Garber is involved in a number of international projects around the world. Four are listed below, but look for information coming soon about a mission trip to Uganda!
1. Operation Christmas Child Shoe Box Campaign
Operation Christmas Child Shoebox Campaign is a division of Samaritan’s Purse, Inc. The Samaritan’s Purse mission is to follow Christ’s command by going to the aid of the world’s poor, sick, and suffering. They are an effective means of reaching hurting people in countries around the world with food, medicine, and other assistance in the Name of Jesus Christ. This, in turn, earns them a sharing of the Gospel, the Good News of eternal life through Jesus.
The Shoebox Campaign enlists churches, organizations, and individuals to help pack shoe boxes with toys, socks, hygiene items, school supplies. These boxes are shipped all over the world to children in devastating conditions and given with love, as well as a Gospel in their native language. The children are also invited to attend a 12 week course, The Greatest Adventure, where they learn about the Bible from Creation to the Resurrection. Upon completion, each child wears a cap and gown to graduate, and are presented with their own bible.
Operation Christmas Child Shoe Box Campaign is a year-round opportunity for service. Many people collect one item per month for their shoe boxes. Some buy their shipping labels one per month, or save their quarters all year to pay for shipping the number of boxes they determine to do. If you catch this fever, look for end of season buys on special items! And don’t forget to put a WOW item in each box you pack!
Operation Christmas Child Shoe Box Campaign is a yearly focus for Garber UMC. In 2016, Garber packed 1127 shoe boxes! Garber also became a Relay Center for collection of shoe boxes in Craven County. As such, over 8000 shoe boxes were collected, packed into cartons, and transported to the Eastern Collection Center for further transportation to the Charlotte Processing Center.
Garber UMC will again serve as a Relay Center in 2017. We will also offer the opportunity to travel to Charlotte to serve in the Processing Center in early December — we hope to take a bus load of folks for this wonderful 2 day service project!
We believe every disciple must mature into serving others.
Jesus spent time teaching his disciples to learn to live as God intended. THEN... Jesus sent his disciples out to live what they learned through serving the church (other believers) and through serving the world (the poor, the afflicted, the abused, the hurt, the lonely, the forgotten, the outsiders).
Haiti is the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere.
We send a "servant team"- comprised of students and adults - to Haiti each year. Through our partnership over the years with the St. Joseph's family, our service includes helping at the Mother Teresa Children's Hospital, the Sisters of Mercy Home for the Destitute and Dying, and the Wings of Hope home for physically and mentally challenged children, among other activities. We also supply school supplies for Lekol Sen Trinite, a school for the poorest children in the Jacmel region of Haiti.
3. Stitches of Love Sewing Minsitry
This ministry consists of a group of dedicated women who commit to finding fabrics, cutting, tying, sewing, ironing, packing, and praying over all projects. They make and send pillowcases, dresses, pillows, totebags, and babydolls to Haiti, Kenya, and Russia --- so far! A handmade card also accompanies each item. This group meets monthly and loves to have new friends come and help!
4. Children’s Hope Chest Russian Ministry
Garber’s Russian Ministry was born in 1994 through a connection with Children’s Hope Chest of Colorado Springs, CO. Their mission statement then and still today is: Children’s Hope Chest responds to God’s desire for every orphan to know Him, experience the blessing of family, and acquire the skills needed for independent life. A small team from Garber had a heart for bringing the Gospel to orphans in Russia. They traveled through the Kostroma region looking for an orphanage to sponsor. The team returned home with two orphanages, each with very different needs that Garber has faithfully been sponsoring since that time, sending yearly teams to Russia to help children experience joy and laughter in the name of Jesus.
Our teams, over the years, have improved the building and grounds at Makariev orphanage. Garber has provided the materials/labor to build an outdoor play area, which was the first in the village and made quite an impression on the community. Land was purchased to make a garden (which is a source for most of their vegetables); a new rototiller, a new oven, and new beds & desks have also been bought or built. Today, the living conditions at Makariev orphanage have improved tremendously, thanks to Garber.
The ministry has designated other trips “medical” where teams have provided a variety of medical services — vision care and eyeglasses, dental care, and hearing screenings for many Russian children and adults in need. Whether a medical or relational trip, we are there as servants of God, sharing our faith through our love and service.
Garber has also sponsored and visited the boys orphanage at Kovaloyvo. This orphanage has no need for physical repair but relationships with the orphans there are much needed! The children hunger for letters and visits and strong bonds have developed over the years.
Child sponsorship is another way Garber supports the orphans, as well as the Disciplers who visits the orphanages on a weekly basis. Sponsorship is simple: $35 and a personal letter each month to the sponsored child. Garber also has an open invitation to anyone to write a letter to any child who lives at one of our sponsored orphanages. There is a mailbox on each Garber campus to receive your letters.
Since we started the CHC ministry, we’ve encountered some hurdles. In 2009/2010, government control limited how freely we could share the gospel with children in orphanages, however we did pray and encourage the children in Jesus’ love. At one point, Makariev closed and children were scattered; they have since reopened. In 2016 Putin signed a controversial bill which outlaws sharing faith in homes, online, or anywhere but recognized church buildings. Through the commitment of Garber, we have endured these trials, remained engaged, and continue to shine the Light of Christ in the lives of Russia’s children.