2009-2011

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

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Toys
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.

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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

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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!

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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.

 

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Hats
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.

 

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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.

 

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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.

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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

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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

 

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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

Deb Harden

Executive Assistant