SERMON TITLE: “The Tale of Two Roofs: An UMVIM Trip to Puerto Rico”
SERMON TEXT: Ephesians 4:1-7, 11-16 (For the kids’ sermon, MT 9:1-8; someone also needs to fix roof)
PREACHER: Rev. Kim James
OCCASION: November 25, 2018, at First UMC (Reporting about my UMVIM trip)
Today, I’m going to show and tell you about my November 2-10th mission trip to Puerto Rico. But before I get into the details of that, I want to begin by reflecting on the scripture reading from Ephesians 4. I chose these verses because of some key words that relate well to our experience in Puerto Rico.
Ephesians 4:1 urges us to lead lives worthy of the calling to which we have been called. As we had our team devotions and reflection times each day, many spoke of how we did, indeed, feel called—for various reasons--to participate in the work there in Puerto Rico.
Ephesians 4:2-3 speaks of humility, patience, love, and unity. Those were all essential traits as the twelve of us on our team worked together with each other, our translator, our foremen, the residents of the houses, and the staff at the church.
Verses four through six indicate that, among Christians, there is one body, one Spirit, one hope, Lord, one faith, and one baptism. That truth was apparent to us as we worshiped with our Puerto Rican Methodist hosts. Even though the service was mostly in Spanish, the unity of our faith came through.
Ephesians 4:11 speaks of different gifts that God gives to us, and those many different gifts were evident and so helpful in our teamwork. Between all of us, we had a great mix of skills: organization, construction, driving, resilience, and Spanish; muscular and helpful; technological, devotional, analytical, and relational.
Ephesians 4:12 speaks of “building up the body of Christ.” While our mission team wasn’t supposed to be doing any proselytizing, we certainly were doing the work of building. And there was no doubt that we did this work because we were believers in Jesus Christ working through the Methodist Church.
Several times during our mission week, we heard someone say how amazed they were that we came to Puerto Rico to help them. They knew that we had to buy plane tickets and pay for our room and board—not for a vacation on the beach, but to come and work. They knew that we took time off from our jobs and left behind families and responsibilities to be there. They were so appreciative that we would come to offer them encouragement and assistance, so that—in the words of Ephesians 4:16—the body of Christ could “build itself up in love.”
(Continue reading for PowerPoint script of mission trip)
(Click here to see PPT photos)