope program was a four-part study connecting the realities of those living with obstetric fistula with Biblical stories of healing and hope. The program included a craft project in the form of a baby quilt. Each study group is supplied with a “Baby Quilt Starter Kit” and invited to create a 30” by 35” baby quilt as part of their reflections. The baby quilts served as a tangible reminder of God coming wrapped in swaddling clothes.
Fourteen women took part in the quilt project. The outcome of our time together was not only great fellowship but also a beautiful baby quilt, which was sent to Camphor United Methodist Mission in Tubmanville, Liberia. Our quilt, among others will be given to the Traditional Birthing Assistants Association of local midwives to give to mothers and newborns.
A donation of $400.00 was given to Dr. Mark Morgan, who purchased supplies for surgeries he performed while in Eritrea, Africa, in December, 2009. Dr. Morgan operated on 25 women with obstetric fistuala and reports they are doing well. He is grateful for our church’s support and sent these pictures from his trip.
Roca Eterna in El SalvadorIn January, 2006, the Administrative Board voted to establish Iglesia Evangelica Metodista Roca Eterna (Eternal Rock Evangelical Methodist Church) in Ahuachapan, El Salvador as our sister church in a formal covenant relationship.
The relationship began when we dispatched a construction and medical team to Ahuachapan to El Salvador as Volunteers In Mission. We support it with gifts, both financial and spiritual. We are supporting each other by prayers, letters, photos of events, and regular Email communication.
The mission team that went to El Salvador learned that many of the young people did not attend school because their families could not afford the fees. Many of the congregation have decided to personally support a student in El Salvador by providing the money for tuition, uniforms and other fees necessary to go to school in El Salvador.
Reaching Out To OthersWe continue to support the work of Interfaith Hospitality Network. The Network provides housing and meals in local churches for the homeless families while the adults learn new job skills. While we do not provide housing, we do provide meals and hosts for those meals, and we contribute to the organization to help with expenses.
We support the Chumpitaz family in Peru . Many years ago they provided housing for one of our members working in mission there. In return we have provided help for their medical expenses, living costs and a trip to visit their daughter, Eliza, and her son Freddy, who now live in Berwyn and are a members of our community and the church family.
During Lent our church "Feeds the Five Thousand." We collect bags of groceries that contain specified items designed to feed a family of four for three days. The bags of food are delivered to the United Methodist Neighborhood Services on North Broad Street . The Berwyn United Methodist Church Nursery School joins us in this effort. We generally deliver over 90 bags each year.
Youth and ChildrenThe youth and children of our church are involved with missions. The children help collect pennies for the mission penny jar on Sunday mornings. These pennies have raised money to help:
Other Projects Supported by BUMC