Monday, August 27, 2007

From Louisiana, with love

After years of sending money and prayers, a group of members from several Louisiana Methodist Churches made a mission trip to First United Methodist Church of Ekaterinburg, Russia, in June. Broadmoor UMC Director of Communications Angela Cason made the trip and wrote about it for the church newsletter:

"The group spent several days in Ekaterinburg leading Vacation Bible School and doing yard work and minor repairs around the church, including painting and repairing cracks in the walls, but the true success of this mission is the relationship-building that takes place with not only members of the church, including Pastors Olga Kotsuba and Tatyana Tomakh, but also with people in the community.

Whether visiting an orphanage for children with special needs or helping the church distribute food packages to shut-in members of the church, the group assisted those of First UMC of Ekaterinburg spread the love of Christ.

'God is in this church, and the love just spreads out wherever we go,' said Carole Boudreaux, of Asbury UMC in Lafayette.

Visiting one of the church’s pensioners, the group brought the elderly lady what most Americans would consider to be the barest of necessities. Inside her cramped apartment, the woman sat on the couch and wept, making the sign of the cross with every small item she was presented – small bags of rice and sugar, cooking oil, packets of tea, laundry soap, along with a piece of fruit and a small chocolate bar for treats. For this woman on a fixed income, there were not enough words to thank the mission team. Likewise, the missioners had a hard time describing the blessing of this visit."

Here are some of Cason's pictures from the trip:

Carole Boudreaux (right), of Asbury United Methodist Church in Lafayette, visits with a shut-in member of First United Methodist in Ekaterinburg, Russia. The mission team, along with the pastors of the church, delivered food items and other necessities to pensioners with low, fixed incomes.

(right) Sharon Dubard, of Sweet Gum United Methodist Church in Lake Charles, visits with a boy at an orphanage for children with special needs in Ekaterinburg, Russia.

(left) Members of the congregation at First United Methodist Church in Ekaterinburg, Russia visit with each other before the start of worship service on June 17.

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