God Moments

At Mission Central, miracles happen every day. Some can be explained and some can’t. When a rational explanation cannot be found (which happens more often than not), we refer to those miracles as “God Moments”… those occurrences that can only be explained by God’s great intervention. Please read through some of our favorite stories and if you have a “God Moment” of your own from your interactions with Mission Central, please email your story to us.

2002: The Original Vision, Creation and Early Days of Mission Central

God moment 1:    (Psalm 23:3)

God had a hand in the creation of Mission Central.  Bishop Irons had a vision of a warehouse used for missions.  He presented his ideas to the 2001 Central Pennsylvania Annual Conference.  The Conference attendee’s honored his ideas and assigned a 32-member task force representing the United Methodist Church to construct a plan for: a warehouse, to search for land to build, to set a timeline for construction, and to submit an estimated price for the entire package.  They met every Wednesday evening to pray for guidance for the mission warehouse project.  Once a month they would meet to perfect the plans for Mission Central.  There was an architect on the task force; he drew a plan for the warehouse.  The taskforce estimated costs, the size of the warehouse, estimated the amount of floor space they would need, and the amount of time involved to build the warehouse.  They even had land selected near the conference office building.  The projected size would be 24.5 thousand square feet.  The cost was estimated at 3.5 million dollars.  The time frame for completion was 2004, and the task force wanted to have one million dollars in hand before they started the project.  The warehouse was to be used for “Mission Outreach, Disaster Response, and Mission Education.”

God had another plan…

A few weeks before the 2002 Central Pennsylvania annual conference Bishop Irons had to take a detour to get to his office.  The bridge was blocked, so he had to take an alternate route to his office.  The Conference Building is located on Mulberry Drive in Mechanicsburg.  He had to take Pleasant View Drive to get to his office.   On the way to his office, Bishop Irons passed a warehouse for lease.  He phoned the Realtor; the warehouse’s former tenant was a printing company.  He asked the Realtor if his task force could look at the building and proceeded to tell the Realtor of the plans for Mission Central.  The Realtor permitted the task force to tour the building.

When the taskforce toured Mission Central they entered the building through the glass door at the parking area.  They entered into the kitchen/snack area and they were amazed!  The kitchen /snack area was the same size they had on their plan!   The task force proceeded to the warehouse area and was amazed again; there was a workroom exactly the size of the workroom on their plan, the warehouse had the same number of overhead doors they had on their plan, including the door with a ramp for pick-up trucks and vans.  The taskforce liked the entrance area where the offices were located.  A representative of the taskforce talked to the owners, he asked if they would consider selling the warehouse.  The owners discussed selling the warehouse and agreed to sell because they liked the idea of a warehouse for missions.  The selling price was 2.5 million dollars exactly one million less than the projected plan.  The warehouse was 48000 square feet.  Almost double the size of the warehouse on the original plan.  It would be ready for use immediately!

But God didn’t stop there…

The owners were Christian men; they wanted to tithe ten percent of the purchase price.  The tithe, $245,000, would bring the purchase price to two million.  Another company owned the shelving in the warehouse and they donated the shelving.  The shelving was worth fifty thousand dollars!  The Global Board of Ministries gave $200,000 toward the project, enough to obtain a mortgage!

The Taskforce presented the two ideas at the 2002 Annual Conference.  At Annual Conference all agreed to move ahead with purchasing the warehouse on Pleasant View Drive instead of going ahead with constructing a building.  Purchasing the warehouse saved them $1,550,000.  They were also years ahead of schedule.

Mission Central opened its doors in June 28, 2002 with a lot of prayers and anticipation.  We started with a few ideas and God has led the way for us.

God has continually been sharing “moments of grace,” since we first opened the doors of Mission Central.



Following God’s Path:
Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.  Proverbs 3:6

Mission Central

Since the inception of Mission Central, God has been guiding our path.  From the very beginning when the warehouse was just a divine inspiration, we have been led.  The miracles he provides are very humbling.

Our doors opened June 28th 2002–two years earlier than anticipated—without an action plan and with no details worked out.  We wanted Mission Central to represent mission outreach, mission education, and disaster response.  From the beginning God was leading us.  As usual His plan was more than we had envisioned.

We didn’t plan to be ecumenical.  We didn’t contact any ministries before we opened Mission Central.  We had communicated with UMCOR (United Methodist Committee on Relief) one time before we opened our doors to tell them about our warehouse.  At that time we hadn’t built a working relationship with them, so they were cautious in dealing with our warehouse.  We have earned their trust and have a very good working relationship by sending them excellent UMCOR kits.

Our in-house ministries found us through word of mouth.  Bethesda Ministry was one of the first ministries to contact us in July of 2002. In October they moved their non-perishable food ministry to Mission Central.  We were open to the public on Tuesdays and Thursdays.  When Bethesda started working with Mission Central they wanted the warehouse to be open Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.  By joining us at the warehouse, they enabled Mission Central to have its doors open five days a week in five months.  By November, we were open on Saturday too!

We found out–by following God’s path–we needed to throw away the list of things we thought we were going to accomplish.  His vision is so much greater than ours.  We were not going to accept clothing for ministry.  God didn’t think that was a good plan.  The first year we were in operation, the Girl Scouts contacted us.  They had conducted a clothing drive to collect clothing to donate to children in Russia.  They collected 120 boxes of clothing, and then came to the realization; they couldn’t afford to ship the materials!  The Girl Scouts contacted Mission Central to see if we would take the clothing.  A few weeks after we received the clothing we received a call requesting the clothing to be sent to Belarus, an orphanage in Russia.  The clothing was sent where the Girl Scouts had in their hearts to send it!  God had fulfilled the Girl Scouts mission, and answered the needs of the children of the orphanage.  The clothing is one example of how God uses people and obstacles to broaden our vision and our perception of the path to follow at Mission Central.

Our volunteers have been a blessing to us; they are a variety of people.  Church groups, school groups, people required to do community service hours, alumni associations, individuals, people with mental and physical challenges, all sharing their love of God by being his hands and feet through acts of service.

The first five years took our original vision and broadened our view.  God’s path is ever-changing. Through challenges to our thinking, we have been given strength to think “outside the box,” when God gives us a new lesson to learn.  We have learned stewardship and fellowship are an integral part of our ministry.  Another aspect of our ministry is the networking that happens within the warehouse and with the local outreach ministries we help to serve.  We went through a tremendous growing period and circumstances changed and God challenged us to embrace the change and have faith in Him.  Patience is not earned, it is learned.  When we keep God in the center of our Path, He will lead us.


Bethesda Mission
God Moment 22: Bethesda Mission is the first mission that requested warehouse space in the Mission Central building.  Two months after Mission Central opened; Bethesda Mission contacted us and requested warehouse space.  Bethesda wanted to operate Monday, Wednesday, and Fridays.  These days were the days opposite the days Mission Central was operating.  By renting space to Bethesda Mission, we were able to have a fully operational warehouse five days a week.  Bethesda also had a forklift, and at that time Mission Central didn’t have a forklift!  Bethesda is the only Mission that rents space at Mission Central. Currently, they use 10,000 square feet of the warehouse.  Mission Central rents to Bethesda “below market price” for warehouse utilization.  Bethesda was the first Mission where we started to work together on tasks and materials for many missions.  Today, we work with all that contact us where possible!  Two months after we opened we became ecumenical.  We are very fortunate to see God’s people working together.  God has a plan!



God Moment 23:      (Luke 22:17)           Mission Central sponsored a mural contest for the youth of the United Methodist Church when we initially opened our doors.  The youth were asked to design a mural representing missions.  They had to incorporate into the design: Mission Outreach, Mission Education, and Disaster Response.  All of the groups who submitted a design were welcomed to paint their mural in the warehouse.  One youth group used a goat in their design, and as you can imagine, the design was beautiful.  We asked them to change the goat to a V.I.M. symbol.  The youth group changed their design as we requested, and each person who worked on the mural signed it at the top.  If you look carefully at the signatures, you will see a little goat saying, “baa!”  The mural is in our Kitchen/Snack Room.  The same youth group designed a second mural, and that mural is in the workroom.  If you look carefully in the lower left corner, you will see the same little goat saying “baa!”


God Moment 27:     (Acts 2:7)

When we started Mission Central, we said we wouldn’t collect or receive clothing.  But as in all things, God doesn’t think as we do.  A Girl Scout troop collected clothing to send to Russia.  They sorted, boxed, and inventoried all the good clothing they received.  Then they learned of the expense to send the clothing to Russia.  They called Harry, and asked if Mission Central could use the clothing.   Under the circumstances, Harry agreed and the Scouts delivered the clothing to Mission Central.              The inventory sheet for the clothing was lost.  Volunteers at Mission Central re-inventoried the clothing.  Mission Central received a call two days after the clothing was finished being inventoried.  Belarus, Russia requested 150 boxes of clothing.  The clothing was going to an orphanage.  How amazing can this initiative be ?  The clothing was shipped to where the Girl Scouts originally wanted the clothing to go!  All things are possible with God.


Vacuum Cleaners
God moment 3:    (James 1:17)   Every Saturday, we clean the main hall for the Mechanicsburg Orthodox Mission Church.  They rent our hall Saturday evening and Sunday mornings for church services.  We clean the work area and wipe the tables and use the vacuum cleaners.  We had three used vacuum cleaners that didn’t work very well.  They smelled like burnt rubber when we ran them and they didn’t pick up dirt like they should have.  Sometimes the volunteers and our staff would get frustrated when we used them.  On one particular Saturday I was frustrated with the vacuum cleaner.  When I put the vacuum cleaner in the utility room I uttered a frustrated prayer….”Lord please let someone donate a vacuum cleaner!”  I am sure I was not the first person to utter that prayer.  Five days later, when I arrived at work, there were three different vacuum cleaners in the utility closet.  One was an airport vacuum cleaner donated by a church, one was new, and we had another vacuum donated.  God answers prayers.



God Moment 23:      (Luke 22:17)           Mission Central sponsored a mural contest for the youth of the United Methodist Church when we initially opened our doors.  The youth were asked to design a mural representing missions.  They had to incorporate into the design: Mission Outreach, Mission Education, and Disaster Response.  All of the groups who submitted a design were welcomed to paint their mural in the warehouse.  One youth group used a goat in their design, and as you can imagine, the design was beautiful.  We asked them to change the goat to a V.I.M. symbol.  The youth group changed their design as we requested, and each person who worked on the mural signed it at the top.  If you look carefully at the signatures, you will see a little goat saying, “baa!”  The mural is in our Kitchen/Snack Room.  The same youth group designed a second mural, and that mural is in the workroom.  If you look carefully in the lower left corner, you will see the same little goat saying “baa!”


God Moment 27:     (Acts 2:7)

When we started Mission Central, we said we wouldn’t collect or receive clothing.  But as in all things, God doesn’t think as we do.  A Girl Scout troop collected clothing to send to Russia.  They sorted, boxed, and inventoried all the good clothing they received.  Then they learned of the expense to send the clothing to Russia.  They called Harry, and asked if Mission Central could use the clothing.   Under the circumstances, Harry agreed and the Scouts delivered the clothing to Mission Central.              The inventory sheet for the clothing was lost.  Volunteers at Mission Central re-inventoried the clothing.  Mission Central received a call two days after the clothing was finished being inventoried.  Belarus, Russia requested 150 boxes of clothing.  The clothing was going to an orphanage.  How amazing can this initiative be ?  The clothing was shipped to where the Girl Scouts originally wanted the clothing to go!  All things are possible with God.


Blessed Amazement!

Acts 2:12

And they all continued in amazement and great perplexity; saying to one another “what does that mean?”

Mission Central, is a mission that houses several Missions. I have a copier in my office that all of the Missions share. One morning while I was working on a project at my desk, I noticed Ray; a friend who works for Bethesda Mission, patiently waiting for me to finish my task.

I asked Ray “what do you need?” He replied “I just wanted to thank you for finding my ring.” “What ring I answered?” While he was in my office he noticed a gold ring setting on the top of my bookcase. I place items like fine jewelry on the bookcase when it is discovered. I wait for a period of time before I find a use for the jewelry; it may have been accidentally placed into a box given to the Mission. Gold jewelry is not usually donated to our Mission.

What he said next astounded me. Ray lost that ring thirty years ago when he moved from Maryland to Pennsylvania. The ring had very distinctive characteristics. It was a gold ring with black onyx inlayed and a gold initial on the onyx. The onyx had a chip and on the inside of the band Ray’s name was inscribed. The ring was just the same as when he lost it thirty years ago.

God took an ordinary work day and blessed Ray and I with one of His “miracles.” He continues to amaze and perplex His people. We never know when God will bless us with a “God Moment;” when he does amaze us, the joy is indescribable.

Prayer: Thank you Lord for keeping my hope renewed by your “moments of Grace.”

Kathy M. Briner, Deputy Director


Toothpaste For UMCOR Health Kits
God moment 2:    (Romans 6:23)    When we prepare “Health Kits,” for UMCOR we use toothpaste that has an expiration date of at least six months from the current date.  The toothpaste that we use for health kits was mistakenly given to another mission, they picked up the wrong toothpaste, and they were supposed to pick up the toothpaste with a current expiration date!  So we were out of toothpaste for health kits.  A few days later we received a donation of two full pallets of toothpaste.  Wow, that’s at least 3000 lbs. of toothpaste, just when we needed it the most!


Love Kits
God Moment 11:      (I Corinthians 12:25-28)

On July 8, 2005, personal care items and “Love Kits” (made by youth at Mission Central that morning), were sent America’s Heart in Jacksonville, FL.  The Love Kits were sent to shelter sites in anticipation of people leaving their homes for the arrival of a hurricane.  Praise God, Mission Central could respond within a few hours of the requesting call for the LOVE KITS.


Special Delivery
God Moment 12:    (1 Chronicles 16:12)           Nick was very busy, he had a lot of volunteers to guide and the phones were ringing constantly.  Pat, a weekly volunteer started taking calls to help Nick.  She was on phone duty for about an hour.  In that time there was only one phone call.           The Western New York Conference phoned.  They had 10 boxes of school kits to be delivered, but they needed someone to pick them up.           Pat was going to Rochester NY that weekend.  She told the Western New York Conference she would pick up the kits.  God can make it happen!



Computer Ministry
God Moment 25:     (Numbers 34:18)  In 2004 Pastor Jim Rudy asked our Executive Director for enough work area to assemble and repair personal computers.  He wanted to have ample space to work on the computers once a month.  That was a small beginning since he had only four computers to rebuild.  He now uses 2000 sq uare feet of space.  His computer ministry works 3 days a week at Mission Central; Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.  The computer ministry is incorporated and Jim Rudy is the Executive Director.  The ministry has evolved from serving our conference to now sending computers all over the world!  The computer ministry has been very successful, and they too have many volunteers supporting their efforts.  God leads us, we will follow.


Overabundance of Supplies
God Moment 19:    (Galatians 6:6)      When hurricane Katrina struck we were inundated with supplies for the hurricane victims.  Mission Central was rapidly finding storage space to be a problem. The material needed to be sorted and warehouse cataloged before we could send them to the Gulf Coast.  The husband of one of our regular volunteer’s owns a warehouse in Dillsburg, PA.  Dillsburg is about eight miles from Mission Central.  He had 15,000 square feet of storage space available for our temporary use.  We sent half of our Haiti’s supplies and half of our Red Bird Missions supplies from Mission Central to the warehouse in Dillsburg.   Church members helped to box those items.  Four truckloads of materials were stored in Dillsburg! God can make the impossible possible!



Dedicated Volunteer
God Moment 24:     (Matthew 15:36)          Mission Central has a volunteer who started coming with her church group.  They would come once a month.  When Hurricane Katrina struck, we needed lots of help.  Rhoda, our favorite volunteer, started coming in two or three days a week!  Currently, Rhoda is here almost every day, and is a huge asset to all of us at Mission Central.  Rhoda does a lot of the sorting, and she knows the warehouse as well as any of us. Volunteers like Rhoda are a blessing to us at Mission Central.  She lives Matthew 25, and we are proud to have her on our team.



Baby Scales
God Moment 26:     (Acts 3:10)   Mission Central received a call from the Catholic Social Services of New Jersey.  They were looking for two baby scales, (like is used in a doctor’s office).  We had a scale and Bethesda Mission had a scale.  We called the Catholic Social Services, told them we had the scales.  The Catholic Social Services explained that a small problem did exist.  The scales had to be in New Jersey in two days!  Harry was going to New Jersey for a family visit.  He made the connection with the Catholic Social Services and delivered the scales.  The Catholic Social Services delivered them to a Presbyterian Church, who sent them in a container to Afghanistan.  The scales were claimed in Afghanistan by a Baptist medical team.  The scales were used by the Baptist Medical team to teach families “first aid for babies.”  We called the scales the “Ecumenical Baby Scales.”



Godly Correction
God Moment 28:     (Proverbs 16:18)

As a recorder of God’s moments, it was a while before I could mention this moment to anyone. “Why” you might ask?  Because I was given a correction I will never forget.  Given the privilege of recording God’s moments, I became possessive of them.  I would record the facts, write about the miracles and pass them on to someone who is an experienced writer, to correct or proof-read each moment.  All of the editing transpired via email.  A few times I was lazy and sent the document just as an email and not as a “Word Attachment.”   The editor was rightfully annoyed with me, because he would have to reformat the whole document every time I sent them.  So he decided to send the edited document back the same way, so I would know when I received the document how much work it took to reformat it.

So I was plugging away at reformatting the document, not a happy camper I might add!  When I came to “God Moment” 27, the last line read: “This is not a (my last name in red) operation!”

I knew the editor did not write that last line.  I went back to the original email he sent.  The email said “the clothing went where the Girl Scouts originally wanted it to go.”

I was so upset about receiving this correction from God, I couldn’t talk about it for a few days.  Finally, I told someone about it.  After I shared my story, I realized how blessed I was to be corrected by God, and be able to share the moment.  This isn’t my document, its Gods document.


Project K.A.R.E.N. II
God Moments 31:   Project Karen II   (1 Corinthians 13:13)

Karen Adams had a dream of helping her friends from New Orleans.  She was uncertain of all of their needs, and uncertain of her ability to assist them.  Her thoughts of all of those people that were left behind continued to disturb her.  Karen wanted to transport supplies to those friends that were in need.  Karen’s profession was administrative in nature, so building or repairing was not her forte. Karen approached the UMVIM team to inquire about what could be done to assist her friends.  She was asked to lead a team of volunteers to assist the rebuilding efforts since she knew the people, the area, and the political world in the New Orleans area.

Karen had the same reaction that most people would have.  “I can’t do that, I just want to get the needed materials to my friends.”  Karen insisted that she was not a builder.  However, the VIM team explained that all of the necessary leadership skills to complete the task were clearly demonstrated.  The VIM team explained that we can give you the tools and materials and God will provide the rest.  Karen reluctantly said “yes” to the request.  It was really a matter of determination that was pushing Karen to “do something.”  Karen planned, designed, solicited, inquired, and spoke to dozens of people.  Her efforts were well rewarded with a trem endous effort for her friends.  It took a lot of time and a lot of work, but God answered her prayers.

No, Karen is not a builder or better to say was not a builder, but she built the most wonderful team of spiritual leaders, and delivered bundles of love in New Orleans.  Her efforts will never be forgotten.

Project Karen is an overwhelming success.  The love of Jesus has no geographical boundaries.


Bobbi’s Bones
God moment 4:    (Romans 1:20)           Bobbi’s bones are one of the first “God moments.”  Six months after Mission Central opened Harry received a call from a nurse at Pinnacle Health.  She worked in a clinic at the hospital.  The clinic specialized in bone reconstruction.  The clinic was closing and she was told to get rid of the bones.  If she couldn’t find anyone to take them she was to dispose them.  The bone is cut in 2″ pieces in vials and is blood typed.  They are used to transplant existing bone.  She had a box of vials left.  In monetary value they are very expensive; in helping people with bone issues they are priceless!

Harry didn’t know what he would do with the bones; the bones were dated good thru 2007.  He accepted the bones not knowing what he was going to do with them.   A contact at the conference office told Harry about a student going to Ludhiana Medical College in India and perhaps Ludhiana College could use the bones.  Harry contacted the student, her name was Bobbi Jones, and she told him she was going to Ludhiana Medical College in three weeks.  She asked if Mission Central had any medical supplies that she could take along to the college.  Ludhiana Medical College is located in India.  Harry put the box of bones at the conference office and labeled it Bobbi’s Bones.  He promptly forgot about the bones.

Two months later he received a call from a Doctor from Ludhiana, India.  He just used one of the vials of bones.  He called to thank us.  He worked at a clinic in India and he told us a man would be able to walk because he had those bones.  God always has a purpose for unasked for gifts, sometimes we just have to have faith and wait.


Taylor’s WORD
God moment 5:    (Matthew 18:2)    Taylor was a middle school student who had a vision to help Katrina victims.  Taylor heard a speaker talk about Mission Central’s disaster response efforts at her church.  She thought it would be a good idea to collect health kits for Mission Central to use for Katrina disaster outreach.  Taylor discussed the idea with the speaker and her student council officers.  They decided to open the health kit effort to the middle school homerooms.  A pizza party was the reward for the homeroom that collected the most kits.  The youth at Taylor’s middle school produced 176 health kits for Mission Central.  They also contributed supplies for kits.

A Guidance Counselor at Taylor’s school asked Taylor to fill out an application for the Prudential Spirit of Community Awards.  The award was created by Prudential to recognize students in middle and high school who have participated in community service.  Taylor was picked as the 2006 Pennsylvania reward recipient for Middle School.  Taylor was inspired to do more for missions; she developed at that time “Taylor’s W.O.R.D.” which stands for Wanting Others to Read Daily.  She requested people donate gently used and new books to take along to Washington DC, when she received her award.  Taylor collected 9,304 books to deliver to the Heart of America foundation; they distribute books to public and religious schools located in the Washington DC area.  Taylor learned to love being the hands and feet of God in mission work.  She is currently working on project K. A.R.E.N.

Volunteers at Mission Central sorted and packed and put Taylor’s WORD labels in all the books.  Mission Central received a donation of materials associated with books.  Such as individual book lights, book bags, and lanyards with “library,” printed on them.  Mission Central received the donation at the same time Taylor was packing the books to send to Washington DC.   God’s timing…


Project K.A.R.E.N.
God moment 6:    (Colossians 1:24)            Karen Adams grew up in Mechanicsburg PA.  As an adult Karen lived in New Orleans.  When hurricane Katrina threatened, Karen packed her car and headed to Mechanicsburg to be with her family.  Karen started her life over in Pennsylvania; she lost everything she left behind in New Orleans when Katrina struck.  Karen couldn’t forget the people she left in New Orleans.  Karen asked her church to help her do something for New Orleans.  One of the church members was President of the board of managers of Mission Central.  The president of the board was Sue Higgins.  Sue told Karen about the work in missions at Mission Central.  Karen started working on Project K.A.R.E.N. with her church and Mission Central.  K.A.R.E.N. stands for Kenner Area Rebuilding Effort Network.  Karen faith has helped her to complete three Mission trip efforts for Katrina victims.


Birthday Gifts
God Moment 7:     (Luke 18:16-17)  One morning a little girl came to our front door dragging a large black trash bag.  Behind her was a little boy only half her size also dragging a black plastic bag.  A woman was walking behind them carrying two smaller bags.  As they entered, the woman said her daughter had seen a story in the news about us collecting health kits for tsunami victims.  Her daughter decided on her own, instead of asking for gifts for her 7th birthday party, she would ask each child invited to bring some items for health kits and they would make health kits at her birthday party.

The bags contained 76 complete health kits!  Their mother shared that she had never seen kids have so much fun at a party.  She asked for a picture of the delivery of the health kits.  So we posed for a picture in front of the Mission Central display.  When asked to sign in so we would know where the kits came from, the mother indicated they didn’t want any credit, so if it was OK, her daughter would just leave her first name.

Thank you Rosalie, for reminding us what it truly means to be the hands and feet of God in service!  Happy Birthday!


Children’s Clothing
God Moment 8:     (Matthew 25:36)   Volunteers were sorting new children’s clothing.  The clothing arrived at 7:30AM.  We sorted the clothes into 150 boxes by 2PM, at that time Harry received a call from a church who had needs for children’s clothing to distribute at an outreach event.  God answers needs.



The Lord Provides a Sofa
God Moment 9:     (Luke 3:11)           Someone called Mission Central early one morning saying she had just moved and understood Mission Central sometimes had furniture for people in need.  She needed a sofa.  Unfortunately at the time Mission Central didn’t have a sofa to offer her.  Within one hour, Mission Central received a call from a person asking if we could use an almost new sofa.  The two parties were connected and the sofa was given to the woman.  Our Lord provides.
Sleep Apnea Machine
God Moment 10:     (Matthew 7:7)      A family called Mission Central to see if they would accept a donated sleep apnea machine they had after a family member had died.  Not knowing what we would do with the machine, Mission Central accepted it, and within two days it was in reuse by an Amish man who needed the machine.



God Moment 13:    (Luke 2:52)            A few months after Mission Central opened.  A man stopped by, and said to Harry, “I have your suitcases, I saw your ad for suitcases,” (there was no ad).  The man insisted the suitcases were for Mission Central.  Harry said “OK we will take them.”  The man had a lot of suitcases; he just kept bringing them into the warehouse.  Harry didn’t know what he was going to do with all the suitcases.           A short time after we received the suitcases, someone came to the warehouse asking for 30 suitcases.  Missionaries usually are allowed two suitcases when they go to their mission destination.  They usually pack one with their own personal items and the other suitcase is used to pack supplies needed for their mission.  We have collected suitcases since that time for missions.  God always knows what we need before we do.



Sheet Reader
God Moment 14:    (Hebrews 2:4)           We received a newspaper sheet reader.  A sheet reader magnifies print to allow people with poor eyesight to read documents more easily.  One hour after the sheet reader was given to Mission Central; a man came in and requested a sheet reader for one of the members of his church.  We didn’t have an opportunity to place the sheet reader in the appropriate area or even remove it from the cart where it was originally placed.



God Moment 15:    (Galatians 3:5)           We received a call from an “abused women’s” shelter.  They requested a 30 inch gas stove, a washer, and a dryer.  We didn’t have those items in stock.  The next day we received a call from people who were remodeling their kitchen; they donated a 30 inch gas stove to Mission Central.  The next week we received a washer and dryer!  We have made some new friends at the shelter.  It all works together for the glory of God.  We at Mission Central are very proud to be a part of that thought process.



Music Stands
God Moment 16:    (Matthew 11:21)           The camping program for the United Methodist Conference needed music stands.  They contacted our Executive Director to determine if Mission Central had any music stands.  We didn’t.  The next day someone donated four music stands.  I want someone to tell me that God doesn’t watch over all of us.  This is truly Gods hands and feet at work.



Truck Driver
God Moment 17:    (Luke 22:17)           An attorney from New York phoned Mission Central, and stated that he had a client who needed to do community service.  The client was a truck driver who had to provide 100 hours of service.  He asked if we had any work that might satisfy his needs.  Truck driver?  This was music to our ears!           The driver offered to deliver a truckload of material for the Rosebud Mission in South Dakota.  This special task used 70 hours of his required service time.  The Sioux Indians of South Dakota certainly appreciated the delivery plus the service of Mission Central, plus the efforts of the Rosebud Mission.           The driver then offered an additional trip where he might be the most useful.  This time, Mission Central had a need to deliver material directly to Gulfport, Mississippi.  The driver completed the delivery most graciously and far exceeded his requirement of 100 hours.           God works his miracles through all of us, including drivers.  We at Mission Central are open to his guidance.



Another Truck Driver
God Moment 18:    (Acts 20:35)           On Mother’s Day 2006, we received a call for Flood Buckets for the Boston area.  We tried to find a commercial carrier to take the 600 flood buckets to Boston and failed. On the Monday after Mothers Day a gentlemen delivered five pallets of new books to Mission Central.  The books were his donation to Mission Central.           He had heard of our need for a truck and driver and offered to do the job himself. The gentlemen owned a distribution center.  He used his truck and personally delivered the 600 flood buckets to Boston two hours after he delivered the books to Mission Central.  God has saints everywhere!



Christmas Toys
God Moment 33:    (Exodus 35:21)

We received two pallets of new toys in December.  There are so many needs all year around for children.  At Christmas it is hard to think of children going without something special to celebrate our Savior’s birth!  Soon after we received the toys, we noticed an article in the newspaper about the Salvation Army needing toys for children for outreach at Christmas.  We contacted the Salvation Army in York, PA.  They were very grateful for the toys.  When we contacted them it was two days before their distribution date for Christmas and they didn’t have enough toys!  We also supplied them with Christmas Candy Kits.  God supplies needs.



King’s Kettle Crib
God Moment 34:    (Proverbs 30:8)

Kings Kettle Outreach ministry phoned Mission Central and inquired if we had a crib. Kings Kettle Ministry was trying to help some grandparents whose children had a house fire, and needed a crib.  At the time Mission Central wasn’t able to supply a crib.  The next day we received a crib and we were able to give it to the family in need.


Mission Partnership
God Moment 20:    (Romans 8:28)           Jamaican Outreach is a ministry of St. Joseph’s Catholic Church.  Volunteers for Jamaican outreach collect supplies, box and store them at Mission Central.  They send the supplies to Miami, FL, then on to Jamaica.           America’s Heart is a mission in Jacksonville, FL.  They send food and medical supplies to people around the world through Bethesda Mission.  Bethesda Mission from Mechanicsburg sends “America’s Heart” supplies once a month.           Jamaican outreach had a requirement to ship their supplies to Miami, (six pallets of supplies).  Bethesda Mission of Mechanicsburg shipped the supplies to Jacksonville free of charge. Jamaican Outreach only had to pay for shipping from Jacksonville to Miami.  This was a big saving in costs for shipping.  Bethesda Mission has done this shipping once a year for the past three years.  Another great example of how our mission’s efforts work together.



Love Kits
God Moment 21:     (1 Corinthians 13:4)           Love Kits were developed to use the non-standard items we couldn’t use for UMCOR Health Kits.  We initially made them as a method to teach children and youth about missions.  Adults love to make these kits also.  The Love Kits stay in the United States, so we don’t have follow international guidelines when we pack the Love kits.  Other kits may go through “Customs.” Love kits stay in the US and are not subjected to those limitations.  Part of the kit is a handmade card made using construction paper.  Volunteers put a design on the front with a message about God inside the card. The designer has the option to use their first name inside the card.  You would think the children would love making the cards, but it is the adults who get more joy out of making the cards. The children enjoy putting the kits together.  As you can imagine the person who receives the kit is very touched by the card, it’s like getting a hug.  These kits are handed out to the homeless, flood victims, and generally to people in need.  These Love Kits were developed by recycling items that did not meet the criteria for other Mission Central initiatives.  Americas Heart was the first mission to receive Love Kits for homeless shelters all over Florida.  Love Kits are a Mission Central Kit.  This is a heart warming initiative that helps our friends and neighbors.



Electric Wheelchair
God Moment 29:  (Matthew 6:27)

A volunteer, who comes to Mission Central often to work, inquired about an electric wheelchair. The volunteer needed a chair for a member of his church. Mission Central rarely receives any wheelchairs, let alone a good quality electric wheelchair.  However, Bethesda Mission had just received a good quality electric wheelchair as a donation.  We inquired about the chair knowing it was inventoried in the Bethesda area.  The staff of Bethesda Mission quickly donated the chair when they learned of the need.  That’s not just good timing, it is God at work for all of us. God certainly put a smile on the face of the volunteer worker and his home church friend.



Another Wheelchair
God Moment 30:  (Matthew 6-33)

The Cerebral Palsy Association donated a custom built child’s wheelchair to Mission Central.  The wheelchair was worth thousands of dollars. Mission Central’s Executive Director’s wife, a speech therapist at a public school, was working with a new student who has Cerebral Palsy. The student didn’t have a suitable wheelchair for his special needs. The same week we received the wheelchair, we at Mission Central learned of this young man’s predicament.  Once again, God touched our lives when satisfying our special needs.  His timing is impeccable.  The young man now has the wheelchair, and his quality of life has been considerably increased.  God has his own plans on life’s difficulties. We simply need to ask.



Peace Pole
God Moment 36:     (Psalms 103:6)

For our 5th year anniversary at Mission Central, we decided to plant a Peace Pole.  The Peace Pole was going to be planted in the middle of a garden, outside of the Mission Central Building.  We requested donations from individuals and business, for supplies for the garden.  We had two local companies to contact for landscape mulch.   We decided to contact the company who had a Mechanicsburg address.  When we contacted the company and made our request, the person we talked to was one of the owners of the business.  While talking to her, she knew of Mission Central.  She visited us with her mission group of her church, and took our tour.  She belongs to a local Presbyterian Church.  When we told her of our request for mulch, she immediately said she would donate the needed mulch.  God is so good; he see’s our needs before we anticipate them!



Child-Sized Bed
God Moment 37:    (Romans 6:23)

God Moment 37 show how God’s gifts are most times unexpected, thus making them so precious.  A couple came to “New Digs,” a mission outreach housed at Mission Central, that supplies needy people with household necessities such as furniture, pots and pans, and kitchen items.  A young couple happened to be looking for a single bed for their son.  Mission Central had just received a truckload of supplies from the Altoona Hub.  One of the items just happened to be a single bed.  It came exactly when this young couple needed it.  The next week Mission Central was receiving new mattresses.  The couple was informed about the mattresses and returned to make a selection that would complete their original request.  God’s timing far exceeds our wildest imagination or expectation.



God Moment 38:      (Jeremiah 27:6)

A volunteer for Bethesda Mission, at the warehouse, asked Mission Central to collect rags and bedding items for animal shelters.  One Saturday he had a drop off for these supplies at Mission Central.  He collected over seven hundred pounds of blankets and supplies for the animal shelter.  He now has a drop off site at Mission Central warehouse for this purpose.  The Altoona Hub sent three big bags of used towels and bedding along with a shipment of supplies for Mission Central not realizing the volunteer started the mission outreach at the warehouse for those types of items. This material is t he type that would not meet the criteria for normal use.  The towels and bedding came right after the need was made known, all the way from Altoona!  Nothing goes to waste at Mission Central.



HUB Sewing Machine
God Moment 39:        (1 Samuel 1:11)

Our Hubs have been experiencing “God Moments” also!  One of the Hubs located in the State College District wrote an article for their newsletter requesting another used sewing machine to make U.M.C.O.R. school bags. The Hub newsletters always prove fruitful! The next morning there was a brand new sewing machine given to the Hub, by one of their regular volunteers.  The volunteer said, “We need to get this sewing done!”  Thank God for supplying us with generous volunteers.



God Moment 41:        (Matthew 25:40)

Dedicated to the Glory of God.

In honor of Harry Overholtzer, Executive Director of Mission Central, (June 2002 to June 2008)

Life’s lessons are sometimes grasped when you know a friend is departing to another place.  At this point, we grasp the unique personality that is dear to us.  Our friend’s unique talents are seared into our heart and “God” has taught us a lesson from them.

Harry, your faith, integrity, and love, have given Mission Central the stamina to carry on and face new horizons.  Your courage to face life’s trials gives us the strength to look to tomorrow with hope, love, and faith in keeping Mission Central a house for “God’s miracles.”   Thank you, from your friends at Mission Central.



God Moment 42:  Matthew 10:42

When God opens our eyes we seem to be amazed and thrilled by things that happen to aid a ministry.

The vacuum cleaners at Mission Central get used hard.  The vacuum cleaners usually don’t function to full capacity and maintenance of them is hard to track since they are used by different people.  This can be frustrating for staff and volunteers alike.

One of our volunteer groups had been working on sorting clothing.  When it was the time to finish their work, they asked if they should vacuum the area where they were working.  When they started cleaning, they noticed the vacuum cleaners didn’t work to full capacity.

One of the volunteers in the group asked if he could take the vacuum cleaner home with him.  He wanted to determine if he could fix it, before he retired he was a vacuum cleaner repairman.  Since that time he has maintained and repaired two of our vacuum cleaners.  He is making it part of his ministry.  His church group comes to the warehouse to volunteer every month and when they are there, he will maintain our vacuum cleaners.

Help like this is so vital to our ministry.  Every job done here is important, such as cleaning the bathrooms, loading and unloading trucks, verifying kits, sewing and cutting material, clerical aid, answering telephones, sorting supplies, and sweeping and mopping the floors.

We have a volunteer who mows our grass.  We have a few volunteers that come and work at the warehouse more than one day a week.  These volunteers also fill in and help with work the staff at Mission Central do.  We also have a volunteer group called the Speakers Bureau, they volunteer to speak about Mission Central to different groups such as: Churches and Civic Organizations when a speaker is requested.

We like other missions are always in need of funds.  Without our volunteers, we would not be able to function.  When you think of missionaries, most people think of people in foreign countries serving needs.

The staff at Mission Central sees and meet missionaries every day, in their service they work to keep Mission Central running smoothly, they are our volunteers.  Without their help and financial aid we would not be able to be a Mission that helps other missions worldwide.  God has truly blessed us with our family of volunteers.  Our volunteers truly are the hands and feet of God in service.



Warm Hearts and Hands Kits
Matthew 6:4

October 2008


The staff at Mission Central gets blessed in many ways.  One of the ways we were blessed was the Warm Hearts and Hands Kit.  The idea behind this kit was to have a kit specifically for homeless living on the street.  The first group to request the need for the kit was “My Brother’s Keeper,” a shelter in Camden, NJ.  When we asked how many kits they need, they replied they needed 300 kits.  We had one week to fill the request, as they were coming to pickup supplies in the next week.

On Monday, the week “My Brothers Keeper” was to come to pick up supplies, we received a phone call from Mt. Carmel UMC.  Mt. Carmel Church had flood buckets and handmade quilts to donate to Mission Central.  We shared with Mt Carmel Church that we would be grateful for the supplies.

On Wednesday of the same week we had two shipments going out of the warehouse.  One was a tractor trailer load of UMCOR relief kits going to the main UMCOR ware house in Louisiana.  The second shipment was to Camden NJ, for “My Brothers Keeper.”  When we were loading both shipments, the delivery from the Mt. Carmel UMC arrived.

They had Flood Buckets that we loaded onto the truck going to Louisiana.  They also had bedrolls that were homemade and included a pair of gloves, a scarf, and a knit hat.  The label on the quilt said “My Brothers Keeper, (the name of the Quilters Group).”  This happens to be the same name as the shelter that was receiving the materials that we were loading.  We had volunteers box the bedrolls immediately, including a handmade card.  We sent the bedrolls along with the rest of the supplies we gave to the shelter in Camden NJ.  Both shipments received goods from the Mt. Carmel UMC delivery, and left the warehouse the same hour they were delivered.  Only God is that efficient.


Door Repair
Summer 2008

At Mission Central we have a dock door with a ramp.  The purpose of this door is to allow pickup trucks and vans to back up to the warehouse and load or unload supplies.

In the Spring of 2008 an unknown driver backed into the door causing major damage.  It had to be replaced at a cost of approximately $2000.00.

In July we had a few rainstorms with heavy downpours, causing our roof to leak and the water shorted out the mechanism to raise and lower the door.

We contacted the company who installed the new door.  They gave us an estimate of $1400.00 to repair the door.

A week later a group from Lee Memorial UMC in Norwich, Connecticut, came to Mission Central as a work group.  There happened to be a retired electrician with the group.  He checked the door mechanism and told us all it needed was a $10.00 part.

He returned to Maine.  He located the part, and sent it to us with detailed instructions on how to fix the door.  Bob Shreiner, who works with the Computer Ministry and maintains the office equipment for Mission Central, installed the part and the door is as good as new!

Mission Central Kits   Jeremiah 17:7

September – October   2008

We make Mission Central Kits to use the non-standard materials we receive for outreach ministry.  We designed two new kits; one was to be used for homeless people living on the streets, the other kit was for babies.  We wanted someone other than staff to name the kits, so we had a contest.  We advertised for names on QuikLINK and on our website.  We had many people who entered the contest. When it was time to pick the winning names, we listed the names entered anonymously so the judges did not know who entered the name.  The judges were two regular volunteers and a board member of Mission Central.  The homeless kit’s name is “Warm Heart and Hands Kit,” the name was submitted by a Missionary from Peru.  The baby kit’s name is “Baby Blessings Kit,” and the name was submitted by a seminary student from Ohio.

Dental Equipment
God Moment 47:  Luke 12:8

November 2008

Mission Central sometimes receives items that are difficult to re-distribute, or to find the appropriate person or organization for the gift.  One such items that we recently received was Dental Equipment.  We received six full operatories of Dental Equipment from a Dentist who had just upgraded his building.  The equipment used a lot of precious floor space.  We phoned our medical contacts to determine if they were aware of a ministry that could use the equipment.  There was no requirement at this time.

A week later, the Computer Ministry introduced us to Douglas Yeboah-Awusi, President of the mission named “Africa’s Hope.”  Douglas’ ministry aids Ghana.  We offered the Dental Equipment to “Africa’s Hope.”  They were very pleased to receive the equipment.  The material was shipped two weeks later.

The blessing for Mission Central was two-fold.  First, we learned of “Africa’s Hope,” and second we made a new medical contact with “Cure International,” who has Tech-support to aid us with distributing “difficult to move” equipment.  God shows his “witness” many ways.


God Moment 49: 2 Corinthians 9:7

Prom Gowns Fall 2008

 A formal-wear shop has donated 400 new prom gowns to Mission Central. The gowns were a pleasure for the staff and volunteers to receive. The staff thought the gowns would be fun for some of the teenage ladies to pack. We were right; the young ladies had a wonderful time packing the gowns.

 The gowns went to five different ministries. The ministries receiving the gowns were Elizabeth Chapel UMC (West Virginia Appalachians), Daybreak Ministries (Wellsboro, PA), Northern Tier Helping Hands (Wellsboro, PA), Redbird Ministry (Kentucky Appalachians), and Haiti Outreach.            

The last ministry to receive the gowns was Haiti Outreach. Our contact for Haiti Outreach shared with us the gowns would be a real blessing. In Haiti, people don’t get married unless they have a nice gown to wear. Sometimes they wait years until they can afford suitable attire. They live together unmarried until they can afford to purchase nice clothes to wear to the wedding. When we heard about the custom of Haiti, we were sure God sent those gowns just for the women of Haiti.

From Mission Central to Malawi, Africa
Our church has been in ministry with Malawi, Africa since 2002 and I had often talked about it at school where Susannah Cane, our music teacher, became interested in our projects. She made a contact with a teacher in a Malawi school to create a cultural connection for her chorus members.

When my school decided to overhaul their classroom paperback book inventory, there were nearly 500 books available to be given to a charitable organization. We took it upon ourselves to mail those 40 some boxes of books to the school in Malawi as the funds were available and resigned ourselves to the fact that it would take years.

The chorus members started the fundraising by taking orders for hundreds of poinsettias to decorate the stage for their 2008 Christmas concert.

In the spring of 2009 while at Mission Central delivering computers to be refurbished, I talked to Charles Reynolds. Although I know Charles Reynolds as a relative of a friend, I hadn’t seen him in years nor did he know of our connections with Malawi. When I asked him where their computers are sent, he mentioned that there was a cargo container headed to Malawi in a few weeks. I couldn’t believe what I had heard.

Scott Hill and his organization were taking computers to Malawi in memory of Dr. Derrick Gondwe, a Gettysburg College professor who originated from Malawi. The container not only had enough room to take the 36 remaining boxes of books, but there was also room to include 10 boxes of soccer balls. In addition, they delivered 3 computers to “our” school in Malawi.

God works in mysterious ways. He put me at Mission Central to talk to Charles Reynolds about computers when all along he knew I had a garage full of books that needed to go in a partially filled container from Mission Central to Malawi!

Linda Wright Christ United Methodist Church Jacobus


Ephesians 3: 14 – 19

            On February 4, 2009, we were working with some volunteers to put together 105 activity kits for Guatemalan children. We were searching through supplies to find items that would be appropriate to include for Spanish speaking children. These children would also be receiving a school kit, so we did not have to include any school supplies. We found some stickers, a Sudoku book, and a few other craft items, but really did not feel we had enough to make a nice kit. There was one bag with nice small balls, but we knew there were not enough balls to make 105 kits.

Before we finished deciding how to fill out the kits, a group came to volunteer. A lady in the group brought clothing to donate and also some other supplies to give to Mission Central. In the supplies she brought were two bags of new small toys that a friend had sent along for us. The toys were from McDonalds’s Happy Meals and were perfect for our activity kits. Not knowing how many toys were there, we started making the kits to allow the volunteers to get busy working. A count of the first box of completed kits came to 50. In the second box we found 30 toys. Then we switched over to the balls, again not knowing how many there were. We used those that were available. Then we had another count and in that box were 25 more kits, equaling EXACTLY the 105 kits we needed.

Coincidence???? No! Once again, God was simply providing the supplies at the perfect time.


Be Still Because I Am
Dear Friends,

Saturday October 2, 2010 was a memorable day for me. We completed our Marketplace and Ministry Fair in the morning, and on Saturday afternoon we conducted a PowerPoint presentation and a leadership meeting for the Hubs. During the Hub meeting God sent me a “God moment.”

As I reflect on that “moment,” I thought about the weeks, months, and 2 years leading up to “the moment.” When Harry Overholtzer resigned as Executive Director, I have had this sense of urgency; having to make sure the “Spirit” that moved the founders of Mission Central was carried forward. The love of the people who work within these walls has been the force that helped move me forward without sacrificing my faith.

On Saturday afternoon I felt one of those wonderful moments of complete rest; the rest only God can give you. The feeling of “peace” started two weeks prior to that moment when Sue Higgens, Dave Neagley, and I worked together on a “PowerPoint” presentation for the Hub meeting. At the Hub meeting I stood next Harry. We were listening to Jean Norris conduct the meeting. Rob Visscher joined Harry and I, he stood on the other side of me. As the three of us listened to Jean, I had such a calm feeling of continuation, like God was flowing through us.

That moment confirmed for me that God’s spirit will move forward to serve people by answering their needs in His house at Mission Central. The feeling of “rest” reminded me of His words “be still because I am.”

God Bless You, Kathy Briner


Christmas Candy Kits
God Moment 32:     (1 Corinthians 12:4)

God sometimes gives us gifts that we don’t have a clue as to how they will be used. About six months ago a linens manufacturer closed their business. They contacted Mission Central. The manufacturer had a lot of small and medium plastic zippered pouches that were used to process their pillowcases and sheets. We placed the pouches on pallets and they sat in the center of the warehouse for months.    The first week of December an inspiration came to us and we decided to make candy kits. We used the small pouches, and put three different packets of candy in them along with a small construction paper card that read “Merry Christmas.”  When the word spread that we had the candy kits available, we had a rush of orders from fifteen different outreach ministries! We had orders by December 11 for well over 3000 candy kits.  By December 16th we had orders and had delivered 4275 candy kits.  On December 22, 2006 we gave the last of the candy kits away.  The total number of candy kits distributed was 7250!  Thirty-three separate ministries were served.    The blessing of thinking of what joy these candy kits would give the people receiving them, gave all of the volunteers and staff of Mission Central the spirit of Christmas. Giving is receiving!


Folding Chairs
God Moment 35:    (Ruth 3:11)

Bishop Bass of the Milestone Ministerium came to Mission Central to pick up a podium he requested.  When he stopped in the Bishop inquired if we had any folding chairs he could have for the ministry.  He was having a tent revival that evening and needed the chairs.  We had just received folding chairs a week prior to when the Bishop stopped by.  When they looked at the chairs and counted them, they were the exact number of chairs they needed.



God Moment 40:         (Matthew: 5:3-10)

Bethesda Mission asked Mission Central to have our volunteers assemble kits for their street ministry.  The street ministry goes out into the streets of Harrisburg and gives blankets and supplies to the homeless people in the city who do not go to the shelters.  The kits are comprised of hotel sized soaps, shampoo, toothpaste, toothbrush, and hand cream. Mission Central decided to add hats and combs to the kits.  The hats would help to keep the people warm.  We didn’t have as many hats as we had the other supplies for the kits.   Just as the volunteers were running out of hats, when they were assembling the kits, two women from the Eastern PA Conference dropped off two large bags of knitted hats, scarves, and gloves.  Their shut-ins from First UMC, in Mt. Carmel made the knitted items.  So we had plenty of knitted items to put in the kits to help keep the homeless people warm.  The timing was so perfect that no person could deny a God Moment had taken place.



Mi Refugio
January 20, 2010

Joshua 3:1-10 Come and listen to what the Lord your God says.  Today you will know that the living God is among you.

We have always known that God provides; knowledge is not always knowing but experiencing…

We were staging supplies for a Dominican Republic shipment; as we were getting the supplies together the person in charge of the shipment asked me if we had any shoes to send on the shipment.  At the time we did not have shoes.

On the same day Mi Refugio was taking inventory of the supplies they have for a future mission trip to Guatemala.  Mi Refugio is a ministry for Guatemala.  They checked a pallet of brand new summer shoes that was designated for their ministry.   They decided the shoes would not work in Guatemala, because the geographical area where their ministry is located is mountainous.  I asked if we could use the shoes for the Dominican shipment.  The Ministry was pleased that the shoes would be put to good use.  The next day there was 300 brand new shoes on the shipment to the Dominican Republic.




Local 4-H Girls Moved to collect socks
They had no idea who they would give them to yet the motivation remained strong. Who would receive and be blessed by them? The answer came one day after they dropped off their collection at Mission Central when a shipment was scheduled to leave for Guatemala through Mi Refugio. The socks were included and now 180 orphans who call the garbage dumps and landfills of that nation “home” have socks to wear as well as other supplies. And the 4-H’ers were amazed and blessed knowing, in the end, why they did what they did and who would benefit from their efforts.


Received by the YORK HUB after flood
“Because of your ministry, I was able to share the Gospel with two different homes, and they accepted the invitation to make Jesus their Lord and Savior. Please pray for Jeff and Marion that the seed falls on good soil. I can’t thank you enough for the kits you put together. God bless you and your ministry.” –Otterbein Church Local Outreach


Executive Director received this
“We would like to thank you and Mission Central for generously donating school supplies and toiletries to the Allison Hill Community Ministry. Your participation in the Allison Hill Back to School Fundraiser made the lives of 40 children in the after school program much brighter.” Blessings, Son Day Sisters,

Aldersgate United Methodist Church



Let the Children Come to Me
Today, God reminded me of the Scripture from Matthew 19:14 “Jesus said, ‘Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.’”

A Mom came into Mission Central today to volunteer with her toddler aged children. The Mom wanted to introduce the children to missions work and didn’t think it was too soon to start with them. We wondered where we might be able to use them in the warehouse environment. Our Volunteer Coordinator, John Mulhollan, decided to have them make candy kits. They were with us for an hour and a half and made 100 candy kits!!! AND before they left, the little girl handed our receptionist a handful of coins. She had cleaned out her piggy bank to bring it to Mission Central to help the poor people!

If only we had the heart of a child…

God bless the Valentine family!!!

In His Service,


Deb Harden

Executive Assistant


Message of Thanks from Bishop Dr. Israel-Peter Mwakyolile

Dear Bishop Middleton,

Grace and Peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.

I am sending cordial greetings from the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tanzania Konde Diocese, expressing our sincere gratitudes and thanks for your enormous support to make sure that our mission of supporting education in Tanzania is accomplished. I have been informed by Mr. Randy Barr that you, your church and your staff have played a very big role in making sure that, the team gets enough space in your warehouse, so that the work of gathering, packing, and loading the container for shipment to Southern Highlands University College could take place and be easy. Thanks be to your staff as well for their support and help in this tiresome work.

When these things come to Mbeya, we will be in a position to ask the Tanzania Commission for Universities to come for their second inspection, as they had demanded that we should have enough computers and books, if we want to start the programs in this academic year. Your support is contributing a lot to this success. Thanks a lot for this.

I thank you also for the school kits and office furniture you gave to us. God bless you and your ministry. Hoping to hear from you, I remain sincerely yours,

Bishop Dr. Israel-Peter Mwakyolile
ELCT-Konde Diocese,
TUKUYU, Tanzania


Dear Bishop Dr. Israel-Peter Mwakyolile,

My Bishop, Bishop Jane Middleton Susquehanna Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church, shared your email with me.

We are so thankful to have played a small role in assisting your ministry in Tanzania. Mission Central is pleased to have participated in making a difference in the lives of the students of Southern Highlands University College by serving as the point of origin for the shipment and sending supplies.

We lift your work in our prayers and may God continue to strengthen you and your pastors.

Rev. Rob Visscher
Executive Director
Mission Central


Dear Rev. Visscher, receive many cordial greetings from the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tanzania, Konde Diocese. It is my hope that you are doing well with your daily activities put into your hands to take care of. We on our part are well.

I am writing this mail to express our sincere gratitude and thanks for the support you and your Facilities Manager Patti Glasser have provided to Randy Barr and his team, while they were figuring out as to how things would work with the transportation of the computers and other goods to The Southern Highlands University College. You made place, staff and materials available for teck4Tanzania team, that they could fulfill their part without any problem. Your Facilities Manager was an invaluable partner to Randy while figuring out what else to park into the container. We are thankful for all the packing materials you provided and for the help with the logistics of packing.

God bless you and all who in one way or another supported our mission.
Hoping to hearing from you, I remain sincerely yours,

Bishop Dr. Israel-Peter Mwakyolile
ELCT-Konde Diocese,
TUKUYU, Tanzania

Mission Central Makes Healing Connection Between Two Grieving Widows

“Good morning. Mission Central. This is Ruth. How may I help you?” Every Wednesday and Friday I have the privilege of serving at the front desk as receptionist, answering the phone and greeting folks who enter our doors. Every day is different and I am always blessed by the conversations.

Recently, a woman called and asked if we accepted medical equipment. After my positive response, she started listing all the items she had. I kept saying yes. She asked for directions and then said that all these things had been used by her husband while he was on hospice. I thanked her for calling, hung up, and discovered that my cheeks were wet.

Before I had an opportunity to wipe my tears away, she called back. Could we also use the linens from the hospital bed? Once again the answer was yes. I told her that last October I was in the same position as she and was so grateful to know that someone else would benefit from David’s equipment and supplies. Both of us were in tears, mine in sweet remembrance. On sobs, we hung up.

On that day, I was struggling and could not name the problem. When I asked “how may I help you” I didn’t expect to be the one helped. God moments happen at Mission Central all the time and I am grateful.

Of Visions and Dreams

About ten years ago Methodist Pastor Jim Rudy decided to follow a dream. With two computers and a vision that he was certain had come from God (and not from a restless sleep after too much night time junk food) Pastor Rudy started to repair and rebuild computers to give away. His dream was to give them to folks who would probably never be able to afford them. He told neighbor and friend, Bob Shreiner. In 2006 the Central Pa Conference UMC helped launch Computer Ministry, Inc. (CMI), and provided space in its Mission Central warehouse, Mechanicsburg.

In less than ten years more than 10,000 computer systems have been given away! The most recent shipment (110) went to the Konde Diocese, Evangelical Lutheran Church of Tanzania, for the Mbeya Lutheran Teacher’s College. The Tanzanian Church and government are joining together to move the academic work from what we once called a normal school, preparing people to teach primary grades, to university status with accredited faculty and necessary facilities to support world-class study and preparation. This new school is Southern Highlands University College, Uyole, Tanzania.

The shipment started when, maybe in the spirit of Pastor Rudy, I too, caught a dream and vision. I felt called to help the school get the computers necessary for accreditation but after researching prices I was really discouraged. I grumbled to Bob Shreiner, who I had met when I volunteered at CMI. He looked at me like I was dumber than dirt and said, “That’s what we do here. Do you need them today or tomorrow?” The journey to Tanzania began.

I shared the good news of CMI’s offer. Family, friends and strangers from many faith traditions caught the vision and shared themselves, their resources and their prayers. We organized as a ministry of St. Paul Lutheran Church, Enola. The wish list for the new school grew. Soon we were gathering textbooks, office furniture, overhead projectors, even copying machines and a small telephone system. Warehouse workers who had done this kind of shipping before urged me ask UMCOR for school kits to extend the educational opportunities and stabilize the contents of the container. Overwhelming help rushed over our efforts like rain on a hot summer day!

The container was packed and left Mission Central on time, July 11. It sailed from Baltimore on Friday the 13th aboard the MSC Natalia. Many watch and wait in great hope and joy. We are tracking its voyage on our computers and the folks in Tanzania have gathered “armies of prayers.”

Heartfelt thanks to all in and around Mission Central whose godly hearts and human resources were freely given again and again! May everyone know the joy of the blessings they bring to others, even generations yet unborn. Those who now survive in central Tanzania might soon thrive with tools for education and the hope of Christ alive in us.

Tender Care Pregnancy Center

In the spring, I called Tender Care Pregnancy Center in Hanover, PA about delivering supplies to them. I mentioned that we had a large supply of Easter baskets and Easter grass and asked if they were interested in receiving some of it. They hesitantly accepted our offer. When I spoke with them recently about receiving more supplies, they told me about the Easter baskets. They mentioned that they weren’t sure how they would use them but found them to be a tremendously blessing! They were able to give out all the baskets with candy and treats in them to clients and others who stopped by to get a free Easter basket. They were thrilled with the results and are eager to receive more baskets and grass for next year. God’s connections are amazing!

Thank Offering

A few weeks ago Helen Smith, from Higher Ground Church, came to your place in need of a wheelchair for a person who our church wanted to bless. She promised our church would take up a love offering for you all. The love offering was in amount of $134.10 which this check is for. May god bless you as you serve Him, and the community around you. You’ve blessed us.

Thank You! Thank You! Thank You!

A big thank you to the Aldersgate UMC congregation and Mission Central for sponsoring the Allison Hill School Collection. This fundraiser provided 28 children with uniform pants, shirts and school bags filled with school supplies. Thank you so much for your unfailing generosity.

All Terrain Vehicle

Jean Norris had gathered a pallet of supplies for a lady named Hadiza Fox for a mission’s trip to a maternity clinic in Niger, West Africa. When Hadiza came to pick up the supplies this morning, she asked if we had a wheelchair which could be used on all types of terrain for a young boy in Niger. We did not have anything which would work for her [in the morning].

Due to the amount of supplies, Hadiza had to return this afternoon to pick up the rest of the items. Right before she came into the building, another ministry (Derry Street UMC) was dropping off furniture for New Digs. Beth Ridgeway (from Derry Street) mentioned that she had a wheelchair which had bicycle tires on the back wheels and large, hard rubber wheels on the front which would work on all types of terrain…

As I brought the wheelchair into the warehouse, Hidiza was walking in to pick up the rest of her supplies. I showed her the wheelchair and she exclaimed, “God works miracles!” Yes, He does!

The other amazing part of this story…

Hadiza was supposed to pick up her supplies on 4/19 or 4/22 ~ she came 4/29 instead which was the day the wheelchair was brought here.

Also, if she had a vehicle large enough to take all the supplies in one trip in the morning, she wouldn’t have been here in the afternoon when the wheelchair came in.

God is Awesome! ALL THE TIME! We just have to stop long enough to recognize His daily miracles.

Doing The Right Thing

Earlier this Month, a woman contacted Mission Central on behalf of her grand-daughter. The young lady would be serving for one year in Africa. She was looking for birthing kits. Once the birthing kits are verified, they are the property of UMCOR (United Methodist Committee on Relief). However, we did have some that had not been verified. When the ladies came in to pick up the kits, they also took a tour. At the end, we gave her the kits. Sometime during that hour, someone had dropped off 3 boxes full of birthing kit items! God blessed our obedience.

Perfect Size

Last week, Jean Norris brought in some handmade sweaters and matching shirts that someone at her church made for Mission Central to use as a fundraiser in our store.

When one of our volunteers saw them today, she was thrilled! Each sweater is the perfect size for all her grandchildren. She took them all and gave a donation to Mission Central. This volunteer, Ella “Tillie” Holloway, gives back to Mission Central in another way as well. She leads a group that sews school kit bags for us ~ well over a hundred at a time!

Mission Central was the conduit between a generous donor and a grateful recipient: Connecting God’s Resources with Human Need once again.

What Difference Can a Church Make In It's Community?

What difference does a church make in it’s community?  Just ask our neighbors…

In September, a fire burned down a home nearly on the church’s doorstep.  As fire fighters from several fire companies gathered to put out the blaze, we welcomed the family and the Good Samaritans that saved them into our Sanctuary.  They lost everything in the fire, so I took the family into our Thrift Shop, and clothed them.  Because we are a HUB for Mission Central, I was able to give them a couple of health kits and a cleaning bucket kit.

Since that night, I check in with the family regularly.  The congregation prays for them every week on our prayer list.  Many members of our incredibly-generous community brought them gift cards, and the church served as the collection site until they moved into a trailer on their property.

The church is at it’s finest when it is doing God’s business—taking care of God’s children!

Rev. David Czeisel

Bayport UMC