In 2012, FUMC began its partnership with Willie Berman, a commissioned missionary with the General Board of Global Ministries of The United Methodist Church who serves in his home country of Mexico.
Willie is the Director of a Mexican organization called Manos Juntas (Hands Together). His task is to partner United Methodist volunteers from the United States with mission needs and projects in Mexico. Willie comments, “When we partner, everyone gets the benefit of being part of a more holistic ministry for the community.”
From its headquarters in Rio Bravo, Manos Juntas manages programs that affect the lives of thousands of people every year. A hot lunch program feeds 70 children every day and medical clinics serve 6,000 patients per year. The construction program builds homes for families, worship spaces for congregations, schools or classrooms, and constructs/repairs community facilities. Manos Juntas also teaches new life skills such as carpentry, sewing, welding, and piñata-making.
Manitas Juntas (Little Hands Together) helps children find their missionary calling by assisting the elderly, cleaning parks, painting public schools, and organizing friendship parties at orphanages. A high school and college scholarship program helps students stay in school. In 2018 they will open a Children’s Home in Nuevo Progreso, Mexico. They already have the building and it will house 10 boys and 10 girls ages 5 to 15.
The Vamos Tamaulipas Community Center, coordinated by Veronica Berman, offers pre-school and elementary school education and long-term services to help families break the cycle of poverty. In 2015 they coordinated the work of 48 mission teams and they are expecting to finish this year with 52 mission teams working in México.
Willie believes that his role as a missionary is “to be in the middle of the Church and the volunteers, to help all of them understand what their roles are when we partner with God on his mission on the Mexican border. We use all of our programs as the excuse to show the love of Christ to all.”
Your gifts to Willie Berman (mark advance #3019612) or to Manos Juntas Ministry (mark advance # 3020527) may be dropped in the offering plate anytime during September or mailed to or brought by the church office.