Debbie C. Keeney is a missionary with the General Board of Global Ministries of The United Methodist Church, a Church and Community Worker, serving as director of the thrift, vintage, and fair-trade shop of United Methodist Ministries in Omaha, Nebraska. Her work there began in the spring of 2012.
United Methodist Ministries is a multifaceted service agency that in April 2012 became a national mission institution of United Methodist Women. The Omaha store, known as the Blue Flamingo, is in ministry to its downtown neighborhood, providing affordable clothing and housewares to families. It serves as a safe place for youth and residents to find a friendly face. Blue Flamingo hosts a large fair-trade boutique that offers easy access in the metropolitan region to items from Ten Thousand Villages, Global Girlfriends, and Serrv.
“My mother has been a huge influence in my call to missionary service,” Deb says. “As a single mother of five children, holding down two jobs to support us, she lived her life as an example to her children. She showed us by her actions the importance of God in our lives, and how we could always depend on him.”
A native of Atlantic, Iowa, Deb attended Iowa State University in Ames, studying elementary education. She has served as youth leader in two Omaha United Methodist churches, as well as in the Missouri River District office. Previously, Deb served as a Church and Community Worker in the position of executive director of the Community Outreach Program in Roanoke, Virginia, in the Virginia Annual Conference, and still earlier as program director Justice for Our Neighbors, a ministry related to the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) Omaha. She joined the staff of United Methodist Ministries initially in 2000 and returned in 2011 as director of program and administration.
Deb is a member of the First United Methodist Church, Omaha. She has two daughters and two grandchildren, and was a host mother to five Japanese exchange students and seven foster children.
: Nebraska Annual Conference
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