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Mission Teams Ministries

FUMCFW International Mission Teams travel to Costa Rica and Kenya each year to provide informative, educational, and inspirational opportunities of loving response to local and global needs in the name of Christ.

Contact: Rev. Chuck Graff | cgraff@myfumc.org | 817-339-5065

Costa Rica Mission

FUMCFW began its ministry in Puerto Viejo, one of the poorest areas in Costa Rica, in 2006 with the construction of the Evangelical Methodist Church and Children’s Worship Center. The project has expanded to include work on a Children’s Home for orphans in San Jose, as well as a medical clinic for families in need in Puerto Viejo. During the lifetime of this ongoing project approximately 100 church members have participated in this transformative ministry. Their efforts have had dramatic impact not only on the lives of the people served in Costa Rica, but upon each mission team member as well.

Since 2006, six mission teams totaling 83 volunteers from First United Methodist Church of Fort Worth have traveled to Costa Rica to pour concrete, dig ditches, lay concrete block, paint, lay tile, tie rebar, lead Children’s Vacation Bible School, cook meals and worship with brothers, sisters, mothers, fathers and grandparents who share our love of Christ. As always in a relationship it is never one sided, each mission team member comes away with a story, and a special memory of what they received.

History of the Costa Rica Mission

This is the story of a calling to be God’s People in the World.

It began with Rev. Chuck Graff leading a mission team from FUMCFW in 2006 to work on a Children’s Worship Center in Puerto Viejo de Sarapiqui, Costa Rica. Little did we know that this was the beginning of a relationship between our Church and the people that we served in Costa Rica. The first four years FUMCFW worked on the Agape Evangelical Methodist Church which opened its doors in August, 2010. This Church serves as a place of worship, educational center, feeding kitchen, clothes closet to Puerto Viejo de Sarapiqui and surrounding areas. This community has approximately 20,000 children under the age of 18. Most are Nicaraguan immigrants which have come to work in the banana and pineapple plantations located along the Nicaragua and Costa Rica border.

In 2011 FUMCFW continued working at this site, but on a new project. A Medical Clinic is now under construction to provide care to the unemployed or undocumented people living in this area. The Costa Rica Government provides medical care for only those who are employed. Also, many smaller Methodist Churches are being constructed or being added on to. A starter Church in Costa Rica most likely is a slab of concrete with a metal roof.

Each Mission Trip we not only provide construction, we provide the gift of sharing the Word of God. It is asked and it is their priority that we present a Bible message to the children each day at a different church. The team members begin preparing activities in the spring, once the Bible story is chosen. Songs of praise and joy, crafts made by the children, and stories of Goliath and Joseph are told through skits and puppet shows. The children sing, laugh and steal our hearts. The 2011 team learned how to make balloon animals and this craft was received with much joy.

The ministry of growing the Methodist Church and serving those in need in Costa Rica is lead by a young couple, Ray and Lidia Zirkel. This young couple is at the core of our commitment to the Methodist Church in Costa Rica. Ray and Lidia both graduated from Asbury Theological Seminary in 1994. After graduation, Ray was invited to teach at the Methodist Seminary that was founded by Bishop Luis Fernado Palomo in San Jose. Ray and Lidia began their life together working in San Jose with a dream to build Methodist Churches throughout the area. During the seventeen years of ministry which includes raising two beautiful daughters, this couple has been a constant beacon of hope to the people and orphans of Costa Rica. They have given their lives to the Methodist Church and the community it serves.

In addition to the various Churches, Children’s Worship Center and Clinic, the Zirkels have started a Methodist Children’s Home just outside of San Jose. Sitting on seven acres will be five homes with ten children in each home. There is room for farming and soccer fields and is close to the Methodist School which they will be able to attend. There is a growing need for the children who live on the streets in San Jose either from being abandoned or living in an abusive home. The first home opened July 2011.

Kenya Mission

Since 2010, mission teams from FUMCFW have traveled to Meru, Kenya to assist Reverends Stella and Daniel Mwiti in their work with 250 orphans and vulnerable children. Your financial support of this ministry provides all of the children school uniforms which allows them to attend primary school. Additionally, for those children who qualify academically, our support provides secondary school tuition. Together, FUMCFW and the Kenyan Mission Team provide these children with educational opportunities that improve their chances for a brighter future.

Become part of this life-changing ministry — and discover how the life most changed could well be your own!

Make a donation today and change a life forever. There are a variety of ways you can help:

In Kenya, everyone walks to school; a pair of school shoes may be worn by many children until they are no longer wearable. Your one-time donation of $15 will buy a new pair of shoes to benefit many children.

Many of these children sleep every night on a bare dirt floor. Your $30 donation will provide a mattress and bedding for a child to sleep on.

To go to school each child is required to have a uniform. Your one-time donation of $50 will provide a school uniform for one student.

Children who are unprepared for secondary education must learn a vocation to ensure their future livelihood. Your one-time donation of $250 will provide for a year of vocational training for one student.

Secondary school, grades 9 – 12 is a rare opportunity for these vulnerable children. Your one-time donation of $500 will ensure a full year of secondary education for one student.

Your generous contributions to our annual Christmas and Easter Offerings provide funding for this ministry.

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