A Christmas Gift for Jubilee Project in Hancock County
December Mission A Christmas Gift for Jubilee Project in Hancock County For the last few Christmases, you have been invited to share with Jubilee Project. You will remember that Jubilee Project was begun when Holston Conference of the UMC recognized that very close to us, nestled in between the Clinch and Powell Mountains in Hancock County, Tennessee, was an area of beautiful landscape with an often unseen and persistent level of poverty. This county is one of the poorest in the nation. In 1991, the United Methodist Church established Jubilee Project in Sneedville to address this burden on our neighbors across the mountain. Children and the elderly are particularly affected by the isolation and lack of hope poverty of this kind engenders. Director Linda Stransky visited us last year, and she noted that serving in Sneedville has been an eye-opening experience for her. Her work, she said, “had often been in areas of poverty before, but never in such isolation where there are no local resources to draw upon for monetary or donation support.” As she passed our donations of food for JAMA in the Narthex, she exclaimed that their food pantry shelves were exhausted the previous week. Overwhelmed by her need, we loaded what had been donated into her car. We knew you would gladly replace the food in a short time. We might liken the situation to Good Samaritan trying to do their work without the local community resources. Without our caring about a community of people far removed from our doorstep, the needs could not be met. Long time receptionist Heidi Taylor, who has also visited us in past years, sends us this invitation: “We at Jubilee Project invite you to partner with us to change lives as we work alongside the people of impoverished Appalachia in Hancock County. Help us to provide clean, accessible water to families, repair homes and provide handicapped accessibility, to make them safe and secure, and provide food and hygiene supplies for those in need. Help us provide programming for both youth and women so we can encourage them in their walk with Christ, provide support, and empower them to improve their own lives.” We hope to share pictures from Jubilee in our December 2nd Mission Moment. Last year you responded with great generosity, typical of our church. There is no “glamour” to this mission, but it is exactly the type of work we as Christians are called to do. Please mark “Advance 781350” or just the designation “Jubilee Project” on the memo line of your check. Whatever you can give will be greatly appreciated.