Team Reflections - East Heights UMC

Team Reflection from East Heights UMC

Wichita, KS


Trip dates: January 18-26, 2012 Team Leader: Paige Nelson


Team members: Vona Dean, Sally Goodson, Carolyn Kretzer, Paige Nelson, Mary Nusz, Tina Pracht, Beth Strickler

Team Project:(what and where): We worked on the parsonage and education building for the Methodist Church in Santa Rita. It was a dying church with just 8 people left.  A new pastor, Alejandro had just completed his first “year” of seminary and was appointed at the beginning of this year.  His first Sunday, there were 10 people.  His second Sunday, there were 40 people.  The Sunday we were there, there were 50 people.  We worked on the parsonage mainly to prepare it for Alejandro and his bride-to-be.  They will be married March 3rd.  It was in pretty bad condition.  In the parsonage, we painted the interior rooms and while we were there, the church members also painted the exterior. We tiled the kitchen counter, kitchen sink backsplash and the shower. We also sewed curtains for all of the rooms as well as replaced the electrical outlets, light switches and lights. The church members also helped us paint the interior of the education building.

What was gained from the experience?: It was, as usual, an amazing experience! What is always gained is a sense of the global church of Christ. We step out of our little comfort zone of East Heights United Methodist Church in Wichita, KS into partnership with our brothers and sisters in Christ in Costa Rica. This year, we were blessed to be able to work alongside the people of the church in Santa Rita to bring a sense of joy and hope to the church and to the community. It was exciting to see them so excited about fixing up the parsonage and the church in anticipation of what God has planned for them as they begin this new leg of their journey of faith as a community of believers. It is always a special time to be able to gather around a community table, as the first Christians did, to break bread together. Relationships are always the most important and this year, it was exciting to build a new relationship with Alejandro, Alexis, Anna and the many others we were blessed to meet and work alongside. And, as usual, language is never a barrier when the Spirit is moving…and It was and continues to move in mighty and powerful ways!!

Church’s history with Centro Rural Metodista: We have been in partnership with Marion really since almost the beginning of his ministry in Costa Rica. In recent years, our church has been in partnership with Centro Rural Metodista in sending teams to be in ministry and mission since 1995. We have worked several years at the Center, as well as with the churches in Pital, Zonafluca and Los Chiles. A few years, we were based at the camp, but traveled to Ciudad Quesada to work on the parsonage and the school. We also were based at the Center and traveled to other churches to share Vacation Bible School and sewing classes with the ladies.

Additional Comments:

Thank you Molly and Alissa for being with us this year! It was exciting to be your first team Prayers are always with Marion and Mary as they continue to serve their Lord through their ministry and mission.


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