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United Methodist Volunteers in Mission
March 25, 2010


We have recently posted the job offer for the UMCOR Haiti Church Liaison.  As you have neared the end of your own recruitment efforts for the related VIM positions, we would like to humbly request that you help spread the word through your networks about this new opportunity!
The link to the application is here:

Thank you all in advance for your help getting the word out about this exciting position supporting the church and UMCOR in Haiti.


United Methodist Volunteers in Mission



     For more than half a century now, the Methodist Churches of WNC and Scandinavia have shared a special relationship and partnered in a wonderful mission of faith and cultural exchange known as the Scandinavian Caravan.  WNCC young adults have traveled to Northern Europe sharing their faith stories, their lives and the love of Christ with Methodist congregations  throughout Scandinavia.  And in recent years, the caravan has also included the former Soviet states of Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia. 

     This summer, the churches of WNC will serve as 

hosts to these young missionaries from June 30th through August 4th.   Our missionaries will stay with "host families" in local churches during their 4-5 week mission, enabling them to learn new customs, experience different faith expressions and make new, life-long friends.  


     If your church is interested in serving as a "host church", please fill out the attached application (in the attachment list at the bottow of this page) and return it to Rev. Al Beck, 626 Medlin Road Franklin, NC  28734 or go to the Conference Website and click on the Scandinavian Caravan under Missions & Outreach for an application. In order to establish the optimum itinerary for our Scandinavian guests, the Application deadline is May 15th.

Statement from the UMVIM Jurisdictional Coordinators


Greg Forrester, Northeast Jurisdiction, Lorna Jost, North Central Jurisdiction and Paulette West, Southeast Jurisdiction returned this past Friday, March 5th from their site visit to Haiti. A plan for United Methodist Volunteer in Mission (UMVIM) team response to the earthquake devastation in Haiti has been designed in consultation with President Gesner Paul and other leaders of the Eglise Methodiste d'Haiti (EMH).  Due to the earthquake and changes in EMH leadership, a new list of priority projects and needs have been identified by the church.


Conversations with United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) and General Board of Global Ministries (GBGM) have led to a formalized funded proposal for coordination of UMVIM teams to Haiti. The plan includes a US based calendaring office along with staffing in Haiti to assist in the site planning and hosting of teams. The positions of US-Haiti Coordinator, Haiti-Financial Hospitality Coordinator and Haiti-Volunteer Coordinator have been posted and are expected to be filled by March 19th.  Please click on the appropriate position for a job description and application information. Pending approval of this proposal, we estimate some volunteers may be on the ground in Haiti by April 1st.


Teams are encouraged to form, raise funds and start considering when they would be ready to volunteer in Haiti.  All UMVIM teams will be expected to work on prioritized projects as set by the EMH and are to be coordinated through the US-Haiti Coordinator with advisement to Annual Conference UMVIM coordinators.


Based on our observations and experience, teams serving in Haiti need to meet the following criteria:

  • No more than 8-12 members/team.
  • Team leader has prior experience in Haiti.
  • Team leader has UMVIM team leader training
  • Necessary immunizations are up to date (Cholera and tuberculosis may be needed soon - watch the CDC recommendations)
  • Early Response Training is not necessary but would be helpful


We suggest that team membership include skills/supplies for Vacation Bible School/education, medical, and construction/deconstruction components.  Specialized teams for pastoral care will also be needed soon to work with the pastors and lay pastors in Haiti.


We look forward to serving with you in building relationships with our Haitian sisters and brothers to work with them to bring healing to their country.


In Christ's name,


Greg Forrester NEJ

Paulette West, SEJ

Lorna Jost, NCJ

Debbie Vest, SCJ

Heather Wilson, WJ

Those who wish to volunteer for Haiti:
Those who desire to offer volunteer support should visit our on-line application via this page's attachment (see below).  The application can saved and emailed to us at or faxed or mailed.
 Volunteer Awareness Sunday
     Celebrate Volunteers in Mission Awareness Day at Your Church! The 2005 Annual Conference approved a petition by the Commission of Missions and Outreach, that beginning in 2006, every church of our conference designate one Sunday as “Volunteers in Mission Awareness Day;” and that each local church provide for UMVIM displays, information resources, solicit individual or group testimonies, and/or develop other ways to celebrate the UMVIM movement in whatever fashion that best suits the local congregations; and that local churches draw upon the available resources of the Conference’s Building Team Committee, Medical Team and Volunteer Response Ministries Office to make the day memorable, one of “Christian Love in Action.”
     Churches may choose the Sunday for their observance and may contact Sandy Waldron at to find a potential missions speaker.
Volunteer In Mission Teams
    The Western North Carolina Conference Volunteers In Mission promote, encourage and enable Christians to exemplify “Christian Love In Action.”  Our aim is to achieve the Great Commission through providing short-term mission opportunities for everyday Christians to reach a new generation with God’s love. We are a key component in expanding the conference vision, Power of 3 for WNCC, to have 3,000 UMVIM teams yearly by 2012.
    The Western North Carolina Conference Volunteers In Mission provides opportunities for service in countries around the world while developing and nurturing relationships with international church leadership. Teams may include Disaster Response Teams, Building Teams, Education Teams, Medical Teams or a combination. Teams may be conference-related, group-related or church-related.

     Many churches have their own teams to various countries.  We would like to help advertise these teams.  We also would like to help individuals looking for teams to connect. Please send information on church teams to Mike Collins at They will be advertised under "Churh Teams."

Building Team Possibilities:
Armenia Team 4 June 15–30  

Deadline to apply 5/15/2010   

Liberia Team 25 Oct. 2–23   Deadline to apply 7/30/10
Philippines Team 33 August 2–15  

Deadline to apply 5/13/10

Church Team Possibilities:

NICARAGUA: Experienced team (7th year) from FUMC Gastonia, NC leaves for Nicaragua June 15 and returns June 21. Building project, medical team, pharmacy, eyeglasses dispensed and commodities/small gifts distributed.  Could use physicians, dentists, optometrists, building team members, but also those who think they may have no special skills but are invaluable as helpers. Cost: $1200.  Next team meeting is Feb 14 @ 12:00.  Deadline to apply 3-15-10. Contact Sharon Pendergast @ or 704-867-3923.


Possibilities through other Conferences:
1.     Orphanage # 4, Pavlovsk, Russia, June 27-July 11, 2010.  Cost is $3,500 from Chicago.  Contact the North Central Jurisdiction VIM for more info. 
2.    DRC - The Peninsula Delaware Conference is putting together a mission team to Congo in Sept 2010. (Bishop Yemba has not finalized the dates yet) Since our conferences are working together to improve life in Congo I was hoping someone from your conference would be interested in being on the team. We will be working with the children at the Mpasa Nutrition Center. We will also be doing some minor repairs to the facility and possibly working with a Congolese crew that will be working on the electrical system.

The decision to go would need to be made fairly soon. The person will need vaccinations some of which will need boosters over the next 6 months. Please be in prayerful consideration of this request and let me know if you have someone to recruit. Contact Marie at

3.  POLAND - Are you ready to boost your spiritual life?  Here is the mission trip for you.  You are invited to join a group of experienced Volunteer in Mission team members as we travel to Kielce, Poland.  The project is to assist Kielce United Methodist Church conduct a week long day camp with a Native American theme in the rural village of Zaborze.  Enjoy working with children in a camp environment is a must, a teaching background is a plus but not necessary, having a servant's heart and patience is a requirement.  We leave June 24 and return July 7.  You should budget for $2500 however it could be less if we get enough people to share cost.  Please contact Ron Fontenot, 618-628-8262. For more information, please go to: 

4. HONDURAS: Four team members slots available for a VIM work trip to Honduras.

The dates of the trip are June 5 through June 13, 2010.  The trip will be to La Ceibita, a small town in the northern part of the country.  The work activities will be a vision clinic plus performing several health related activities (glucose screening, blood pressure screening and dental health care training).  If we have individuals that would prefer to work in construction, put on a Bible School, teach sewing or any other activity we can accommodate most other desires to help the people there.  This mission trip will cost a 'fully tax deductible' $1,200; this covers all expenses including airfare from Knoxville, TN.  For more information contact Bob Schultz, First United Methodist Church Oak Ridge, at  or call at 865-482-0080.

As many of you know from past experience the waiting time to go on mission trips to Cuba is usually lengthy and many of you ask for a date to go far in advance.   I am writing to let you know that several groups are not able to go and so there are several months open.   The assistance that UMVIM has provided to the church in Cuba in the past 15 years has been vital.  The church in Cuba continues to grow at more than 10% a year for the last 10 years.  Last year alone more than 1000 baptisms were performed.  Right now there are 282 churches and more than 700 missions.  There are 290 pastors and a membership of more than 25,000 believers.
We are still sending 2 UMVIM teams per month.  One team goes to many places in Cuba to rebuild churches, particularly out to the east where the church is experiencing the most rapid growth.  The other team has remained in Havana working on the new Seminary which is now almost complete.   The second phase of the seminary project is to build four homes for visiting professors  on a large lot situated on the way to the Havana Airport.  The teams working at this site will stay at the Methodist Center and will travel to the site every day. Please note: Cuba teams must be led by a trained team leader who has traveled to Cuba with UMVIM.
Here are the available dates:
Regular teams:

July 2010

July 2011
August 2011
Most of 2012

Seminary Housing:

October 2010

November 2010
All months in 2011

Medical Team Possibilities

The following countries are open to medical and medical-related volunteers:  Kenya, Haiti, Sierra Leone, Cambodia, Guatemala, Honduras, Puerto Rico, Thailand, India, Jamaica, Zimbabwe, Vietnam, Dominican Republic, St. Vincent, Liberia, Costa Rica, Panama, Zaire, Senegal, Colombia, Lesotho, Mexico, Bolivia, Ecuador, Rwanda, Uganda, Mozambique, El Salvador, Armenia, Brazil, Chile, Belize, Dominica. Ghana, Fiji, Russia, Venezuela, Romania, South Africa, Nicaragua, Zambia, Peru, Israel, Palestine, DR Congo. 

These areas are needing help ...

Kenya – Maua Methodist

Gen. Practitioners

Li beria

Gen. Practitioners


Supplies needed

India – Clara Swain

Physical Therapists

Nepal – United Mission

Gen. Practitioners

Puerto Rico

Doctors, Nurses

Lachin, Azerbaijan

Gen. Practitioner for 4-6 wks

Kiev, Ukraine

Med. Team for Street Children


Physical Therapists






VIM Team Insurance Available
     Several years ago the Commission on Mission / Outreach mandated that all teams should have "Team Insurance."  The person's private insurance is the primary coverer for medical care.  Cost for emergency evacuation for one person without insurance could cost $100,000!
Avenue # 1 - Through the WNCC Building Team Committee
     Insurance covers medical and accident, evacuation and repatriation, luggage loss, and emergency medical reunion.  Contact Don Newman at for more information on coverage.
     Teams have the choice of two rates ($10,000 per person or $25,000 per person). The team as a whole has to choose one of the rates, as we cannot mix the rates for individuals on a team. The Building Team Committee charges a $10/team cost for church teams that would like to have the coverage.  
    For Outbound teams - going outside the US or Canada:
    Option 1: $10,000  Deductible $100   Premium $1.62/person/day
    Option 2: $25,000  Deductible $100  Premium $2.88/person/day
   *For Inbound teams - inside the US or Canada:
    Option 1: $10,000  Deductible $100  Premium $2.16/person/day
    Option 2: $25,000  Deductible $100  Premium $3.89/person/day
*If you have a high deductable on your primary insurance, it may make a lot of sense to have this insurance within the USA while on a mission trip. 
Avenue # 2 - Through the SEJ UMVIM    
     To apply for UMVIM insurance, click here. UMVIM, SEJ offers travel insurance in order to make sure you are safe on your mission trip. Registration cost for domestic team members is $12 per person and for international team members is $17 per person. This insurance covers:
  • accident and medical coverage, including pre-existing condition waiver up to $15,000
  • medical evacuation and repatriation up to $100,000
  • trip interruption in the event of the death of a family member or serious damage to the inured member's home, up to $5,000
  • lost luggage up to $250
  • emergency medical reunion
  • the return of a minor child

For more information, view a copy of our insurance policy by clicking here.

Insurance Rates

Number of Days

Coverage Amount


Coverage Amount



















Avenue # 3 - Through a travel agent
     Starr Travel in Greensboro offers travel insurance, but it must be purchased within 14 days of the initial trip deposit to protect against a pre-existing medical conditions.  Darrell Poynter may be contacted at 1-800-882-2292 or Other travel agents offer insurance, as well. An example of insurance is as follows:
  • Trip cancellation up to the cost of the trip
  • Trip Interruption up to 150% of the cost of the trip
  • Missed connection of over 3 hours ($500)
  • Trip delay ($200 a day)
  • Emergency accident & sickness medical expense of $25,000 ($50 deductible)
  • Emergency evacuation and repatriation of remains up to $500,000
  • Accidental death - $10,000 
      NEW RESOURCES FOR Volunteers in Missions Teams! See documents attached below and please feel free to use in your 'tool box of skills.'
Laura Diviney,
Mar 12, 2010, 7:22 AM
Laura Diviney,
Mar 22, 2010, 8:57 AM
Laura Diviney,
Mar 22, 2010, 9:00 AM
Laura Diviney,
Mar 22, 2010, 9:00 AM
Michael Collins,
Feb 18, 2010, 11:46 AM