UMCOR is the humanitarian relief and development arm of the United Methodist Church and is run through the General Board of Global Ministries. It exists “to assist individuals and churches become involved globally in direct ministry to persons in need through programs of relief, rehabilitation, and service…” Every year since 2008, our Church has sent a team of volunteers to be a part of this effort.
Located in Baldwin, Louisiana, The Sager Brown Depot is a huge warehouse, packed floor to ceiling with supplies that are packaged and shipped around the world. Our own “Sew-N-Sew” group has constructed thousands of school bags and knitted hundreds of baby sweaters that have been delivered around the world by UMCOR. When I was at a Methodist school in rural Zimbabwe in 2010, every child had a school bag filled with supplies. I saw, first hand, that these ministries make a difference!
Dave and I went to Sager Brown for the first time in 2011. We spent four days on a production line, assembling “flood buckets” filled with cleaning supplies. The high point of our trip was when a truck arrived from Tennessee, and we loaded these buckets for next-day delivery to people in Nashville whose homes had flooded. At that moment, we truly felt that we’d made a small difference for those in need.
Since then, I’ve returned to Sager Brown every year. Each trip has been different. Activities at Sager Brown change to keep in synch with UMCOR’s current strategies and the needs of the Baldwin community.
For me, the trip provides a chance to retreat from the business of life and spend time with like-minded Christians. It is a time of fellowship, camaraderie, personal reflection, worship, and service. I’ve built lasting friendships with Church members I might not have known otherwise. I always get back more than I give. I return feeling blessed and recharged.
For those who have not been before, I encourage you to consider joining us this year May 5th through 10th. We are assembling a group of twelve and would love for YOU to be a part of the team.
In Grace and Peace,
Cindy Kyser Buck