#fools4Christ17 Week 3

Week 3 of youth mission camp 2017 brought us teams from as far as Chillicothe, MO, and as close as Fayette, AL! It also brought us an unwelcome visitor – Tropical Storm Cindy. Thankfully, our sites did not experience the worst of the storms but all the rain did slow us down on the home repair sites. But, God was with us through it all and we were amazed to see how He was at work as we extended Christ’s love – even in the storm!

First UMC Fayette, AL and friends hosted by PraiseNation Church

In Sumter County, we were joined by our friends from Vestavia Hills UMC and First UMC Fayette, AL. Both teams are ARM veterans – serving for 3 or 4 years in a row!

On Wednesday night, our teams were hosted for dinner by PraiseNation church of Morningstar, AL – a “suburb” of York 🙂 Pastor Dwayne Watson and his church family welcomed us and our home repair families with open arms for a delicious meal. We’re so thankful for the many churches in Sumter County that host us throughout the summer! Our devotion for the evening was based on the story of Mary and Martha. Have you ever noticed how foolish Mary is? A woman, breaking through the crowd of men to sit at Jesus’ feet and learn from him when she “should” have been serving the guests… she was willing to sacrifice it all to know Jesus and be his disciple – even if it meant looking like a fool!

Chillicothe UMC of Chillicothe, MO

In Tuskegee, we were so excited to welcome new friends from Chillicothe UMC to help us end substandard housing in Macon County! This team served hard through the rain and storms with Ms. Turk in Notasulga. They made great progress repairing damaged sub-floors throughout the home. At day camp, this team showed their perseverance and flexibility as we moved locations unexpectedly when the schools closed on Tuesday afternoon due to Tropical Storm Cindy. This team took it all in stride and kept on loving Ms. Turk and our Sonshine day campers just the same. They were also able to visit the Tuskegee Airmen National Museum. We’re so glad they got to learn more about the rich history of the Tuskegee community as they served!

 

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Fall Internship Application Deadline Extended!

Applications are now available for our two internship positions starting in September! We’re so excited to welcome to new members to our ministry team – a Volunteer Coordinator and Recruitment & Communications Coordinator. It could be you or someone you know! Help us spread the word!

The Volunteer Coordinator works on the front lines of our movement to end substandard housing by organizing and equipping teams to serve all year round! The Recruitment and Communications Coordinator is ARM’s storyteller helping us to grow and engage more and more friends and neighbors!

These are great positions for recently graduated college students and may be a good fit for recent high school graduates taking a gap year before college! Both positions are paid (modestly) with housing provided by ARM.

Join us as we work to end substandard housing in rural Alabama and gain great non-profit ministry experience! Read more about each position below, download a job description, and get started on your application.

Download an application

Volunteer Coordinator

At ARM, we believe that service is a lifestyle for disciples of Jesus. We create opportunities for churches and ministries to extend their discipleship through serving with low-income families and children in rural AL to end substandard housing in our rural communities. Christ-centered friendships are built through these opportunities which reflect the love, compassion, and reconciliation of God’s kingdom. The Volunteer Coordinator strives to see these relationships develop as homes are made warmer, safer, drier, and more beautiful or as children learn God’s story, experience God’s love, and grow into the leaders God has called them to be. The Volunteer Coordinator works on the front lines of ARM’s growing movement of disciples seeking to end substandard housing in rural AL by extending the love of Christ.

Click here to download a full job description for the Volunteer Coordinator

Download an application

Recruitment and Communications Coordinator

Everyone loves a good story and, as followers of Jesus, we have the best story to tell. It is a story we are empowered by God’s grace to tell with our very lives. At ARM, we see the story of God’s kingdom coming to life all around us as the narrative of substandard housing in rural AL is turned upside down by tales of hope restored and dreams rebuilt. The Recruitment and Communications coordinator is ARM’s storyteller seeking to grow our movement to end substandard housing in rural AL. Whether the medium is an e-newsletter to donors and volunteers or one-on-one conversations with college students at a career fair, the Communication and Recruitment Coordinator strives to invite more and more people into the story God is telling through this ministry.

Click here to download a full job description for the Recruitment and Communications Coordinator

Download an application

 

 

 

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#foolsforChrist17 Week 2

A crew from Crossroads Bible Church with Ms. Reid!

Week 2 of youth mission camp brought us 3 teams of new friends serving with ARM for the first time!

Our Tuskegee team, Crossroads Bible Church, came all the way from Norris City, IL. They had 3 highly efficient construction crews who served with 4 families in Lee/Macon counties. Crossroads also served with the kids for our first full week of Sonshine Day Camp!

One construction crew served with our friend Ms. Reid. While they worked to re-build a badly damaged portion of her roof, Ms. Reid was cooking some delicious meals to share with the crew for lunch. And, she even made enough to provide dinner for the whole team! We’re so thankful for Ms. Reid, Crossroads Bible Church, and the new friendships that were made throughout the week on the work sites and with the kids at day camp.

Check out the Week 2 Tuskegee highlight video below!

Week 2 teams in York respond to the call to be #fools4Christ

Our York teams came from Mauldin UMC of Mauldin, SC, and Rocky River Presbyterian Church of Concord, NC. Both teams had crews serving through home repair and day camp ministry!

Each night of the week our summer ministry interns lead our mission teams in evening worship. This summer we’re focusing on what it means to be a fool for Christ, which is based on Paul’s challenge to the Corinthian church in 1 Corinthians 4:8-13. On Monday nights, our teams are challenged to reflect on what God is calling them to give up or sacrifice to be a fool. Mindful of Jesus’ sacrifice as the ultimate fool, students write their response on a card and nail it to the cross to symbolize their commitment to be a #fool4Christ.

Check out the week 2 highlight video featuring our York teams below!

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#fools4christ17 Week 1

Youth mission camp is off to a great start in Tuskegee and York! Teams from Woodland UMC in Pike Road, AL, First UMC of Dadeville, AL, Forest Park UMC of Panama City, FL, and Harpersville UMC of Harpersville, AL served with 5 families and nearly 60 Sonshine day campers in Macon and Sumter Counties.

New friendships were made as Christ’s love was extended to make homes warmer, safer, drier, and more beautiful! And, our day campers began learning about how they are children of God and persons of worth through the story of Samuel #cogpow! In the evening, our ministry interns explored what it means to be a fool for Christ sacrificing our time, comfort, popularity, and freedom for God’s kingdom.

Check out our youth mission camp 2017 week 1 highlight videos below!

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Thievery or Providence?

This past Friday, after our Tuskegee summer ministry team was wrapping up the afternoon, a woman arrived at the church. She explained her involvement in a car accident. The ministry interns were trying to decide how to help and momentarily left her unattended in the fellowship hall. Our ARM merchandise table is stacked with ARM shirts, hats, cups and more. Earlier that day, the staff had a small fundraiser and a few mason jars that had some bills and change in them were in the room.

When the staff came back into the fellowship hall to help, she had disappeared. As they looked across our back lot into the Piggly Wiggly parking lot, they noticed her. She was now outfitted with an ARM sweatshirt (in nearly 90-degree weather) and baseball cap. There was also $40 in cash missing from one of the mason jars.

What would you feel in that moment? Anger? Frustration? Confusion? How could anyone boldly come into a church and steal from it? That money goes to help families with home repair, something she may not have known. Is there no decency anymore that someone can blatantly steal from the church and in broad day light? What nerve!

It was time to call the police. They described to the police what had happened and the police quickly arrived on the scene and picked up the woman. End of story, right? However, the police added some unknown details shedding some new light. The woman was mentally ill. During transport to a mental institution in Birmingham she had fallen out of the car. I guess that is how she defined a car accident. (That raises some questions on how well she was being supervised). The police had been searching for her with no luck until the students called.

As I pondered this situation, I felt myself overwhelmed with compassion for this woman, this daughter of Jesus. Before I knew the fuller story, I was wrestling with whether we needed to press charges or if we could design some type of community service. Hearing of her condition, that was quickly resolved. But then I thought further. If she had not stolen from our staff nothing would have triggered our students to call the police. They would have worked to meet her need and then sent her on her way. This meant she would have wandered aimlessly through the town. Night would fall and she would be a lone, vulnerable, and mentally ill woman navigating the streets of Tuskegee. No phone, no family, no friends.

Not fully cognizant of her actions, stealing may have saved her life. Funny how God can work in the hardest and most difficult of situations. God can use anything for His good and in the strangest of ways, He provides. This summer our day camp kids have a theme called “COGPOW” meaning Child of God, Person of Worth. After this woman’s actions, this puts COGPOW in a whole new light for me.

May we all have compassion and display love even when someone is doing something wrong. God may be providing care in a crazy, foolish, and upside- down way. I love our God! Jehovah-Jira, God our Provider!

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