|More than a decade ago, civil war forced Liberian United Methodists in the Ganta region to flee across the border to refugee camps in Diecke (pronounced: JAY-KAY) Guinea, West Africa, a community of approximately 70,000. They brought medical supplies from Ganta Hospital and created a makeshift clinic. A school and church eventually followed. When the war was over, the Liberian Annual Conference, with the blessing of the predominately Muslim leadership in Diecke, committed to sustaining the clinic, school and church so that the people of Diecke could have new opportunities to learn, heal, and serve God.In 2009, the first Austin-area mission team visited Diecke. With leadership from that original team, a group of ten teachers, church leaders, and medical professionals returned to Diecke in the summer of 2012 to do medical training and vacation bible school. Most of all, though, the team was there to live with and learn from the people who are in ministry through the clinic, school and church every day. It is our hope that through continued partnership, we will be able to build the infrastructure and the relationships that will contribute to future health and hope for the people of Diecke.One of the first things our brothers and sisters asked for during our visit was assistance in finishing their new health clinic.
We are pleased to announce than a family at First UMC- Austin has donated just under $18,000.00 toward the new clinic. UMCOR will match that donation, and we will have the clinic finished by the late spring. This effort will be saving lives shortly.
This is a huge step. We look forward to moving forward with the partnership so that our congregation members can develop relationships with our brothers and sisters in Liberia and Guinea, but first we have to set up the basic infrastructure to help them get at that point.
In addition to this donation, others have made donations during the Advent season, and we hope to be making additional announcements over the next few weeks.
If you want more information on the partnership, visit our new (still under construction) website: www.lonestarconnection.org
In the meantime, if you would like one of our team members come to your church or your church’s small group, feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org