Friday, September 20, 2013

Serving at UMCOR Sager Brown

UMCOR Sager Brown Depot in Baldwin, La. Photo: UMCOR Sager Brown
Carl and June Coleman, United Methodist individual volunteers from the Texas Annual Conference, who were trained and placed by the Mission Volunteers office of Global Ministries, share their volunteer experience at UMCOR Sager Brown Depot in Baldwin, La.

September 18, 2013

Carl and I are in our sixth week at UMCOR Sager Brown Depot in Baldwin, Louisiana, and we are seriously considering writing a book.  Just kidding…but the whole experience has been wonderful and full of inspirational stories from so many fantastic volunteers who have come here to serve.  By the time we leave next Friday there will have been approximately 300 volunteers on campus, who have given special meaning to our mission experience here.

In addition to Heart and Hand Home Repair in the community, the kit ministry is in full swing at the UMCOR depot every day.  There are a number of different kits made at Sager Brown, which include health, birthing, bedding, layette, sewing, cleaning buckets, etc.  Since we have been here, we have sent one container (an 18-wheeler trailer) of supplies to Angola. It contained 11,424 health kits, 700 bedding kits, and 3,360 birthing kits, for a total weight of 38,540 pounds.

Henry Heaton, a volunteer, assembles health kits for shipment. Photo: J. Santiago

Tomorrow we will be loading and sending out another container of supplies (mainly health kits) to the Republic of Georgia.  We have been told some cleaning buckets (which contain cleanup supplies) will be going to Colorado from Sager Brown and also from the warehouse in Utah (UMCOR West Depot).  It has been such a blessing to see the complete cycle of service the volunteers provide at Sager Brown in being the hands and feet of Christ—(1) starting with the donating and bringing supplies for the relief kits; (2) assembling the kits; (3) packing the completed kits into packing boxes;  (4) loading the boxes on to pallets;  (5) loading the truck with boxes of kits, and (6) finally watching the loaded truck leave the depot heading for its destination.

We always have a prayer of blessing around the container right before the truck pulls out of the depot...very awesome!!!

A group of volunteers assemble to pray for a shipment about to depart UMCOR Sager Brown. 
Photo: UMCOR Sager Brown

Carl has been doing service projects in the community and is staying very busy. One man could not come home from the rehab hospital until a wheelchair ramp was constructed at his home. Carl and some other volunteers made it happen. Another lady had holes in her floor so that daylight was clearly visible. She was so pleased after the repairs were completed, because for the first time in many years, she can have a Christmas tree in her house. We will never lack for community service jobs in the Sager Brown area.  Between the poverty, hurricanes, and the destructive nature of rain, there will always be work to do here.

We only have one more week of service here. We will be heading back to Texas for a few days, and then we will be starting a NOMADS mission experience, October 7-27, at The Methodist Children's Home.  We have told our adult kids (and grandkids) we will definitely be home by Thanksgiving. 

Sending you all our very best,

Carl and June Coleman
United Methodist Individual Volunteers

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