Thanks for a Truck for Kutela

The truck for Quessua Agriculture

Kutela Katembo is the agriculturalist at Quessua Mission Station, which was a major center of education, agriculture, medicine and worship before Angola’s 25 year-long civil war.  Gloria Edwards visited there in November and describes him as “absolutely invaluable and a dear, kind man.”  In addition to providing food for the residents of Quessua and the surrounding villages, Kutela also teaches them about nutrition, provides seeds for neighboring farmers and teaches them how best to plant and harvest their crops.  Kutela has a tractor but it gets stuck in the mud because it is not 4 wheel-drive.

Kutela is transforming Quessua.  He has established fields where vegetables such as tomatoes, beans, maize, and carrots are grown.  He has overseen the planting of moringa trees and lemon, lime, avocado and banana orchards, and Gloria got to help plant more banana trees.  They now have a rabbitry to provide protein and fertilizer, two sheep as the start of a flock, and a fence has recently been erected in anticipation of the arrival of cattle. 

He has done all of this without a truck.

How do you farm without a truck?  It takes a lot of manual labor, and getting a ride from Ken Koome or taking a motor bike if you need to go to town to buy seed and supplies.  This was especially difficult after Kutela broke his foot last winter when he fell off a motorcycle.  There really are no other transportation options for him.

Here’s the good news – in the past few weeks Kutela was able to buy this truck!  The purchase was a joint effort of the General Board of Global Ministries, the East Angola Conference, the Yellowstone Annual Conference, and our financial contributions accumulated over a few years.  In fact, BUMC funded all but $1000 of cost of this truck.

On December 9 we received this letter from Kutela:

To: The Bozeman UMC Church
 
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ:

I greet you in the name of our savior and Lord Jesus Christ. Great is my joy and pleasure to take this opportunity to sincerely thank God and  you for the great gesture that you have made by making one of our important dreams come alive. Quessua Agriculture now has a truck for his Mission!

Since arriving to Quessua Mission two years ago, transport has been a great challenge for our ministry work. God has answered prayers with your gift and being who he is has made our dream come alive.

This truck will be kept well for his purpose and I promise to look after it.  I ask that you pray for this truck and for me as I use it so that we may be protected and blessed as it enters into God’s mission through us. May the almighty God bless and protect it.

There is still much more to be done at Quessua Agriculture; your prayers and support to our ministry are very important in order to accomplish our work.

Once again, I thank you all and May God bless you and continue opening your hearts for doing good for others. Acts 20:35.

Your brother in Christ,

Kutela Katembo

You are helping to transform the world through the connections of the United Methodist Church.  You are making a difference in the lives of many people.  Thank you all for your support!

Kutela, carrots and kids at Quessua

Women in a farm trailer

Gloria planting banana trees

Gloria and a fence for the

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Christmas Giving Opportunities

This year we are thankful to again be able to support our church and those in need in our community and beyond.  Because this year has been more challenging financially than past years for BUMC, we will be splitting the Figgy Pudding and Christmas Eve offerings between the general fund and mission opportunities described below.

Figgy Pudding, December 13 at 6:30 p.m.

 

Christmas Eve services at 3:00, 5:00, 7:00 and 9:00 p.m.

 
Our Figgy Pudding Offering will be split evenly between support for homeless youth in the Bozeman public schools and the BUMC general fund.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
The Christmas Eve Offering will be divided three ways — 25% will go to UMCOR for US disaster relief, 25% will to go Angola Pastor Support, and 50% will go to the BUMC general fund.
 
Please make checks payable to BUMC.  Thank you very much, and have a Merry Christmas!
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Thank You for Your Generosity

Thank you for your generosity this fall!
We had several giving opportunities, and you responded with open hearts.
— The Pluck-a-Feather fall food collection totaled 964 pounds of non-perishable food for the Gallatin Valley Food Bank, and they are very thankful.
— We quickly filled all the requests for gifts for children at Intermountain.  They will enjoy these at Christmas.
— Over $1200 in gift cards were donated to support homeless youth in Bozeman through the Bozeman Public Schools and HRDC.
— The HUGS Tree collected two large totes of new hats, underwear, gloves, scarves and socks which were delivered to the Browning UM Parish.
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Traveling to El Salvador and Angola

Joanne Griffin and Gloria Edwards being commissioned by Bishop Oliveto at our annual Conference meeting.

ANGOLA
Gloria Edwards is joining a team of three other women going to Angola in October.  The group is organized by the Florida Conference, and includes two women from there and two women from the Yellowstone Conference. 
While in Angola they will spend time in Quessia Mission Station, see our friends Ken Koome, Kutela Kutembo (the agriculturalist at Quessua), and Rev. Andre Cassule as well as other pastors in East Angola Conference.  They plan to strengthen the personal connections between our conferences, do some medical work, some agricultural work, and visit churches and pastors in the area.
To offer items of support this team is collecting basic first aid supplies such as gauze pads, tape, Band-Aids in a variety of sizes and Neosporin.
They are also collecting brightly colored girls underwear in sizes 10, 12 and 14 to use for sewing and hygiene classes.
This mission group will be gone about two weeks, and they thank you for your prayers of support.
 

Students in El Salvador

EL SALVADOR
A team of 10 people from BUMC are traveling to San Salvador, El Salvador in October, too!  This team is headed by John and Vickie Wilkinson, who have worked in the Siloe area for many years.
This group will be working at a school in the city, organizing a job fair to help students see the possibilities available after graduation, and working at a very remote school on an island.
They are collecting basic school supplies to take with them.  Your continued prayer for safety, wisdom, endurance, and good health for the team is much appreciated.
Donations for either trip may be left in the narthex.  There is a giant, grey “school locker” for school supplies for El Salvador, and a red duffle bag for underwear and first aid supplies for Angola.
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UMCOR Cleaning and Hygiene Kits



Lenten Offerings

 

This spring our Lenten Offerings are going to support two local projects:

HRDC Homeless Youth Matching Grant Challenge

Project Fresh Start Emergency Fund

The Homeless Youth Home matching grant was discussed at the class on Feb. 22 and was quite well received by those in attendance.  The challenge is to raise $30,000 by June 1, and the funds will be matched by the City of Bozeman.  The HYH provides stable housing while youth develop positive relationships with adults and learn necessary life skills.  The youth served here are between 16 and 19 years old.
 
https://www.thehrdc.org/how-we-help/our-community/youth-development/
Project Fresh Start is the voluntary program at the Gallatin County Detention Center that assists inmates who want to make a new start in society.  Many of them do not have a clean, safe place to live or a job to support them.  The PFS emergency fund is used to help them secure housing, helps with transportation to appointments, etc.  In the last year the PFS recidivism rate has been 10%, which is far below the typical rate.  BUMC has been collecting gently used shoes, boots and winter clothing for them for over a year, and our generosity is greatly appreciated.
 
Please see the January 2016 blog post for more information.
Donations will be split evenly between these two groups unless specified otherwise.  You may write “Lenten Offering”, Homeless Youth” or “Project Fresh Start” in the memo line of your check.  Thank you very much for supporting people in need in our own community.
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A Truck for Kutela

This year 25% of our Christmas Eve offering will go toward a truck for Kutela.  Kutela Katembo is the Agriculturalist at Quessua Mission Station, and he is transforming Quessua.  He is responsible for planning, planting, maintaining and harvesting crops which will support the people that live in Quessua and nearby villages.  He has planted banana trees, fruit trees, many types of vegetables, moringa trees and started a rabbitry and is educating people in nearby villages in how to better grow healthy foods. You can read about his work, and see photos in his latest newsletter.
 
In order to make his work more efficient and effective, Kutela needs a truck.  It would be used to haul seeds and supplies from Luanda, which is about 6 hours away, to carry equipment, produce and food around the farm, and to visit outlying villages.  Thank you for your support!


Your Support of Angola Pastors is Very Important!

One of the recipients of our Christmas Eve offering will be Angola Pastor Support.  Our conference is committed to providing $50/month to each of the 66 pastors in East Angola Conference.  
This money literally changes lives dramatically.  
Please read the newsletter for a moving story from one of those pastors.  
 
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Responding to Flooding in Louisiana

When you read the numbers, your eyes literally do a double take.  There are 137,000 residents in Livingston Parish and over 105,000 of those residents lost their homes. The devastation in the parish just east of Baton Rouge is unfathomable.

“I don’t think I’ve fully comprehended it. said an emotional Rev. Jackie King. “I’ve seen people arrive here to the church and say, ‘I just spent $90 on cleaning supplies with $90 I don’t have.’ I’ve stood with church members as they stare at their home and silently ask ‘Where do we start?’ as they stand in their driveway absolutely paralyzed.  

 
-from the Louisiana Conference web page, August 21, 2016  Read More here.
 
Torrential August rains have caused devastating flooding in Louisiana and the cleanup efforts are just beginning.  In a video on Facebook, Bishop Cynthia Harvey explains that peoples’ lives have been devastated and many people have lost everything. Recovery will require patience as the cleaning and rebuilding will take months or years.  She asks for our prayers as the people of Louisiana deal with the flooding – prayers for patience, position and posture to deal with things now and in the future.  She has seen visions of hope as people help one another, but prayer is a great need.
 
Financial donations are also welcome, and UMCOR has been on site delivering nearly 3,000 cleanup buckets with another 2,000 ready to be shipped to the most vulnerable places.  Teams are also assembling even more cleanup buckets to meet the demand.  
 
Louisiana experienced massive flooding earlier this spring, and UMCOR had just approved a long-term disaster-response grant when the latest storms hit, affecting some of the same areas.  Several Methodist churches have been converted to shelters and UMCOR is collaborating with FEMA and other disaster response agencies.
 
If you want to help, please pray for the people of Louisiana daily.  You may also write a check to BUMC and put “Louisiana” in the memo line and we will forward the funds for you.  If you would like to donate via credit card, please go to the UMCOR donation link
.  At this time only trained teams of volunteers are needed in Louisiana.
 
To read more about UMCOR’s response, click 
.  A link to Bishop Harvey’s message is on the Bozeman United Methodist Church Facebook page, and there is much more information on the situation in Baton Rouge at http://www.la-umc.org.
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Things are Growing in Quessua!

Kutela Katembo is the agriculturalist at Quessua Mission and he visited BUMC in June 2015.  He moved to Quessua from the Democratic Republic of Congo in December to begin his work of revitalizing Quessua’s farm.  Before the civil war Quessua fed 1000 people including students, orphans, staff and people from the surrounding villages.  All of that agricultural work was destroyed in the war, and landmines were planted in many fields.  Kutela has made great progress in a very short time, planting many types of vegetables with the help of students and orphans, planting a moringa orchard, and starting a rabbit farm.
 
He recently wrote, “My family and I are doing fine by the grace of the Lord. It is a pleasure for me to always send some news regarding our mission at Quessua Mission. Please find attached our July Newsletter. We Thank you for your support to our agriculture ministry.
Blessings,
Kutela.
 
You can read the newsletter and see many pictures of his work here:
 
 
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Kutela Katembo

First moringa harvest

First moringa harvest