Oklahoma Conference of the United Methodist Church

Blended Group Brings Joy to Uvalde


Boston Avenue and Muskogee St. Paul UMCs sent a group to Uvalde to offer a mid-winter VBS for children in Uvalde, Texas, the scene of a devastating school shooting. Left to right: Bethany Wood, Rahn Walker, Richard Wansley, Julie Sluss, Susan Walker, Donna Woods, Terry Ingram, Kathy Eskridge, Jim Thompson, Jennifer Neely, Karen Ingram, Sheila Baker (standing), Susan Thompson, Ace Hensley, Rev. April McPherson (floor)

by Rev. April McPherson

Fifteen volunteers from Boston Avenue UMC and Muskogee St. Paul led a midwinter Vacation Bible School January 11-16, in Uvalde, TX.

The VIM trip was a brainchild of Shelia Baker and Susan Thompson in response to the shooting in May of 2022 at an elementary school in Uvalde. The shooting took the lives of lives of nineteen children and two adults.

The question Baker and Thompson posed to themselves and others was, “In the aftermath of tragedy, can anything be done to help?” God’s prompting to the pair was carry some joy to the children and parents of Uvalde.

So that’s what they did.

Recruiting volunteers to cook, teach and lead, the two put together a balanced team to lead a Food Truck Party weekend VBS in partnership with First United Methodist Church of Uvalde. Over the weekend, volunteers led over forty children in song, dance, Bible stories, cooking, science and crafts.

The kids also enjoyed breakfast, lunch and dinner cooked by volunteers while they participated in the VBS. After the conclusion of the VBS, volunteers hosted a community meal featuring the children singing songs & food truck food for families throughout the community.

During the meal, one mother asked for prayer to accept Christ and begin the journey toward baptism for her and her children. Remaining food fed officers at the Uvalde Police Station and families in the community.

The VIM team concluded their time in Uvalde paying their respects at community memorials for each of the victims, praying for the community and offering  Holy Communion. Volunteers returned to Tulsa and Muskogee feeling blessed to have served and shared joy in such a way.

The trip was sponsored jointly by the Work Area on Mission and United Women in Faith of Boston Avenue and St. Paul United Methodist Church.




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