Methodists Helping Methodists: The Connection In Action
Tears of joy were flowing when a cross-section of churches from multiple districts teamed up to repair the roof of the First Korean United Methodist Church of Houston.
Rev. Joseph Jung was doing the very best he could with what he had at the First Korean United Methodist Church of Houston. The church had been saving up for roof repairs when the torrential and historical storms over Memorial Day caused major damage to the roof and interior of the church.
On behalf of TACCOR, Tommy Myrick, Christ UMC, College Station went by to do the assessment and found that this small congregation had little funding and needed the connection to step up and help them. “Even though he speaks very little English, the pastor and I had a prayer together that they would receive the help then needed. The tears I saw in his eyes after the prayer made me determined to do what we could to help.”
Sam Smith, a member of Christ UMC and owner of D&S Contracting went by to see exactly what would have to be done. He made the measurements and a cost estimate then began contacting businesses and others to help. “Sam said when he told the Lay Leader, Insook Choi, we were going to help them, she began crying from joy that they had not been forgotten,” adds Tommy. “The connection works! Soon thereafter, we began preparations to get the repairs made by fundraising, recruiting volunteers and making a repair plan of action.”
Members from Lakewood UMC, Cypress UMC, Missouri City UMC, Wesley UMC-Huntsville, joined Christ UMC, First Korean UMC and others to help. Rev. Wanda Bess, district superintendent for the West District, even braved the August heat “to help our brothers and sisters.” The team of 20 removed the old roofing shingles and repaired the rafters and sheeting. According to Tommy, the contractor who donated all services estimated the materials to be $15,000. “In less than one week we received either the funds or pledges that exceeded the cost,” he says. The churches that pitched in funding cross multiple district lines: Lakewood UMC, Chapelwood Houston, First UMC Bryan, Christ UMC College Station and First UMC Madisonville along with a grant from the West District Missions Team. The group was grateful for JP Plumbing for donating a hot water heater and installing it free, thankful to Crest Roofing for putting the new shingles on at no cost, Sunbelt Equipment for donating a skid steer to help get the old shingles to the dumpster and to D&S Contracting for overseeing the project. “We also received half the offering from the West District Hymn Sing,” adds Tommy, “and Crest Roofing gave us $1,200 to finish the work.”
Lay Leader Insook Choi says, “It has been amazing that God is working through His wonderful people to help a small church like us, First Korean UMC, to go from patching to completely replacing our roof. I have been praying for this for a long time and I realized that God is truly listening and answered at a perfect time.” She adds, “The total estimated cost for materials was around $15,000, but we had only saved $1,000, so, it looked almost impossible to get the roof fixed. Water was leaking through to the nursery and part of our main sanctuary area, but I kept praying to our awesome God, Jesus who is our Lord and Savior. He brought the right people as well as the financial support.”
Eighteen students from South Korea visiting First Korean UMC were on hand to help fill the dumpster with the old shingles. Adds Insook, “Although we shared God’s love and a delicious lunch, the best part about this project was that we put our hands together to get the God-work done, accented with prayer.”