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Beyond: Missions

For more information or to learn how to get connected contact the church office at (616) 451.2879 or firstchurch@grandrapidsfumc.org. 

For more news read our Missions Blog!


Cuba:
What do we do there? We are helping the people of Cuba specifically people who belong to our sister church in Herradura. Since 1995 We have been sending a mission team every year for one week (typically the first week in april) to visit, worship with them, and take needed supports for the people of the church. Teams are comprised of youth and adults. We bring clothes, shoes, and medicine to the church in Herradura. We also bring money to the church from the community back home.
How can you help? We would greatly appreciate the donation of gently used clothing and shoes (spring, summer, and fall attire only), new underwear (especially children’s underwear) and reading glasses. Monetary Donations can be made to First Church – Cuba Relief.
Kenya: What do we do there? School building construction, church building construction, medical building / equipment, testing people for HIV/AIDS, medical students (there are three Kenyan medical students being sponsored as they attend two Kenyan medical schools), provision of bore holes and educating the people on irrigation and crop growing techniques, water filters (teaching the locals how to make, maintain and use Bio-Sand Water filters to produce safe water), and solar ovens (we are trying to provide awareness and information concerning solar ovens).

How Can You Help? Prayer Needs: for the medical students that they will do well in school and always trust in God, the Maasai will be open to God's Word and will and experience his peace that only God can provide, that all will see Christ's love through me and pray for safety and good health and for peace and for the leaders in Kenya. Pray that they will serve the people well.

What you are supporting Financially? Projects in which we are sponsoring at the present time include: Paying school fees and other expenses for three Kenyan medical students in Kenya (part of the sponsorship has been from First Church), constructing classrooms for elementary school children and Ngoswani, construction of the additional classroom and church being built, medical care for HIV/AIDS patients (including food, ARV's and multivitamins), providing food and medicine for very needy people and providing housing for HIV widows and their family.

Nicaragua: What do we do there? We serve the medical needs of people in Nicaragua. Vaccinations, preventative medical exams, fitting people with glasses, and checking for cavities are among the services provided. Many of the people there have no access to medical attention, so in many cases, the treatments provided are life altering. Our medical team along with a translator flies into Managua and travel from there to the rural areas. Here they set up a make shift clinic which provides medical aid to the people who otherwise would not have access to such facilities. Anywhere between 1,300 and 1,800 people are seen on an average mission.
What is the Particular Need? The particular need is to provide medicinal treatment for the impoverished countryside. Eye care, dental and basic medical are all extremely lacking or non-existent.
How can you help? You can join the mission. You can help with the loading and unloading of the bus, the set up the clinic, assisting the physicians, fit eye glasses, and play with the children. If you are unable to join us on the trip, a donation to the Nicaragua fund via the Church will assure we can provide assistance when extraordinary expenses are incurred.
Nancy Gillette leads two trips a year, typically in march and November. A former Red Cross Disaster Relief worker, she has dedicated much of her life to the needs of people in underdeveloped countries. She has worked in, organized, and lead numerous missions to areas in need of medical attention.
Rwanda: What do we do there? We are involved in the: Setting up of schools/medical facility, Distribution of K-lights to women for them to sell.K-lights are a rechargeable light utilizing LED’s for high efficiency in battery life.