By Tamica Smith Jeuitt, Sr. Communications Specialist
Recipients of the Mississippi Conference's 2013 Mission Grants recently submitted witness reports to the conference detailing how they used the funds. Their deadline to do so was Monday, August 4, 2014. The conference awarded 63 grants in 2013 (totaling $118,255). The funds were available thanks to the generosity of Mississippi United Methodists who are funding conference mission and ministry initiatives. The youth ministry of Shuqualak-Asbury UMC was fortunate to receive a gift from the conference for roughly $2,200 to create a small community garden. Darlene Avant led their charge. According to her, their community has many elderly members who don't drive. Their nearest grocery store is approximately 15 miles away. The distance is about the same to their nearest eatery, a convenience store that sells mostly fried foods. Avant and the youth dreamed of offering the community a healthier option. With the help of fellow United Methodists their dream is a reality. The youth are growing squash, tomatoes, peas, peppers, butter beans, corn, greens and more vegetables in a garden located on Asbury UMC property.
"We have been blessed to bless others," said Avant. "People can come by and get what they need and it does not cost them anything." Avant adds, "This is transforming lives. One of the ladies who came to us has started visiting our church. She is not a member yet, but we are praying she will join us."
The Shuqualak-Asbury story represents the dozens of Mission Grant recipients living out the core values of the Mississippi Conference (love, generosity, justice and apprenticeship). Click here to view pictures from the start to finish of the Asbury Youth Ministry Garden.
Those interested in applying for the 2014 Mission Grant should follow the Circuit Rider and other conference messaging for the announcement. See the Stay Connected section of this newsletter for other ways to stay informed.
Photo right: Front row: Donovan Avant and Lakezia Hunt Back row: Kyra Avant, Eric Hunt, Javoris Hunt and Tobarius Burrage
The POWER of We funded in part by your apportioned mission shares.