Wednesday, 11 November 2009

2009 Work teams to Southern Africa


Southern African Methodist Volunteers in Mission, SAMVIM, was established in 1989 to support the Methodist Church of Southern Africa through it's Volunteers in Mission program. Our goal is to identify projects and coordinate work teams from local and overseas destinations to help work on projects throughout the Connexion. Our purpose is to share the love of Jesus Christ in ways that make a Christian difference through volunteerism. The organization is part of the Mission Unit and has been managed by Richard Bosart since 1989. Hundreds of projects have been completed throughout the Connexion during the past 20 years and many lives have been changed by visiting teams during these volunteer in mission adventures.


January, 2009 : A Youth group from Asubury United Methodist Church in Allentown, Pennsylvania visited Lichtenburg, South Africa to conduct a Vacation Bible School and youth camp in this rural tribal settlement of the North West Province called Deelpan. The primary vision for the mission was "to provide a safe, accepting Christian environment through living in a camp-based community in order to lead campers to experience Christ, accept Christ, grow in Christ and go forth in Christ". The 2009 mission to South Africa was one of the best attended camps over the five year period the Asubury church has been participating in this program. The experience has not only transformed the people of Lichtenburg and Deelpan, but also the visiting team members. The team also worked at Khanyisile Aids Clinic in Katlehong where they helped paint shipping containers used as HIV/Aids offices.


May, 2009: A work team from the Louisiana Conference and Munholland United Methodist Church, under the direction of Larry Norman; and team leader Rev. Janet Cavalier; helped local church members dig foundations for a teacher's cottage at Lomneletjane Methodist School in Central Swaziland Circuit. They also helped paint the classrooms and the newly constructed toilets at the School. A bible school for the children was also held at the school. The Louisiana Conference has supported South Africa with a number of visiting teams during the past decade and SAMVIM sent two work teams to help the Munholland Church is their restoration after Hurricane Katrina in 2006. Photos below show thedigging of the foundations and the painting of the school and toilets.


June, 2009: A work team from Belmont United Methodist Church in Nashville, Tennessee finished casting the foundations and started the block laying of the Lomngeletjane School in Swaziland. The team of 23 lead by Rev. Steve Bryant continued the work started by Munholland the month before. The team consisted of 8 adults and 15 youth from Nashville. Local youth from Lomngeletjane assisted in the casting of the foundation. Wind break trees were planted and a fire break was established to protect the trees and the school. Landscaping was also done around the toilets and school buildings by team members.


May and June, 2009: A team from the Oklahoma Conference under the direction of Rev. Jeremy Basset, helped construct a church at the John Masiza Methodist Church in the Walmer Circuit of Port Elizabeth. The team led by Rev. Robyn Thomson-Goggs and Rev. David Croninger who has been to South Africa 4 times previously on mission trips not only helped in the construction of the John Masiza Church, but also held a day camp for children who have lost parents to the Aids Pandemic.


July, 2009: A team from Church of the Resurrections in Leawood Kansas volunteered in Pinetown, helping to build furniture for the Emmaus Church at St. Wendolins in the Clerpine Circuit. They will also help paint the Marriann Ridge Methodist Church in the Clerpine Circuit. Church of the Resurrection has been sending annual teams to Durban to help Rev. Ian France build and develop churches in the Clerpine Circuit. Photo at left show cabinets being installed at the Emmaus Church


2nd July to 20th July: A team from the Boulder Creek UMC in the California/Nevada Annual Conference, under the leadership of Rebecca Perry, visited an old mining town in Bulembu, Swaziland where they held a Vacation Bible School and worked with the children and families of the community. Bulembu is an old asbestos mining town that has been converted into a Christian village by Bulembu Ministries. More information about the team and the Bulembu Ministries can be found on the following website by Chris McLain:


During the month of July, the Albert Street Refugee School in downtown Johannesburg, was visited by Dr. Tom Flowers and Roxane Richter from World Missions Possible, a service organization sending doctors and nurses around the world. They conducted health classes for over 500 Zimbabwean children and bring teaching aids for the biology class. The school opened in July, 2008 and has just celebrated it's first anniversary. SAMVIM has been instrumental in acquiring text books for the school from Rotary International in Bedfordview. School desks and bookcases have been built by volunteers from Germiston and the USA under the direction of Ted Warnock, a missionary assigned to UMCOR, United Methodist Commission on Relief. The school desks are now "cut out" from used donated materials by volunteer Barry Mey of Germiston and delivered to the school where the children assemble the desks. The school principle, school administrators and teachers are all Zimbabwean refugees. SAMVIM is also helping in the drafting of plans for renovation of the school which is to include more classrooms. The photo above right shows the Bathrooms being tiled with funds raised from World Mission Possible.

Trinity Methodist Church from Springs (South Africa) sends work team to Swaziland: A group from Trinity Methodist Church in Springs went over to Mahamba in Swaziland for a week in July with 21 young people (age 15 to 22). Their main goal was to expose their youth to foreign mission opportunities, and begin to stir within them a passion for doing God's work. They spent every day at the Mahamba High School, bringing devotions at assemblies, leading worship at lunchtime, preaching messages of hope, teaching sport and cultural activities, holding organic vegetable growing workshops, and presenting every student with a bible. They conducted leadership workshops for potential leaders and also built 12 bunk beds for future teams. The photos above and left show some of the activities and the bibles being distributed during the mission trip.

Stop Hunger Now Project: SAMVIM is helping Rev. Ron Robertson in the development of a fortified rice-soy meal introduced into South Africa by Stop Hunger Now out of Raleigh, North Caroline, USA. The concept involves combining rice, soy mince, and dehydrated vegetables with a vitamin and mineral cube to produce a meal that can be used to help feed the homeless and people in a disaster relief zone (xenophobia). All the ingredients can be found in South Africa except for the vitamin and mineral cube, which is being imported from the states with the help of Volunteer in Mission teams visiting South Africa. This is an excellent program for volunteer groups, churches and home groups. For more information on Stop Hunger Now, click on: or contact Rev. Ron Robertson: Photo shows home cell group at Trinity United Church in Kempton Park preparing over 600 meals in less than one hour.

Chris McLain in Swaziland: SAMVIM continues to support Chris McLain, our full time coordinator in Swaziland assigned to the church owned schools in the Central Swaziland Circuit. Work continues at Lomngeletjane School north of Manzini and we are in hopes of organizing South African teams to work there this year and the next. To check out Chris' work, click on:

The photo below shows the progress of the teacher's cottage in August, 2009 at Lomnjeletjane, started by the Munholland team from Louisiana and the Belmont team from Nashville. Funds are still needed to complete the structure. Contact Richard at details below to make a contribution.


Teams for 2010:

20th Feb. to 9th Mar: J.P. McGuire team from North Carolina to work at Leratong Children Center in Lesotho

12th to 21st Mar: Church of the Resurrection from Kansas to work in Pinetown.

May to July: Jon and Lisa Lord from Louisiana to visit South Africa (pulpit swap with Bill Meaker).

17th May to 5th June: Larry Norman team from Louisiana (McNeese University)...Lomngeletjane School in Swaziland....cast foundations for new classrooms.

July-August: Roxane Richter and Dr. Tom Flowers team from Mission Possible to work at Albert St. School Project

23rd July to Aug 3rd: Church of the Resurrection team to Durban.

22nd Oct to 3rd. Nov: Church of the Resurrection team to Durban.

Future teams or Projects:

Anyone wishing to join a team or make contact with the Volunteer in Missions Office is requested to contact:

Richard M. Bosart
Director, Southern Africa Methodist Volunteers in Mission, SAMVIM
P O Box 9128 Unit 6
Brentwood Park, Benoni, 1505
South Africa
Cell: +27 (0)83 630 7478