Beyond The Community
Mission teams go to Mexico and GuatemalaNine members of Berwyn United Methodist Church participated in a Discovery Service Project that began with building a community service center/hurricane shelter for the Punta Sam Presbieriano Iglesia in Punta Sam, Mexico.
Members of the Berwyn contingent were on site from Jan. 8 through Feb. 6 at Punta Sam, which is 10 miles northeast of Cancun. The new one-story building, is made of block and concrete, 30 by 40 meters. Our group laid block, mixed and poured concrete, and installed the plumbing and a basic electrical system. The building has a sanctuary, kitchen, bathrooms, and a meeting room.
Several women in the BUMC group sewed hospital gowns, curtains and baby quilts for a local hospital. The travelers also brought medical supplies for the hospital.
Berwyn UMC also sent a team to Mazatenango, Guatemala, from Jan. 21 through Feb. 4. They worked in the community of La Toma adding classrooms to a school built some years ago by the same team. The team offered medical help and conducted a survey of those who have received educational scholarships over the years.
Trip to Kenya Eco VillageThe Eco-Village Project is a collaborative effort with the Children and Youth Empowerment Centre (CYEC) in Nyeri, Kenya and a community of individuals in Lamuria, Kenya. The CYEC is located approximately 175 kilometers north of Nairobi in the outskirts of Nyeri town, the administrative headquarters of both Nyeri East District and Kenya’s Central Province. Lamuria is located in a semi-arid zone in the Rift Valley, located about 40 minutes north of Nyeri.
The CYEC is an initiative of the national program for street dwelling persons and is intended to play a central role in the innovation of holistic and sustainable solutions for the population of street dwelling young people in Kenya.
The final goal of the project is to integrate the children of the CYEC into the Eco-Village when they are at the age appropriate to leave the center. The town of Lamuria and the CYEC will be joined together when the Eco-Village begins to be built in the community of Lamuria.
This little girl, Dianna, is 4 and she's wearing some of the sandals sent by BUMC. The older children will earn the right to 'buy' flip flops by doing their chores, doing well at school, etc, but the little ones are given them.
Sue Burriss is helping at the clinic and Tom Heil has been working primarily on setting up a new lab for the clinic, and in addition to seeing patients, Sue is helping create a health database. They are both very appreciated and have contributed a lot to the program here. Tom is a favorite among the kids and staff (they've grown accustomed to his sense of humor).
BUMC member Dr. Janelle Larson, Associate Professor of Agricultural Economics and head of the Division of Engineering, Business, and Computing at Penn State. Through Janelle's efforts, Penn State became involved in helping to support the CYEC through a variety of initiatives, including designing and building an eco-village with the goal of providing a launch pad for youth as they leave the centre.
If you are interested in supporting the work of CYEC, you can donate at Zawadi Fund International.
Mission to MexicoEight members of Berwyn United Methodist Church were among volunteers (above) from the United States who were in Cozumel, Mexico, from Jan. 16 to Jan. 30. They helped to build an all-purpose structure for a Presbyterian church and to sew quilts, curtains for the local hospital, and children’s clothes. Discover Service Projects is an ecumenical group, started in the ’80s, that chooses a yearly project and sends teams in for several weeks to complete it. They have projects both in the United States and in Central America. The project we worked on was constructing an all-purpose building for a three year- old Presbyterian church in Cozumel. The building will be used for worship, recreation and Sunday School, and as a hurricane shelter.
Penny JarAs the children come forward to hear the Children’s Message during the 10:30 a.m. worship service, they gather pennies from congregants in the pews and place the coins in the Penny Jar on the altar steps. Part of the Penny Jar collection will help support Tamara Phiri, a young girl in Africa, through Children International. She is six and lives with her parents. Our support will enable her to go to school which her parents can not afford, and provide her with health care. The balance of the collections will go to Cookson Hills Mission to provide support for their Christmas Shop which allows persons to buy new gifts at a price they can afford. In the past, donations have also gone to The Methodist Church's Hope for the Children Fund which aided children in Africa and the United States, The Chester County Bridge of Hope (a woman and child shelter in West Chester and Lancaster County), and other projects which have an emphasis on children.
Soup Labels for Methodist Mission at Cookson HillsBerwyn UMC continues to support the work of the Methodist Mission at Cookson Hills, located in the poorest county of Oklahoma. We collect Campbell soup labels for the mission in an envelope posted on the Missions Bulletin board.