Help Feed Guatemala: $30,000 by June 30

A Special Mission Project for The Columbia District

In 2017 the Outreach Section of the District Council on Ministries identified Healing Guatemala as a special district mission focus.    Healing Guatemala is headed by Rev. Dr. Luke Rhyee, former pastor of the Korean United Methodist Church in Columbia.   The usual focus of Healing Guatemala is three-fold:  Education, Medical and Hunger Abetment.

In ordinary times Guatemala is a poverty-stricken country.  Many people live on a subsistence economy that is day to day.  If they do not work they do not eat.   In this time of Covid – 19 the hunger issues have taken precedents.  To that end, the folk at Healing Guatemala have created a special program that has enabled them to provide 1,500 families with food.

The organization has purchased 60,000 lbs. of corn and a similar supply of beans.  That has been distributed in bundles of 30 lbs. of corn and 15 lbs. of beans per family.  This, along with whatever vegetables the family are able to grow themselves, may be all they eat, each day, every day until the pandemic moves on and work reappears.  At a cost of $20.00 per family, these beans and corn will feed a family of four as long as 15 days.    Then the cycle starts over.   Work / food shortages are anticipated to last until late June or into July.

The Columbia District has set a goal of raising as much as possible to provide for a two-week cycle.   To do that we need to raise $30,000 by June 30th.  Every dollar raised will purchase food for the need of our neighbors.    It is hoped that each church in the district will address this need in some significant manner.

Forward funds, offered prayerfully, to the Columbia District Office, 4908 Colonial Drive, Columbia, SC 29203 with the notation that they are directed to the Healing Guatemala Fund.     Periodic notations will be sent out to pastors to inform about our progress towards the goal.

For more information about Healing Guatemala find them on Facebook and on the Web,

“Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink?”

Columbia District Ministry with Refugee Children

HanyMano_LogoIn 2015 a group of faithful disciples in the Columbia District started Hand y Mano, a ministry outreach to the least of these in our community. For the last several years Hand y Mano has been a successful two-week camp for lower income children at Virginia Wingard which has included games, crafts, stories, and educational opportunities like presentations by Carolina Wild Life Center and Midlands Dental Hygienists. Hand y Mano has been a work in progress, changing and growing over the years so that through this ministry lives are being touched and changed as God’s glory and love are given flesh.

This year will be no different; Hand y Mano will continue to serve the most vulnerable children in our community, but there have been a few changes. This year there will be a one-week camp, August 6-10, hosted at Grace UMC for refugee children who live in the K-Street area. Union UMC has agreed to provide transportation for the 30 children who will attend Hand y Mano, driving them to and from home the entire week.  And many individuals have already come alongside to serve as volunteers and make much-needed financial and supply contributions to ensure 2018 is another successful year for Hand y Mano.

We need your help to continue to host this Columbia District ministry. It is truly “hand-in-hand” we are able to serve God’s most vulnerable children through this ministry. It takes all of us working together to serve and love our neighbors. We need you, and we need all Columbia UMCs to participate in small and big ways in giving new life to Hand y Mano. There are many ways to serve. We need volunteers. We need financial contributions. We need school supplies. We need your talents—are you gifted with a music talent, or art talent that you could come and share with the children? Are you a dentist, or dental hygienist, or a nurse or doctor who can give your time to share with the kids and their families? Does your VBS take up school supply donations? Will you consider taking up a supply donation or offering for Hand y Mano? Together we can do more for these 30+ children! And through YOU, God’s love is known. Help us make God’s love known through Hand y Mano.

To donate or to serve, or for more information about the Hand y Mano camp hosted at Grace UMC on August 6-10, contact Martha Thompson: Thank you!