Holston churches again exceeded all goals for its annual Hands-on Mission Project, collecting 28 tons of food, school, health, and sewing kits -- valued at $187,100 -- for missions in Zimbabwe and Liberia.
Maria Humbane, director of Ishe Anesu Project in Mutare, Zimbabwe, expressed her appreciation to church members during her June 13 appearance at Annual Conference in Lake Junaluska, N.C.
"Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you," Humbane said in Stuart Auditorium. "These are the best words I know to say. When these kids needed love, you were there to hug them."
Over the years, Holston generosity has enabled Ishe Anesu to have enrolled today: 50 children in primary school, 20 childern in secondary school, three students in teacher training, and five students at Africa University, Humbane said.
Maria Humbane is a General Board of Global Ministries missionary. The supplies sent to Liberia are distributed through Helen Roberts-Evans, General Board of Global Ministries missionary.
For weeks prior to Annual Conference, Holston churches collected supplies as assigned by district. Members brought their kits to designated drop-off points in early June. On June 9-10, volunteers transported the supplies to Fairview United Methodist Church in Maryville, Tenn., where they were packed by other volunteers onto two ocean carriers.
The tractor-trailers transported the kits to Annual Conference, where members applauded as they heard the traditional horn sound-off from the auditorium roadside. The trucks immediately departed for a Charleston, S.C., seaport, where they will shipped overseas to Africa.
"Holston people are the most amazing, mission-minded people around," said Anne Travis, director of connectional ministries. "We are so proud of you."
TOTAL NUMBER OF KITS COLLECTED BY DISTRICT
Abingdon District (food buckets) ... Goal: 300 Actual: 900
Big Stone Gap District (food buckets) ... Goal: 200 Actual: 401
Knoxville District (health kits) ... Goal: 400 Actual: 1,112
Oak Ridge District (health kits) ... Goal: 300 Actual: 320
Chattanooga District (school kits) ... Goal: 400 Actual: 681
Maryville District (school kits) ... Goal: 300 Actual: 580
Kingsport District (health kits) ... Goal: 300 Actual: 902
Johnson City District (school kits) ... Goal: 300 Actual: 1,300
Wytheville District (school kits) ... Goal: 300 Actual: 713
Morristown District (food buckets) ... Goal: 300 Actual: 627
Cleveland District (food buckets) ... Goal: 300 Actual: 538
Tazewell District (sewing kits) ... Goal: 200 Actual: 886