Global Ministries

The United Methodist Church

Connecting the Church in Mission

Global Ministries - ConnectNMission
July 6, 2016 · Issue 14

In this issue of connectNmission, read about Global Ministries General Secretary Thomas Kemper’s call to embrace our common humanity after the bombing at the Istanbul Atatürk Airport; learn how UMC #GivingTuesday donations helped empower women through human rights education and support in Nicaragua; watch a video of the work of United Methodist missionaries Aaron and Mary K. Vandersommers in the Democratic Republic of Congo; and learn about upcoming events.

Shortly after surviving the June 28 bombing at Istanbul Atatürk Airport in Turkey, Global Ministries General Secretary Thomas Kemper called on all people of faith to stand together against hate and terror, and recognize and embrace our common humanity.

Kemper was resting in the Turkish Airlines lounge, waiting for his ongoing flight from Istanbul, when gunfire erupted and three bombs were detonated by suicide bombers shortly before 10:00 p.m.

“This is a moment that should deepen our solidarity with all people who suffer from violence and terror,” said Kemper. He underscored that if people of faith were not united “we will never overcome violence.”

At least 45 people died and 239 were injured in the Istanbul attack. Other mass attacks in Dakha, Bangladesh; Bagdad, Iraq; and in three cities of Saudi Arabia followed closely on its heels, causing hundreds more casualties. Read more.

A legal promoter’s workshop sponsored by the Women’s Human Rights program with help for UMC #GivingTuesday donations.
Thanks to UMC #GivingTuesday donations made last year to Women and Community, Advance #13285A, in San Francisco Libre, Nicaragua, women are able to protect themselves from domestic abuse and violence. Not only do they receive the psychological, legal, and monetary assistance they need to confront these situations, they also come to a deeper understanding of their human rights as women, which empowers them.

Lucy (not her real name) was one of these women.

“I was 15 years old when I met my partner, a 32-year-old farmer from my community. When I got pregnant with my son, he began to mistreat me and accused me of looking for other men. He said I was stupid and no good. After I gave birth to my son, he began to drink heavily. This is when the abuse got worse. He would toss my clothes, the television, table, and utensils, and he would beat me.

I talked with his mom about it, and he got a little better. After the birth of my second child, a daughter, he returned to the same behavior. His mother begged me not to put him in jail, so I did not file a police report. But he threatened me by saying that if I denounced him he would kill himself.

I couldn’t take this anymore. My little girl, who is only 8 years old, is very afraid when she sees him coming home drunk.”

Lucy went to Women and Community’s Women’s Human Rights program, where she got help filing charges against her partner. Thanks to Women and Community, a representative of the government’s Ministry of the Family visited her and accompanied her to the police station and to the forensics office. A Women and Community lawyer was by Lucy’s side during the whole process.

“I did not want to accuse my partner, but in the end I had to do it. My problem was serious — psychological violence, physical violence, and sexual abuse,” said Lucy.

Aaron and Mary Vandersommers pose for a photo with several community members in DR Congo.

This week, Beyond the Anchor Cross: Mission from Everywhere to Everywhere features United Methodist missionary Mary K. Vandersommers, who shares how she discerned her call.

Originally from Ohio, Vandersommers serves as a community development consultant for the Church of Christ in Congo, based in Kinshasa in the Democratic Republic of Congo. She serves along with her husband, Aaron Vandersommers, who is also a Global Ministries missionary.

The Church of Christ in Congo provides coordination for the ministries of 74 denominations, including The United Methodist Church, in the areas of primary, secondary, and vocational education; health; economic development and poverty alleviation; women and family services; and administration and finance.

Watch as the Vandersommers together share about their work in the DR Congo.


August 4-7, 2016
Metodistas Asociados Representando la Causa de los Hispano-Americanos (MARCHA)

MARCHA 2016 — “Embracing New Horizons”
San Juan, Puerto Rico
The MARCHA 2016 conference, entitled “Embracing New Horizons,” will reflect on the need to discern God’s call and desire in the area of new forms of ministry, which involve the training of disciples committed to Hispanic-Latino communities. Register here.

August 17-20
School of Congregational Development 2016

“Into the Deep”
Evanston, Illinois

The School of Congregational Development is a premier event for equipping conference leaders, clergy, and laity to lead vital, dynamic, life-changing congregations. Sponsored by Discipleship Ministries, Global Ministries, and Path 1, this year’s event is being hosted by the Northern Illinois Conference and Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary. Register here.

Photos in order of appearance:

A legal promoter’s workshop sponsored by the Women’s Human Rights program with help from UMC #GivingTuesday donations. Photo: Mercedes Valle

Aaron and Mary Vandersommers pose for a photo with several community members in DR Congo. Photo courtesy of Aaron Vandersommers.