Guest Blogger: Joan Doney
In late October 2016, four women from GUMchurch boarded a big bus with 29 other women from mid and West Michigan for a Go and See Mission Trip. We visited several places our United Methodist Women’s Mission Funds help support.
Red Bird Mission was one of the missions we visited. We are so proud of this mission in Beverly, KY. It offers many social services to a severely depressed mountain community including:
- home repairs (now getting into building small, new homes because existing homes need so much work),
- medical/dental services,
- food pantry,
- second hand clothing store,
- baby needs and parent training,
- senior programs,
- holiday gift boxes,
- mountain craft store,
- new early childhood development and
- a K – 12 Red Bird Christian School.
Our church has been sponsoring the Smallwoods, a couple who both teach at Red Bird. Our tour included the music room where Mr. Smallwood is both choral and band director, Mrs. Smallwood’s elementary classroom, library, newly equipped science room, dining hall and chapel. We learned the school now admits international students of which there are five. The Red Bird educational focus is to train students to go to college so they can achieve a better standard of living.
We loved our tour at Red Bird. The staff were so gracious and the students so open, friendly and eager to tell us what they were learning. Five All-State choir members sang for us and we sang for them, beautifully too. 2,500 volunteers travel to Red Bird each year; GUMchurch has sent several mission groups to Red Bird. We saw faith, love and hope in action at Red Bird. We saw the benefits of our mission support and renewed our commitment to continuing our support.