My Mission Journey-Rev. Jimette Rose McLean

May is Mission Month. Throughout my ministry, I have participated and/or led at least fifteen mission trips. Most of them were youth trips when I was serving First UMC in Ann Arbor, MI. We helped camps prepare for the summer season in North Carolina, Colorado, New Hampshire, Wisconsin, and Kentucky. We volunteered with the Appalachia Service Project and Mountain Top in Tennessee.

While serving a church in Anchorage, I was the Conference Secretary for the General Board of Global Ministries and spent a week in Moscow learning about our churches in Russia and another week visiting churches in Bulgaria in order to interpret their ministries to churches in the Western Jurisdiction.

While serving at St. John UMC in Anchorage, I was involved in hosting mission teams that came to Alaska from the Lower 48, many of them from Oklahoma. Because of our proximity to the airport and the fact that we had two sets of showers in the restrooms, many of the teams stayed at our church. It gave me an opportunity to experience mission teams from both the giving and receiving perspectives.

In 2007, I participated with a team from our church in Kribi, Cameroon, Africa. We refurbished a dorm and school building, but more importantly, we learned more about the culture and the many needs for that area. After moving to Epworth, I went back to Alaska with a team from Church of the Servant to lead a Bible School at a small church in Anchorage.

Even after all that experience with mission, my most impactful effect was upon my retirement when, in honor of my 48 years of ministry, the church raised $14,000 to build two freshwater wells for villages in Cameroon that had NEVER had fresh water. Had I known what a difference I could make, I may have retired sooner!

Opportunities to be in mission don’t come to an end when we retire. The Religious Life Committee has lined up several ways for us to continue to serve: the clothing drive, a food drive, volunteering and/or contributing to the Regional Food Bank of OK, volunteering at Scissortail Elementary School, and helping erase the debt some families have from their food service. And there are more opportunities to come regarding global missions.

Jesus said,” for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me. …just as you did it to one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did it to me.”