Faith UMC Fort Bend Ramps Ministry - Doing the Ministry of Missions Differently
Going out into the community together with friends and family to make a difference in someone’s life…is a life changing experience for both the person in need and the volunteer.
Mobility issues can be very challenging and sometimes traumatic. Fort Bend Ramps is dedicated to making a difference in our community for young and old, those who are wheelchair dependent or those who have difficulty climbing stairs. We build these ramps at no cost to the recipient, utilizing the gifts of generous donors and volunteer construction teams.
Fort Bend Ramps is a Ministry that was created as an extension of the missions’ team at Faith UMC. Faith UMC has always been a mission- oriented church. The church has worked with many local charities and churches – performing home repair, clean-up and building wheelchair ramps in the local community. They are heavily involved in UM ARMY, a youth component of The United Methodist Church that focuses on the ministry of missions. This summer, Faith UMC sent over 180 youth, young adults and adults to a camp in Jasper, Texas. As a result of their long standing involvement, the UM ARMY group at Faith UMC has been blessed with many generous and joyful givers who have provided trailers and tools to support as many as 20 work teams.
It is from these UM ARMY experiences and resources that Fort Bend Ramps got its start. FUMC had a wealth of experience, volunteer lists and resources that were only being used once a year for a week. The church decided that it wasn’t fully utilizing the gifts that God had provided them.
Fort Bend Ramps built its first ramp in March 2010 and since, have completed about 16 projects of varying size within Fort Bend County. The goal is to accomplish one project per month. Even the most difficult projects can be completed in one Saturday – sometimes before lunch. A volunteer does not have to own power tools or bring anything other than his or her gloves, some water and a loving heart. Ft. Bend Ramps is organized as a tax deductible charitable corporation under Section 501(c)(3) of the IRS Tax Code and can accept donations of all kinds, including materials.
A recent ramp recipient told us just how life changing a ramp can be to someone and their extended family. Mrs. Martinez explained to us that the ramp not only enabled her husband (a stroke victim) to have the mobility to leave his home, but two others in their family who are wheel chair bound can now come over for family visits. Prior to the ramp they were unable to climb the steep stairs to either sit on the porch or go inside their home.
Ultimately, the goal of Faith UMC is to “export” the ministry to other churches or organizations outside of Fort Bend County. Plans are underway to develop a detailed ministry workbook that will include information on charitable giving, organization, tools, ramp design, construction and marketing. “We feel God has blessed us to be a blessing and we are called to help others here in Fort Bend County and those outside our local community, as well,” says Randall Schulze, one of the creators of this ministry.
So, if you are out and about on a Saturday in Fort Bend Co. and see the Faith UMC trailer you will know that the folks of Fort Bend Ramps are on the move to make a difference in someone’s life.
If your church or organization would like more information about this ministry, contact Faith UMC at 281-341-8200 or Randall Schulze at 832-595-4363.