Walk to Jerusalem 2014
Congratulations! We arrived in Jerusalem on Easter Sunday, Accumulated miles – 11,551.
In Jerusalem we learned of Kristen Brown, a missionary serving at the Methodist Liaison office in Jerusalem
Kristen Brown is a missionary with the General Board of Global Ministries of the United Methodist Church serving as coordinator of interpretation, education, and advocacy through the Methodist liaison office in Jerusalem.
This office is a joint project of Global Ministries, the British Methodist Church, and the World Methodist Council. It relates to ecumenical organizations, churches, and church-related institutions in the Holy Land, and it provides educational venues for Methodist pilgrims to the region.
We hope you had fun exercising the physical body by walking, your Spiritual Body by Praying, your mind by learning about other countries, cultures and the work of the Methodist Church through Missionaries and Mission Projects. May you continue walking to a healthier lifestyle.
One week left, we walked 10,721 miles in 11 weeks.
This week we traveled through the Middle East, We learned about Middle East Emergency where UMCOR is at work providing emergency relief and humanitarian assistance –
UMCOR is helping teachers in Kurdistan teach art and culture-based subjects to students in various primary schools through the Rawshan Children At Risk Project. The project consists of a group of teachers who travel to various schools and teach art courses for 15 to 25 day periods. Students are instructed in painting, drama, photography and writing –
UMCOR is achieving peace among interfaith students in Israel through The Violence Prevention Plan for Schools program, operated through The Jerusalem International YMCA. The program is working to help children, teachers and staff increase their awareness on security issues, interfaith acceptance and implement non-violent alternatives that foster respect and tolerance –
UMCOR is also working to bring relief in Palestine where blockage of funds following the January 2007 elections in Palestine has resulted in a lack of basic necessities in this conflicted region. Those who suffer the most tend to be the area’s poorest populations. UMCOR is helping to supply aid through ACT International partner organizations already at work in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank. Food, health care, and educational assistance are being provided. –
Enhancing the Quality of Life for Mothers and Children through Healthcare
Maternal mortality is the main health problem CEOSS (Coptic Evangelical Organization for Social Service) would like to address through this project. The project will also address the problem of child malnutrition. According to the World Bank, the malnutrition prevalence was reported at 6.8% in 2008. Also, 29% of children under the age of five suffer from dwarfism due to malnutrition. Another problem the project wishes to address is the problem of blindness. Every five seconds one person loses their sight in the world, while one child loses their eyesight every minute. In Egypt, there are around 737,000 blind persons. There is an estimated annual increase of 150,000 persons. More than one third of the cases can be cured or prevented.
To reduce the maternal mortality rate and improve the health conditions for marginalized women and young women in poor, local communities –
To improve the health conditions for vulnerable children and reduce their avoidable blindness through increasing availability and quality of integrated healthcare services such as malnutrition and early detection. –
A landlocked country in north-central Africa, Chad is about 85% the size of Alaska. Its neighbors are Niger, Libya, the Sudan, the Central African Republic, Cameroon, and Nigeria. Lake Chad, from which the country gets its name, lies on the western border with Niger and Nigeria. In the north is a desert that runs into the Sahara.
National name: République du Tchad
Languages: French, Arabic (both official); Sara; more than 120 languages and dialects
Ethnicity/race: 200 distinct groups. North and center, mostly Muslim: Arabs, Gorane (Toubou, Daza, Kreda), Zaghawa, Kanembou, Ouaddai, Baguirmi, Hadjerai, Fulbe, Kotoko, Hausa, Boulala, and Maba. South, mostly Christian or animist: Sara (Ngambaye, Mbaye, Goulaye), Moundang, Moussei, Massa
Religions: Islam 51%, Christian 35%, animist 7%, other 7%
Literacy rate: 25.7% (2011 est.)
Missionary in Sudan
Elmira I. Sellu is a missionary with the Board of Global Ministries of The United Methodist Church assigned as Regional Missionary with Women, Children and Youth. She is based in Sierra Leone serving as coordinator for the United Methodist Women’s Division Leadership Development for Women’s Programs in the West Africa Central Conference and the East Africa Annual Conference.
Mrs. Sellu describes her work, “I work with women and children in the East Africa Annual Conference, which comprises five countries: Kenya, Uganda, Burundi, Rwanda, and Sudan. I hold workshops/seminars on leadership development and on current issues that affect the lives of women and children, such as HIV/AIDS, women and children’s health, child survival and development, violence against women, the girl child in Africa, environmental issues and peace education. I also work in the area of poverty alleviation for women through the initiating of and the ensuring of effective management and sustainability of income generating projects. Networking and advocacy with other women’s organizations are also part of what I do.”
Officially the Republic of Niger is a landlocked country in Western Africa, named after the Niger River. It borders Nigeria and Benin to the south, Burkina Faso and Mali to the west, Algeria and Libya to the north and Chad to the east. Niger covers a land area of almost 1,270,000 km2; making it the largest nation in West Africa, with over 80 percent of its land area covered by the Sahara desert. The country’s predominantly Islamic population of 17,129,076 is mostly clustered in the far south and west of the natio
n. The capital city is Niamey, located in the far-southwest corner of Niger.
Niger is a developing country, and is consistently one of the lowest-ranked in the United Nations‘ Human Development Index (HDI); it was ranked 186th of 186 countries for 2012. Much of the non-desert portions of the country are threatened by periodic drought and desertification. The economy is concentrated around subsistence and some export agriculture clustered in the more fertile south, and the export of raw materials, especially uranium ore. Niger faces serious challenges to development due to its landlocked position, desert terrain, poor education and poverty of its people, lack of infrastructure, poor health care, and environmental degradation.
Nigerien society reflects a diversity drawn from the long independent histories of its several ethnic groups and regions and their relatively short period living in a single state. Historically, what is now Niger has been on the fringes of several large states. Since independence, Nigeriens have lived under five constitutions and three periods of military rule. Following a military coup in 2010, Niger has become a democratic, multi-party state. A majority live in rural areas, and have little access to advanced education.
UMC in Algeria
Methodist missionaries from the United States began working in North Africa in 1908. In Algeria, part of the North Africa Annual Conference, the MethodistChurch owned buildings, children’s homes, and clinics. In 1962, Algeria gained independence from France, and for the next 10 years, Christian churches struggled for survival, culminating in the deportation of half the Methodist missionaries in the country, the government’s confiscation of church property, and the closing of church-run children’s homes and boarding schools.
The surviving Methodist church united with most other Protestant denominations to create the Protestant Church of Algeria. Mission and ministries were focused on helping provide food, clothing, and medicine; providing assistance for immigrants from sub-Saharan Africa; and organizing ecumenical worship services and Bible studies. Despite government-mandated restrictions and limitations, there continue to be ecumenically-sponsored worship services, Bible studies, weddings, and baptisms.
Today, the Christian Church is a tiny minority in Algeria, where Islam is now the state religion. Structurally, the Methodist congregations in Algeria and the Methodist ministries in Tunisia are part of the Switzerland-France Annual Conference.
Global Ministries – Assistance to Trafficked Women and Children in Mali
Children and women are either deceived or threatened with force to engage in the trade of prostitution.
Girls are often sold for between 250,000-1,000,000 cfa in Mali ($500-$2,000). Traffickers then force these girls work as prostitutes, paying their master without any recompense to themselves.
Those who dare to refuse are beaten, made to pass days without food, during the day they may be made to stay in the heat in Mali that sometimes reaches 107 degrees. Others are chained and hung like condemned criminals, as punishment.
So many suicide reports of victims who, after failing to find anybody to help them, take their own lives, rather than be forced to prostitute against their will. Sad stories of this are common, especially in the rural areas.
Goals & Objectives
a.) Fight to eradicate the ugly trade of human trafficking in West and Central Africa where it still exists.
b.) Help as many girls and women to come out of prostitution and care for themselves in a dignified way, as a true child of God should.
c.) Provide accommodations for those newly rescued from the act.
d.) Provide psychological assistance for those rescued from the act.
e.) Sensitize the populace at the grassroots level on the dangers of prostitution, and how not to fall victim to traffickers by exposing the tricks of the traffickers.
f.) Arrest and prosecute traffickers.
a.) Map a quality strategy to arrest those involved in trafficking of women and children.
b.) With ample financial resources, be able to bring the traffickers to court and make sure they serve the full term of their sentence, serving as a deterrent to others.
c.) Mobilize people for a massive sensitization in the urban and rural areas.
d.) For the above every available medium will be utilized.
e.) Through a massive grass roots campaign and also use of mass media, educate young girls and women about the methods used by traffickers to entice them.
Many refugees were returning to the Dakar area from Mauritania and Tambacounda in search of jobs and a better way of life. The Agriculture Training Program was established to help reintegrate the refugees into the community and provide a means of long term sustenance.
Goal – Work with local churches to identify and obtain land for cultivation in villages. Dig at least two wells per year for agriculture support in the villages. Establish agriculture training programs in Dioffior, Mbour, Bignona, Kaolack and Thies areas to be up and running by growing season in each area in 2014.
Global Ministries started working in Cuba in the late 1800s. In 1970 the Methodist Church in Cuba (IMECU) became autonomous. The IMECU currently has 32,000 members distributed in 350 congregations and 600 missions. Global Ministries is supporting the Evangelical Methodist Seminary in Havana and several institutional ministries. The UMVIM movement in Cuba is strong and structured. The priorities of Global Ministries include leadership, church development, and evangelization. – See more at: http://www.umcmission.org/Explore-Our-Work/Latin-America-and-the-Caribbean/Cuba
One of the many projects in Haiti is Grace Children’s Hospital and Pediatric Clinic –
In the early 1960s, when International Child Care’s founders Jim and Virginia Snavley first visited Haiti, they witnessed the shocking sight of children dying in the streets from tuberculosis, malnutrition, and other illnesses that were practically unheard of in the US. They felt God’s call to come to Haiti and open a small clinic and this is where Grace Children’s Hospital began. As the poorest country in the western hemisphere, approximately 80% of Haitians live on less than $1 per day. Grace Children’s Hospital has always sought to serve every individual who came through its doors, regardless of their background, beliefs, or circumstance – See more at: http://www.umcmission.org/Give-to-Mission/Search-for-Projects/Projects/418520
Global Ministries work in Puerto Rico was one of a Racial-Ethnic ecclesiastical entity until 1992 when the Methodist Church of Puerto Rico became an Autonomous and a Concordat Church. Yet, Global Ministries and this Methodist Church have historically worked together both in the US and in Latin America and the Caribbean in mission efforts. The MCPR currently has approximately 12,000 members. There are six Global Ministries missionaries in country working in institutional ministries and Church and community development. Global Ministries strongly supports the congregational development efforts in the island. Currently, the priorities of Global Ministries include community ministries and congregational development. – See more at: http://www.umcmission.org/Explore-Our-Work/Latin-America-and-the-Caribbean/Puerto-Rico
Week Three completed of our Twelve (12) Week Walking Journey to Jerusalem. Everyone is doing a fantastic job, walking, keeping track of their miles!
- On week 1, we walked 791 miles
- On Week 2, we walked 989 miles
- On Week 3, we walked 999 miles
We should be reaching land soon.
Don’t forget to log in your miles on the chart on Sundays or email them to Becky by Monday at email@example.com
We completed week two of our Twelve Week Walking Journey to Jerusalem. Great Job, everyone!
- On week 1, we walked 722 miles
- On week 2, we walked 883 miles
If you ever wondered if you could “walk on water”, here is your chance, there are 3769 miles (6065 km) (3275 nautical miles) from Baltimore, MD to Casa Blanca, Morocco!
Facts about the Atlantic Ocean:
- The Atlantic Ocean is the youngest of the world’s oceans. It was formed in the Jurassic Period.
- The Atlantic Ocean was the first ocean to be crossed by ship and the first ocean to be crossed by airplane.
- The Cunard Line began carrying passengers across the Atlantic in the 1850’s.
- The Atlantic’s warm Gulf Stream helps keep many harbours in the North of Europe free of ice in the winter.
- Iceland, a major Atlantic island, is the result of volcanic action and has a number of active volcanoes. (worldinfozone.com/oceans.php? country=Atlantic&type=facts)
- An estimated 80% of all life on earth is found under the ocean surface.
- The oceans cover 71% of the earth’s surface and contain 97% of the earth’s water. Less than 1% is fresh water and 2-3% is contained in glaciers and ice caps.
- 90% of all volcanic activity occurs in the oceans.
- The top ten feet of the ocean holds as much heat as the entire atmosphere.
- Because the architecture and chemistry of coral is so similar to human bone, coral has been used to replace bone grafts in helping human bone to heal quickly and cleanly.
- The blue whale is the largest animal on our planet ever (exceeding the size of the greatest known dinosaurs) and has a heart the size of a Volkswagen. (marinebio.org/MarineBio/Facts/)
We began our Walk to Jerusalem on Sunday, January 26. First week report – we completed our first 500 miles of our journey, we left Laurel, MD and arrived in Baltimore to begin our crossing over the Atlantic Ocean, as we “walk” through we learned how the UMC is involved in Baltimore.
Lovely Lane United Methodist Church:
The Original Lovely Lane Meeting House was built in 1774. Ten years later just after the American Revolution, the Methodist Societies hosted the famous Christmas Conference at Lovely Lane Meeting House, where a new denomination was born: The Methodist Episcopal Church
Susana Wesley House:
Funded in part by the Baltimore-Washington Conference and United Methodist Women, Susanna Wesley House has served women and their families in various ways since 1919. Originally, it was founded by the Women’s Home Missionary Society of the Methodist Episcopal Church as a boardinghouse for working girls and women, named for the influential mother of John and Charles Wesley. In 1993, the facility was severely damaged by fire. When rebuilt, it was designed for a different mission, meeting a different set of needs. So, since Susanna Wesley House reopened in 1999, it has served as a transitional home for homeless mothers and children.
Hope for The City:
As the city of Baltimore faces unparalleled challenges as its leaders confront poverty, drug addiction, AIDS, violence, an educational system in crisis and spiritual hunger a Hope Council, led by the Rev. C. Anthony Hunt, now works with the churches in the Baltimore region and the more than 660 churches within the bounds of the Baltimore-Washington Conference to do transforming ministry in the city. The 42 United Methodist congregations in Baltimore are eager to make a difference. They know that God is present in the city. Hope abounds.