When retired teacher and Missions Committee chair at Trinity United Methodist Church, Joan Myers, gets the bit in her mouth, watch out! Miraculous things tend to happen. One such miracle occurred this summer, at Trinity Church, when over 40 people showed up to pack rice meals destined for Ukraine. The project is just one of the missions organized and funded by Midwest Mission Distribution Center in Sangamon, Illinois.
The rice meals project was designated as a birthday present for Myers. On a Friday morning, Tom Cotton and Vincent Brown hopped in Tom’s truck and headed off on a eight-hour drive to Illinois to pick up a trailer loaded with supplies to make rice meals. After an hour-and-a-half training session, the two climbed back into the truck, and headed back to the church, a trailer laden with supplies in tow.
At 7 the following morning, a group of volunteers showed up to set up the assembly line process of packing the meals. The meals consist of a packet of vitamins, followed by a small portion of dried vegetables, then a cup of soy protein, then a cup of rice. The bags were then weighed to make sure that they didn’t exceed the weight allowable for shipment.
Next the bags were heat sealed and tested for leakage. Finally they were packed forty to a box, in twenty-five boxes, making a grand total of 1,000 meals which will feed 6,000 people in the Ukraine. The forty plus volunteers worked in two-hour shifts until the work was complete some eight hours later.
The following Monday morning, Tom, Vince, and Gary Begeman, headed back to Midwest with the completed project.
Myers and her late husband, Dick, first went to Midwest Mission in 2002. “We made it a point, whenever we traveled, to stop by any mission of the United Methodist Church if we were close. On a trip west in 2002, we stopped by Midwest Mission Distribution Center, and I knew then that this was a group we had to be working with,” said Myers.
Myers went on to say that she organized a group of people from her church and others around Morrow County, and went on their first mission trip to Midwest in the summer of 2003. She has since been there numerous times, often taking many of the same folks with her.
While there, the groups worked on projects ranging from sewing, to bicycle repair, to filling flood relief buckets, to making school desks. The number of projects are far too many to list.
Often the trip to Illinois resulted in bolts of fabric being brought back to the church, where, every second Wednesday of the month, many ladies gather to sew book bags, and various other articles of clothing that are returned to Midwest to be sent around the world.
As one might expect, there was more than rice meal supplies in the trailer that came from Midwest: there were bolts of fabric, enough to keep the ladies of Trinity Church busy for the foreseeable future.
With the successful completion of the rice meal project, Trinity’s missions committee members plan to double the number of meals they make.