BrightLights

Intergenerational Mission in Iowa

Intergenerational Mission in Iowa
Intergenerational members from Iowa a long way from home in the jungle of Costa Rica.

It all started with an idea—a dream, really. How do we get women and youth to participate together in an action project, learn from one another and demonstrate faith, hope and love in action? After all, United Methodist Women is for women and girls of all ages.

We decided to offer an intergenerational mission trip in 2017 for girls and women 6th grade and older. A group of 23 individuals made their way from various points in Iowa to Council Bluffs Municipal Airport for a 5:30 a.m. flight to San Jose, Costa Rica. The ages of group members ranged from 12 to 87. Some were grandmothers, mothers and daughters, but many had never met before. We were on our way to work with Strong Missions, a partner of the United Methodist Board of Global Ministries.

We worked on several projects, such as clearing brush for a community garden, leveling ground housing, mixing and laying cement, sanding and mudding walls, providing afternoon vacation Bible school for children and providing lunch to children.

We also visited Universidad de Biblica Latino American. Olga Maria Parrado, coordinator of the Red de Mujeres program, told how they empower and educate women through this "network of women" supported by Mission Giving of United Methodist Women members. Genilma Boehler, a Global Ministries' missionary, spoke about her work as a professor at the university.

God used the talents of all 23 throughout the week and gave insight to many on gifts they didn't even know they had. Where will God call Iowa Conference United Methodist Women next?

Gladys Alvarez is vice president of the Iowa Conference United Methodist Women.

Posted or updated: 8/13/2018 12:00:00 AM

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