Friday evening of annual conference we celebrated the many ways that Yellowstone Conference supports mission and ministry around the world.
The evening began with a report from Mark Calhoun, Kristen Cates and Jeremy Scott who visited East Angola in February 2012. They shared stories of hope that Yellowstone Conference is making possible through our partnership with East Angola pastors. We heard about Rev. Ananais Gomes who started Cangandala UMC – under a tree! But that tree was cut down, so they moved to another tree. But then the congregation decided they wanted a building, and so the people of the church made the bricks, and built a church. But there was no roof. So Rev. Gomes used his $40 a month from Yellowstone Conference to buy the materials for a roof. And we heard about the work that pastors are doing week after week, helping in reconciliation and healing after 27 yrs. of civil war. We learned that United Methodists are doing what no one else is doing – and we in Yellowstone Conference are helping make that happen through our support of 60 pastors.
We heard from Debbie Irby a moving report about the Volunteer in Mission trips to Haiti in fall of 2011. She shared how important the personal contacts with the people of Haiti are, as well as the important work being done to help rebuild Haiti.
Jim Barth shared about the work going on at the Blackfeet Parish. He shared that the conference has donated enough money to pay for the van they purchased in Jan. 2012 to replace the one that died. He showed a video showing stories of youth work, mission teams and clothing bank in the parish.
Bishop Elaine taught us a ‘mosquito’ song and lifted up the Imagine No Malaria campaign. We were introduced to Brinna Kolitz, US-2 missionary working at Family Support Network.
AND throughout all these stories silent and live auctions were going on raising money for Angola pastors. $6,100 and counting has been raised. Final tally will be reported when obtained.
It was a wild and wonderful evening!