Unique Giving Opportunities
Brazos Valley P.E.T. Project — the Gift of Mobility The statistics are astounding: some 21,000,000 people in third world countries must crawl around on the ground or be carried because of handicaps from land mines, leprosy, birth defects and malnutrition.
If all who are literally prisoners of immobility were to be put in one line, it would stretch for 28,000 miles.
Solution: Personal Energy Transportation devices (or PETS): three-wheel wagon-like devices that allow riders to use their upper arm strength to get around.
“These hand-cranked vehicles are built with hauling capacity to enable the owner to make an income,” explains Rick Sitton, senior pastor of First UMC in Bryan. When members of First UMC in Bryan learned of this need and the innovative device to provide a solution, they opened an assembly shop and launched the Brazos Valley P.E.T. Project. “Our shop has produced over 600 units that have shipped to over 35 countries,” adds shop foreman Chester Jones.
PET is an all-volunteer operation with almost 100 contributing shops worldwide, so Bryan members are thrilled when youth groups and others come to the shop to help with production and shipping. Adds Pastor Sitton, “First United Methodist Church Bryan will be glad to host volunteer work groups overnight in the Christian Life Center-especially youth groups in the summer.”
The cost of producing and shipping one unit is approximately $250. Many people choose to support this vital PET ministry with cash or in-kind donations to help cover material costs. To join in providing the GIFT OF MOBILITY:
To donate by mail, please print out the donation form at http://petbrazosvalley.org, fill it in and send it along with your donation to:
P.E.T. Project Texas, Inc.
506 East 28th Street
Bryan, Texas 77803
TAC Seeks Funding for ‘JFON’ Ministry Dilemma
Many immigrants have a legal right to be in the States, but cannot afford legal fees to obtain the required documents.
Solution: The United Methodist Church established a ministry program called Justice For Our Neighbors (JFON) in 1999 to provide free, professional legal services to immigrants who cannot otherwise afford them. The Texas Annual Conference hopes to join the national network of JFON providers in 2012 to provide services to all without regard for race, gender or religion.
“As United Methodists, we want to be advocates for immigration systems that affirm the worth, dignity and inherent value and rights of migrants,” says Diane McGehee. “This program helps people comply with the law as well as ensuring that all people benefit from rights that are theirs under our laws.
By helping those who need legal services, but cannot afford them, we seek to build communities of love by building relationships with our neighbors that we may love one another, not in word or tongue, but in truth and action. (1 John 3:18)
Individuals and congregations can support the work of Justice For Our Neighbors Immigration Ministry for the Texas Annual Conference by:
• Making checks out to the Texas Annual Conference
• Writing in the memo line: 2012 Advance Special JFON
• Mailing to the conference office: 5215 Main Street, Houston, Texas 77002 to the attention of the Center for Missional Excellence
In addition, the Justice For Our Neighbors program, once established in the TAC, will need volunteers. In particular, the program needs licensed immigration attorneys to provide pro bono work with the JFON clinics.
For persons who are not attorneys, there are many other opportunities for volunteering at the legal clinics, such as coordinating monthly intake, providing hospitality and childcare, performing intake interviews, or using bilingual skills (Some training may be required). To get involved, contact the Center for Missional Excellence at 713-521-9383.
Asbury House Expansion Nears Completion
On some mornings three-year-old Ke’Miyah is slow to wake up. But as soon as her mom mentions getting up for school at the Asbury House, she jumps up with a smile on her face. “Since her first day I have been blown away by the love and compassion the staff has for children,” says mom Keyanna Lewis. “I was even more amazed when Ke’Miyal said the Pledge of Allegiance and Texas flag, and multiple phrases in Spanish. I would like to thank Ms. Pam and staff and contributors for providing my daughter with this wonderful experience at Asbury House.”
At a Glance (www.asburyhouse.net)
• Established over 25 years ago in Longview, Texas to offer child care for ages 3-5 at a reduced rate for low income families
• A $500,000 expansion to 7000 square feet is due for “debt free” completion by early 2012 and will allow the school to accommodate up to 60 children, many of whom have long been on the waiting list.
• Under the umbrella of TAC, funding comes from the East District, Methodist churches, donors, other community churches and special events. Would you like to make a difference
through this ministry?
“Due to the economic conditions and an ever-expanding waiting list, we took a leap of faith to start building this 3400-ft expansion, and we are close to having it paid off, but still welcome help to officially get us there. Our client families range from single parents that make $10/hr or less, great grandparents that are raising a child, and sometimes even families where one of the parents is in prison. We
are much more than a child care facility because we offer academics, Bible based
teaching, we help connect our families to community resources. I am blessed to be a part of this ministry and so appreciative of donors contributing to our expansion, and area church groups that have adopted all of our families for Christmas.” for ‘JFON’ Ministry Asbury House expansion nears completion.
To Donate...call Pam at 903-758-7062 or send a check to the Asbury House Building Fund c/o 320 S. Center. Longview, Tx 75601.