By Laura Lea Williams, Mississippi Conference Staff
Photo right: Just a few of the youths enjoying the programs offered by the Delisle Mt. Zion United Methodist Men.
All children deserve a safe place to learn about the love of Jesus and the wonders of God. Unfortunately, there are some children who aren't given that. The United Methodist Men of Delisle Mount Zion United Methodist Church saw that this was the case within their community and knew that something needed to change.
The United Methodist Men work with Court Appointed Special Advocates, CASA, to best identify and serve those within their community who are the most at risk. The United Methodist Men provide transportation, programs on Saturday and Sunday, and meals to children. These services are open to children from their Pass Christian community whether they attend Delisle Mount Zion UMC or not. The main goal of this project is to give the youth in their community a safe environment with strong, male Christian influences.
The United Methodist Men teamed with Oasis and The Boys and Girls Club to operate the Freedom School. Every third Saturday the youth attended the freedom school which focused on spiritual growth and mathematics; the United Methodist Men provided nutritious meals for the attendees.
However, the Freedom School wasn't their only project. The United Methodist Men also took their youth on trips to show them what their academic future could be. Their favorite trip was to the Mississippi School for Mathematics and Science. The students were encouraged to ask questions about the education provided there and what was needed to be successful in an academic field in Mississippi. The parents who accompanied the youth on their trip were impressed with the youths' drive and interest in higher education. This trip inspired one of their youth, McKenzie Jones, to apply to the Mississippi School for Mathematics and Science. She was one of six youth from the three coastal counties accepted.
The Mississippi Conference Connectional Ministries Mission Grants are a matching grant available to United Methodist churches and United Methodist sponsored or related agencies in Mississippi. Grants range from $500 to $2,500 per project, with one award of up to $10,000. They are awarded to form spiritual leaders, new places for new people, connections through existing congregations and engagement in ministry with the poor; therefore, living out the four Core Values of The POWER of We.
The POWER of We funded in part by your apportioned mission shares.