A Global Christmas
Global Partner Updates
Learn more about what is happening with our Global partners in Haiti, Romania, Russia and Mexico. See how your support is making a difference in the lives of our neighbors everyday. Please continue to pray for all of our partners and consider giving a gift to help support them in the upcoming new year.
Hyde Park Community United Methodist Church has built and continues to nurture relationships with five Global Partners around the world.
Through the United Methodist connection, we are able to connect with our siblings around the world. Step out in faith and join in the Kingdom work through continued partnership, connection, and collaboration. While we invest financially in our partners, we are also committed to serve God and our neighbors together through partnership visits to work alongside each other to collaborate in Kingdom work.
From Our Partners in Samara, Russia
Tijuana Christian Mission (TCM) is committed to serving God through serving the most vulnerable children of Mexico – children who come from broken homes or from no home at all. TCM is able to provide a loving family environment for children who have seen and experienced abuse, neglect and extreme poverty. Our family currently consists of about 70 children and 20 “parents,” otherwise known as staff members, who work together to meet not only the physical needs of the children, but their emotional and spiritual needs as well.
Women With Purpose is a faith based women’s shelter located in Tijuana, Mexico. The non-profit organization exists to provide shelter, restore hope, and facilitate healing for women in Mexico who have experienced extreme abuse.
Through our partnership and financial, Women with Purpose went from renting places to serve as the shelter to building a permanent shelter in Tijuana. One of the ways our church provides financial support is to help fund two psychologists to meet with the children and teens at TCM. So many of the children have experienced unexplainable trauma before coming to our home. The psychologists are a huge piece of their process of healing.
Our last partnership visit was in 2019. The next partnership visit is planned for TCM/Women with Purpose leadership to visit in February 2023 and for us to visit in summer 2023.
Our partnership in Haiti is with the Faith Academy. Faith Academy is a school in Croix de Bouquets, Haiti that owes its existence to the dedicated efforts of an inspiring Haitian Christian, Fanfan Janvier. With support from friends and churches in the USA, Fanfan has been able to build a school on the outskirts of Port au Prince, the Haitian capital, that now educates and feeds over 500 children a day.
Faith Academy works to give children a better hope for tomorrow. Education is a passport to the future. Tomorrow belongs to the people who prepare for it today. Education in Haiti is not free. Without ongoing support these children would be deprived not only of an education but also quite probably the only substantial meal that they get each day.
Our church’s support helps Faith Academy nurture the children’s mind, body, and spirit. Through our church’s support, Faith Academy was able to build another wing to their existing building allowing the enrollment to grow from 300 to 500 students. The church also provides ongoing teacher salary support for 7-9th grade students. In spring of 2022, the students had a 100% pass rate for their government exams.
Our last visit to Haiti was in May 2018. The mission team were able to build benches and desks for the children and a team of nurses and doctors held a medical clinic. Due to the unrest of the country, the school is not currently in session and there is not currently another partnership visit planned. Please pray for peace in Haiti and for the children to be able to return to school soon.
After an exploratory partnership visit in 2017, the church entered into an In Mission Together partnership with the Way of Faith United Methodist Church in Cluj-Napoca, Romania. Our siblings in Romania are ministering within a predominantly Orthodox city and country.
In 2022, thanks to a large financial investment, we were able to help Way of Faith UMC transform a hotel into a community center called Meeting Point. The goal of Meeting Point is to holistically care for people and to build and nurture relationships. The renovations to the hotel allows Meeting Point to be a place of peace and support to so many through a variety of ways:
- Casa Filip has provided a place to stay for over 200 cancer patients as they go in and out of the city for treatment.
- Houses the headquarters for Alfa Grup, a nonprofit committed to coming alongside orphans providing emotional, spiritual, and familial support.
- The Raza Project mentors and houses young adults who aged out of the orphan system preparing them to thrive as adults.
- Creating office space for counselors and psychologists to meet with clients.
When the war broke out in Ukraine, the church and Meeting Point were able to open their doors to be a harbor for over 160 Ukrianians fleeing their country seeking peace and safety. The church and Meeting Point has not only provided a place to escape, they also offer refugees psychological, spiritual, and next steps support. The church comes alongside each family to either help them to their next destination or find more stable housing in Cluj allowing for a relationship to be built. Way of Faith UMC now considers itself an international worshiping congregation engaging Ukrainian refugees each week by speaking in Romanian and English.
Our last partnership visit was in March 2019. Our visit in 2022 was cancelled due to the unrest in Ukraine. We are hopeful to plan another partnership visit in 2023 or 2024.
In 2009, Sarah Putman went on her first mission trip to Romania and fell in love with the people and the country. After a continued relationship with short term mission work in various regions of the country, Sarah faithfully followed God’s calling to go be a missionary in Romania in 2019 after serving on staff at Hyde Park Community UMC since 2013. Sarah is also the person who first connected our church to Way of Faith UMC.
Sarah works with an organization called Alfa Grup, ministering to the orphan population in Cluj and its surrounding villages. With her Master’s in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, Sarah brings mental health skills and a passion for mental, emotional, and identity health to ministry. Although much of the day in and day out dreams and goals of counseling rely heavily on a depth of Romanian language mastering, Sarah spends her time building relationships and practicing her language skills with the youth and adults she is able to work with.
Sarah is also working alongside the Way of Faith United Methodist Church, a church in its early phases, helping to provide history of the UMC globally, form vision and mission goals for the church, and helping to be a liaison for the partnership between the church and Alfa Grup.
Funding from the church this last year was predominantly used to help purchase a reliable car and pay for gas so that Sarah could serve as a sort of modern day missionary circuit rider and serve as a liaison person for all three of the United Methodist church locations in Romania.
Sarah’s last visit to our church was in November 2022. We look forward to working alongside her in Romania on our next partnership visit in 2023 or 2024.
Our partnership in Russia is with Samara United Methodist Church. The United Methodist Church in Samara is the largest Methodist congregation in the country. Our global partners at Samara UMC are in many ways a first century church as Methodism is only in its third decade in the country. May we be inspired by their bravery in boldly sharing their faith stories with their neighbors about how being a follower of Jesus has changed their lives.
Our friends at the Samara United Methodist Church continue to faithfully meet their neighbors where they are in order to sow seeds of hope. Our partners works tirelessly to meet the specific needs of women, children, teenagers, young adults, and those experiencing homelessness.
Our support has been relational as we have sent mission teams to Russia and they have come to visit us as well. We have also provide financial support which allowed our sister church in Samara was able to purchase a church building and supports their outreach ministries to the most vulnerable in Samara.
Leaders from Samara UMC last visited us in the summer of 2019. Due to the war in Ukraine, there is not currently another partnership visit planned. We continue to communicate with our partners to provide encouragement and hope during this time and we join together for a yearly worship service with the next one planned for January 1st. Please pray for peace and for our partners as they navigate the effects of the war.
Rev. Kate Smith
Pastor of Mission & Outreach
If you are interested in participating in our global outreach efforts, please contact Rev. Kate Smith, our pastor of mission and outreach.