Two ministries each receive $10,000 gift, thanks to foundation at Union City First United Methodist

7/1/2019



$20,000 has been presented as gifts to ministries in other countries from Union City First United Methodist Church (UMC) in Union City, Tennessee.
 
The Board of Directors of the church’s Foundation voted in late April to give $10,000 each to the “Mama Lynn Center” in the Democratic Republic of Congo and “Give Ye Them To Eat Agricultural and Livestock Development and Learning Center” in Mexico.
 
Mama Lynn Center, Democratic Republic of Congo
 
This $10,000 gift is designated for program costs to cover faculty honorariums and “income-generating kits” for graduates.
 
Rev. Dr. Doug Norfleet, pastor of the church said, “Both of the gifts are the result of an initial gift to the church from the Graham family, who were long-time, faithful members of First Church and passionate supporters of global missions. Per the family's wishes (from the interest generated by the original estate) monetary gifts are to be dispersed annually in support of United Methodist missional work around the world."
 
“This being the case, The Mama Lynn Center was chosen as the recipient of this generous gift,” said Norfleet.
  
Norfleet provided details about the gift: “Named after Lynn McAlily, wife of Nashville Area United Methodist Bishop William T. McAlily, the Mama Lynn Center provides aid to women and girls who are ostracized from soceity due to having been brutally raped and/or tortured by warring armies or militia. Sexual violence against women and young girls has increasingly been used as a weapon of war in the Democratic Republic of the Congo since the 1990s.The mechanisms for prosecution are extremely lacking in the country, with most rapists going unpunished. Survivors often do not turn to the police for fear of additional harm coming to them and their families, and they rarely testify in court. It’s been estimated that 48 women are raped every hour, and more than 1,100 per day. The age of victims ranges from very small children to elderly adults. Often turned away from their families and friends, these women and young girls lose employment, and are abandoned to live on the streets or to wander from village to village in search of help and hope. The Mama Lynn Center provides this hope to women and young girls who have borne the ravages of war. Upon being notified of this gift, Bishop Unda Yemba Gabriel of the East Congo Episcopal Area communicated the following to our Foundation: “That is indeed very good news. I am struck by your commitment and dedication to the cause of Mama Lynn Center. There is nothing to say but ‘thank you very much to Pastor Doug Norfleet and the people of his congregation.The gift will enable women to stand on their own feet and help their families and communities. Thank you also for providing salaries for our missionary/teachers for six months. This solves a real problem.I hope you will continue to advocate for this Center.'”
 
CLICK HERE to learn more about the Mama Lynn Center.
 
Give Ye Them To Eat Agricultural and Livestock Development and Learning Center, Mexico
 
A second $10,000 gift has also been designated for this vital ministry located in Tlancualpican, Mexico. Founded in 1977 as an outreach project of the Methodist Church of Mexico, its mission is to combat hunger and poverty in the rural sector.
 
Norfleet provided details about the center: “The purpose of the ‘Give Ye Them to Eat’ program is to strengthen the skills of overlooked people and communities to meet their basic needs, and to determine and sustain a just and integrated development process. Participatory methods and development tools are used to create conditions in which change can take place from within communities. ‘Give Ye Them To Eat’ uses people-centered approaches to development. Funding is needed to host courses and classes at the Center’s "Tree of Life" Training Center. Workshops are also offered on location in the village communities.”
 
CLICK HERE to learn more about ‘Give Ye Them to Eat.’
 
Future Plans
 
Union City First UMC plans to nurture its relationships with these two ministries. Norfleet said the church wants to “welcome and hear from the missionaries when they are in the states on furlough and perhaps broaden the scope of mission team opportunities in the future.”
 
Norfleet expressed thanks for the initial gift from the Graham estate and the work of the church’s foundation. “Christ not only died for the world; he was also raised for the world. Therefore, our neighbors are all who inhabit the globe. These significant gifts … bring us a step closer to our neighbors we have not yet met.”