Centreville UMC has covenant partnerships with missionaries and communities around the world. These partnerships are much more than simply a financial commitment. They are dynamic relationships where the church and missionary or community pray for one another and communicate regularly. You’re invited to join in the partnership with these missional partnerships.
As a result of prolonged conflict in South Sudan, many communities are in need of clean water, reliable food sources, infrastructure, education, and trauma counseling and support. While these are problems on a very large scale, we can make a difference one community at a time. The mission of Abukloi is to build an educational and vocational training facility in Rumbek, South Sudan that will provide essential skills and training for regional Southern Sudanese. This facility will also serve as a community center for Rumbek, providing a central place to come together and work at rebuilding their country and their lives.
CUMC has worked to raise funds for building the newly established school by hosting, among other things, a live animal show. The Thank God for Kids Ministry brought lions, tigers, camels and other exotic animals to the church for a biblically based performance by Pastor and former Barnum Bailey Ringmaster, Dr. Gary Lavender.
Helping Haitian Angels is a Christian organization caring for orphaned and abandoned children in Northern Haiti by raising them to become healthy, happy, Christian members of their communities who will have the tools to positively impact future generations.
…whoever is kind to the needy honors God - Proverbs 14:31
CUMC’s first HHA Mission Team served in Cap Haitian, Haiti at the Kay Anj (Angel House) orphanage in October 2013. They are currently working on a project to create a library at the orphanage. The hope is to provide book shelves, bean bag chairs, carpet, a computer with software, and lots of books.
Each week, an “Angel of the Week” is selected for special prayers. CUMC makes this child’s name and description available through the Facebook page and prayer list.
How you can be involved:
CUMC’s Haitian Angel team is raising funds to build and support a library at the new facility. Support our Singing Rooster Fair Trade coffee sales or look for an opportunity to give a donation and receive your very own “Angel”. You are always welcome to buy a children’s book in Creole, French or English and donate it to the library.
Lithuania is about the size of West Virginia. It is one of the three Baltic nations formerly under the Soviet Union. Although once one of the largest states in Europe (1400s), its history is one of shifting borders, and living under adverse external politics and dominance by a long series of conquering powers. Lithuania struggles with considerable alcoholism and divorce, high unemployment and one of the highest suicide rates in the world as leftovers from the Soviet times. Along with the other two Baltic states, they fear new intrusions and occupation these days from Russia like have happened recently in Ukraine and Georgia.
Centerville UMC first started sending mission teams to Siauliai in 2006 at the request of the District Superintendent of Lithuania who asked that a team come and help with refurbishing of a Methodist building constructed prior to WWII. The teams are part of the Volunteers in Mission program of the United Methodist Church. Since 2006, there have been several different construction projects including help with building a new sanctuary.
Over the years the relationship has shifted from construction to social programs supporting the congregation and children in the community. Our mission teams have provided programs and support for women and children. The women’s programs have focused on developing spirituality and raising self-esteem. The children’s programs have been faith-based presentations for pre-school and elementary aged children at a residential school for speech-impaired children. More recently, our teams have joined with the congregation in their outreach program to teens at the nearby Children’s Home for social orphans. Our mission team traveled to Lithuania in September 2015. The focus of the mission team includes workshops for the women and programs for the children in the orphanages. There is also continued support for the church’s own outreach program for youth from the Children’s Home.
The next mission trip to Lithuania will be in November 2016 to support a Women’s Retreat for women from all of the Methodist churches in Lithuania.
Centreville UMC is in covenant partnerships with three missionaries around the world. Learn more about who they are, where they serve, and how you can support them.
In the fall of 2007, I began attending Auburn University and got connected with Auburn Christian Fellowship (ACF). That same fall a guest speaker, Phil Tatum, from CMF International came to tell the students at ACF about opportunities to do international campus ministry. A seed was planted in my heart when I heard the words, “We’re about to launch a ministry in Germany!” I thought going over there at some point might be fun. Little did I know that over the next five years God would be working to turn “that might be fun” into a love for Tübingen and the students there.
What happened during those five years? I stayed involved at ACF, served on leadership teams there until I graduated, continued to hear stories about what was happening at Unterwegs, and, this past year, I was an intern at ACF. Throughout the time I spent at ACF, any time I had a conversation about missions or someone asked me, “So, what’s next,” my mind immediately jumped to Germany. So, I visited Unterwegs in May 2012 and fell in love with the students, the town, and the team. My time there was nothing short of perfect. This is where God is leading me and I am joyfully following Him there.
In April 2013, I arrived in Germany to serve with the campus ministry team known as Unterwegs in Tübingen. I will build friendships with university students, drawing them to a relationship with Christ and helping them to be part of a loving community.
Elizabeth (Lisa) Lamb Nichols
Elizabeth (Lisa) Lamb Nichols is a deaconess serving as a Church and Community Worker. She is executive director of Henry Fork Service Center, a facility in Rocky Mount, Virginia, that provides Christian education, educational enrichment, recreation, and experiences in the arts to more than 100 students throughout the year.
The mission of the center is to make God’s love visible in our community. Lisa says, “I have seen the staff and students work together to share God’s love through words and actions. As the students learn the history of God’s people, they are called to respond to God’s love and invite others to join the journey.”
“To me, Henry Fork Center is a glimpse of the Kingdom of God,” explains Lisa. “Our students represent different ages, racial backgrounds, and socioeconomic statuses. We come together every weekday to learn about and from one another, and to learn about the God who loves us and calls us into community through Jesus Christ.”
Henry Fork works with volunteers from Ferrum College and mission teams from across the southeast. The teams share vacation Bible school with elementary and middle school students and work on building repairs and lawn care. Work teams are welcome for a day, a weekend, or a week.
Lisa previously served as the director of programs for the St. Andrews Center and executive director of the St. Elmo/Alton Park Partners, both in Chattanooga, Tennessee. In those positions she directed afterschool programs for Cub Scouts, ESOL high school students, and elementary students at the St. Andrews Center and South Chattanooga Recreation Center.
Lisa enjoys reading, cross-stitching, hiking, and biking. She uses art and outdoor activities to teach children and youth about God’s creation and about God’s love and care for all creation.
A native of Bristol, Tennessee, she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in elementary education in 1980 from Emory and Henry College in Emory, Virginia.
Lisa and husband Gary Nichols have two daughters, Sara and Jessica, who attend Franklin County High School. Both girls are in the school marching and concert bands, and each participates in the afterschool and summer programs at Henry Fork Center.