United Methodist missionaries sent by the General Board of Global Ministries currently serve in more than 60 countries. Support from the World Service Fund, accounts for only 38 percent of the money needed to keep a missionary in service to God and the world. The remaining funds come through The Advance, or second-mile giving.
Katherine Parker (#15187Z) has had a huge impact on the future of Cambodia. Parker, who has moved to Nepal in 2013, has been a missionary since graduating from college in 2000. Her home church is Mount Tamalpais United Methodist Church in Mill Valley, Calif.
Part of Parker's ministry in Cambodia, she said, was working herself out of a job. Collaborating with local communities and national leadership, Parker worked to ensure food stability and access to clean drinking water. As local leaders stepped forward in the various projects, parker stepped back, encouraging growth and opening doors for new people to take over.
"Sometimes, we need to step back in order to push others to step forward," she said. "I was excited to be able to facilitate this kind of change while I was in Cambodia."
Parker's new ministry in Nepal is part of the health team of the United Mission to Nepal. Her work will focus on clean water, sanitation and hygiene. She stays in touch with her supporters through a blog, bokashi.blogspot.com, where she writes about her experiences.
A ministry of radical hospitality is found on campus at the University of Oklahoma. There, the Rev. Fuxia Wang (#3021191), a native of China and an elder in the Oklahoma Annual Conference, leads the Chinese ministry at OU Wesley. Wang is the only ordained female UM clergywoman from mainland China in the United States.
Since 2006, Wang's mission has been to reach out to Chinese students in Norman, helping them with everything from how to set up a bank account to weekly Bible study, from English classes to worship. More than 40 students have made professions of faith in those years.
Fuxia Wang thanks the United Methodist connection for supporting her ministry, saying that without the support of local churches, her ministry would vanish.
Christian Love Daroy (#3021494), an intern, works with young people in Grenada with the Grenada Community Development Agency (GRENCODA) as a program associate. She helps with planning and organizing community development initiatives, especially for youth, women, farmers and fisher folks of rural areas.
Doray is from Little Baguio in the South Cotabato Province on the island of Mindanao in the Philippines. She is a member of the Cathedral United Methodist Church in Davao City, a part of the East Mindanao Philippines Annual Conference.
Daroy's ministry is changing the world, she said, by providing the less fortunate with opportunities to improve their quality of life.
"The After-School-Class provides an avenue for students to learn while having fun," she said. "It is a program that reaches out to the young people not only to strengthen their understanding of their lessons at school, but also life lessons."
The Advance, Daroy said, plays a vital role in her ministry. "The Advance is making the advancement of God's kingdom here on earth real and visible," she said. "It's a vessel to let God's justice, peace, joy, hope, grace, and love flow from everywhere to everywhere."
The Rev. Erik Alsgaard, managing editor of UMConnection, the official newspaper of the Baltimore-Washington Conference.
The Advance is the accountable, designated-giving arm of The United Methodist Church. The Advance invites contributors to designate support for projects related to the General Board of Global Ministries. Individuals, local churches, organizations, districts and annual conferences may donate to The Advance. One hundred percent of every gift to The Advance goes to the project selected by the giver.