Friday, January 22, 2010

Haiti Relief Program

The Mount Airy Charge of the United Methodist Church

Republican Grove UMC
Providence UMC
St. Andrews UMC

Dear Pastor,

We would like to invite you and your church to an evening program on Haiti to be conducted at St. Andrews United Methodist Church, Sunday, January 31st at 6:00 PM.

We would like to share information gleaned from our mission trips to Haiti. (Our daughter and son-in-law were missionaries in Haiti for a number of years, and our first two grandchildren were adopted from Haiti).

We are asking that you bring items that can be given to Gleaning for the World to be sent to Haiti. (See attached list).

We will also be receiving monetary donations that will be sent directly to Haitian missionaries. Please take a moment to look at their websites to see the ministries they perform and the tremendous need they have to continue their ministry to the poor of Haiti.

Roger and Margaret Clark

John and Beth McHoul

John and Jodie Ackerman

For the people of Haiti,
Rev. Charlie Johnson
Isaiah 58:6-9a

Directions to Saint Andrews UMC: On Rt. 40, 10 miles East from Rt. 29 or 15.5 miles West from Rt. 501 South, south of Brookneal.

GPS: 10164 East Gretna Road, Gretna, VA 24557

Supply List for Haiti Earthquake Victims

 Personal care items
o First-aid kits
o Anti-biotic ointments
o Anti-diarrhea pills
o Toothbrush & toothpaste
o Deodorant
o Soap, shampoo & hand sanitizer
o Feminine care products
o Disposable razors

 Baby products
o Diapers & wipes
o Soap & shampoo
o Baby food, formula & bottles

 Hydration (individual-sized bottles)
o Bottled water
o Vitamin water
o Sports drink
o Water purification tablets
o Powdered milk
o Pedialyte

 Non-perishable canned food
o Can opener

 Cleaning supplies
o Trash bags
o Mops
o Brooms
o Detergents
o Buckets
o Gloves
o Sponges

 Miscellaneous
o Underwear & socks
o Raincoats
o Tents
o Tarps
o Sleeping bags
o Flashlights & batteries
o Crank flashlights
o Crank radios
o Emergency candles
o Clotheslines & clothespins
o Twine & bungee cords
o Emergency blankets
o Generators (any size)
o Stuffed animals for children

Thursday, January 21, 2010

"100,00 Meal for Haiti" - Update - January 20, 2010

I want to thank each of you for a miracle. The last few days have been a whirlwind of preparation, but it was all worth it seeing the thousands of eager volunteers ready to do whatever they could to help our brothers and sisters in Haiti.

As you know, we planned and advertised to build 100,000 meals.

"Stop Hunger Now" loaded the trucks for 140,000 meals to be well prepared.

The warehouse in another part of town had approximately 30,000 more meals.

That accounts for 170,000 meals. They later ran to a store and purchased rice for another 10,000 or so meals.

How did we get to 210,000 meals? The math doesn't add up!

This story reminds me of Jesus feeding the 5000 with a few loaves of bread and a couple of fish. In other words, we experienced a miracle.

We experienced a miracle as people from all over Virginia appeared just to have the opportunity to help. Where did they come from? Everywhere! We experienced a miracle as people with the right gifts seemed to show up at the right time. We experienced a miracle as people prayed together for those suffering in Haiti.

Most of all, we experienced the presence of Almighty God in our midst as we worked together to serve others.

Rev. Larry E. Davies
District Superintendent - Lynchburg District, United Methodist Church

Tuesday, January 19, 2010


Last Tuesday Joanne and I lost one of our best friends. She had brought calm into our lives at the loss of family and after surgeries. She was our stress reducer after work. Millie was our dog-child for 13 years. We inherited her from Courtney and Dave when they left for Haiti as missionaries. We got her when she was about a year old. She would have been 14 years old in February. It has taken me a week to sit down and say this good-bye. There is so much I want to say, but I find I can't put it into coherent words. 

Millie always liked babies. She would sniff them and lick the hands. Once they got old enough to pester her it was a different relationship.

Millie always hated the snow. I would have to go out and shovel a clear space in the grass for her. Usually, if I opened the door and she saw the snow, she would simply turn around and go back up the stairs to the livingroom. She would do the same thing if it was raining. Millie was definitely a fair weather dog.

Millie had away of looking into your eyes and knowing if something was bothering you. She seemed to sense if you were upset or not feeling well and would sit next to you just sharing herself with you.

She would get into bed with us and burrow under the blankets.She would move up to my pillow and lay with her back against the back of my neck. It was like sleeping with a neck warmer. I woke one morning to find her laying on her back between us, her body under the blanket and her front paws above the blanket, with her head on the pillow.  When I opened my eyes and saw her, she immediately gave me a lick on the nose, as if to say "Good Morning Charlie".

Millie was always hungry, she never met a food she didn't like. When I would have chips and salsa, she would sit at my feet waiting for her chips. She even liked salad. When we would fix a salad, we would drop pieces of the ingredients in her food dish. First some lettuce, a cherry tomato, cucumber, broccoli, cheese, bacon bits, and finally croutons. The only thing it lacked was the dressing and she loved it all.  

One time we had the youth group from church over to the house to watch the Superbowl game. We had ordered pizza and were all enjoying the game. One girl let her plate get to close to the floor and in an instant Millie snatched a whole slice of pizza and ran from the room. Before any of us knew it had happened she had devoured the whole thing and was coming back looking for more easy targets.

To say that we will miss her is a vast understatement. Millie was so far past being a pet its hard to explain.She was a member of the family and we have lost a loved one. The house seems so empty without her. 
Then there's that great theological question, "Do dogs go to Heaven"? All I know is that I find it hard to imagine Heaven without them.  

Monday, January 18, 2010

United Methodists Respond to Eathquake in Haiti

Thousands turned out to pack meals to be sent to Haiti. The video from the local news tells the story very well. It was an amazing thing to take part in and to watch.

Our table turned out to be a family affair for a while. Joanne's cousin Charlene Gallaher, Charlene's daughter Mary Beth Love, Mary Beth's daughter Emily, Joanne and I worked loading bags.

The process went something like this. First, you load the bags with rice, flavoring, soy, and a nutrient tablet. You would hold the bag under a funnel and then add the ingredients. When you filled the bag it was placed in a plastic box to be carried to the scales.

Next the bags are picked up and carried to a table where they are weighed and if necessary the weight is adjusted. Then each bag is heat sealed. The bags are then packed in boxes, the boxes are sealed, and they are then loaded into trucks ready to ship.

It was a wondrous thing to watch as so many came together to help those whose need is so great. I saw a little girl who was two years old standing on a chair at one table helping to load bags. I wouldn't even want to guess how old the oldest person there was, but it was well past 80 years old. Our teenagers and college students were out in force. Let's just say is every age group was well represented.

This may be the only time you'll see Joanne and me in hair nets at the same time. The laugh was that I needed one on my face more than I needed it on my head.

Larry Davies, the District Superintendent of the Lynchburg District of the United Methodist Church, was rejoicing over the day's success. The original challenge or goal was 100,000 meals to be packaged. What we finished with was 210,000 meals prepared, boxed, and loaded. The goal was exceeded, the vision expanded. We finally had to stop because we had used up all the rice that was in the warehouse. 

It was an incredible thing to see. People have a desire to help. They have seen the devastation from the earthquake in Haiti, empathized with the pain and suffering. God gives the vision and the people respond with their heads, hearts, and hands.  

United Methodist Haiti Disaster Relief

Haiti Response from the Lynchburg District of the United Methodist Church

100,000 Meals for Haiti -- Challenge
The 92 United Methodist Churches of the Lynchburg District are going to team up with "Stop Hunger Now" to package 100,000 meals for the people of Haiti.

When?  Monday, January 18 from 3 PM to 9 PM

Where?  Jefferson Forest High School in Forest, Virginia
Cost?  .25 cents per meal or $25,000. Stop by any of our 92 Local United Methodist Churches or mail a check to Lynchburg District Office at 621 Court St., Lynchburg, VA 24504. All donations will be used exclusively for Haiti meals.
Who?  Everyone from age 2 to 92 can help package meals. Several assembly lines will be running continuously. You can stay one hour or six.
"Stop Hunger Now" provides nutritious meals filled with rice, dried vegetable flavoring and other nutrients that are used for school lunch programs and needy families all over the world.
This Monday we will package 100,000 meals to help those effected by the earthquake Haiti. They will be shipped within days to Haiti where they are needed.
Join the 100,000 Meal for Haiti Challenge. Let's provide a helping hand where it is needed most.
Tell your friends and neighbors and join the challenge today.

2010 Winter Open House at the Parsonage

 We had our annual Parsonage Open House on Sunday, January the 10th. The parsonage seems rather large until you get the three churches together in it. It was wall to wall and standing room only in the kitchen and dining room. I'm not complaining, that's just the way I hoped it would be.

It's always great to see all three churches of the Mount Airy Charge get together for fellowship, just hanging out together and having a good time. Most everyone knows each other and its a good time to catch up.
 Of course, having a table full of good food just adds to the good time. Joanne's Cousin, Charlene, catered the food for Joanne as a Christmas present. That doesn't mean that Joanne didn't have to still cook a lot and get the table set up, but it was a tremendous help.


 We had our youngest member with us, Cortney Dawson, from Republican Grove UMC. Cortney had actually stayed awake through the morning sermon (I usually put her to sleep) and was in a good mood for the open house. I do understand that she slept well that night. So did Joanne and I.

 People just seem to be drawn to the kitchen. It may be the proximity to the coffee pot. After all it was in the 20 degree range outside on that Sunday. But, it doesn't take long for a house full of people to warm up enough for folks to shed their coats.

 We were really happy that my parents were able to come down for the open house. It was the first time they had been to the parsonage. They've been to visit the churches enough that folks already know them, so it wasn't like they were strangers at all. Of course, someone had to tell my father that we looked like brothers and he just ate it up.

 I like for the members of the Mount Airy Charge to get together at the parsonage. It is truly their house and it is good for them to see that it is being taken care of. It's also good because it gives them a true sense of ownership and helps them to see improvements that need to be made. So many good things have been done to the parsonage since Joanne and I first came to the Charge. The three congregations have a right to be proud of what they've done. The parsonage has been a blessing to us, I hope it continues to be a blessing to the congregations. 

Thanks to all who came to the open house and made it an enjoyable success.

Christmas Candlelight Service: Worth the Wait

Due to the heavy December snow we had canceled our Christmas Candlelight Service for December 22nd. Joanne and I were out of town for the Sunday after Christmas. So, we finally had the Mount Airy Charge Christmas Candlelight Service at Saint Andrews UMC on the evening of January the 3rd.

 We had actually considered not having it at all, since we were into the new year. I am so glad that we decided to go ahead as planned.

We had the reading parts that took us through the nativity story.
 Between the readings we had congregational hymns and carols; also songs by individuals.

 We closed out the service by receiving Holy Communion.

 We ended the evening with the lighting of candles, with the light spreading across the front of the sanctuary. It represented the light of Christ coming into and spreading across the world. Someone said that after the candlelight service they felt like they had truly had Christmas.