A team of eight missionaries from Tifton First United Methodist Church will be entering the mission field for the first time since 2019 as they leave for Santo Domingo, Ecuador next week.
The TFUMC team flies out Friday, May 5 and returns early May 13.
This Sunday, during TFUMC’s traditional worship services, the team will be commissioned prior to their departure.
The Tifton First mission team is comprised of Joe and Joy West; Tom and Gail Shoup; Alan and Janet McAllister; Elizabeth Cromer; and Debbie Milam.
TFUMC Mission Team leader Joy West is looking forward to a prosperous week as the team assists full-time missionaries Sharon and Graham Nichols. There are activities and tasks planned daily, in addition to a significant painting project.
“We will be going to the Barrio Nazareth and painting the inside of a community house,” Joy said. The building, according to Joy, was once owned by the Ecuadorian government, but was donated to the Barrio (neighborhood). It is in buildings such as this where the missionaries can meet with the children, teach bible studies, and provide meals and snacks.
The painting project will take place during the morning hours, while, according to missionary Sharon Nichols, “after lunch each day they will be serving in the Communities where we serve on Saturdays. Monday – El Centro / Tuesday – Barrio San Sebastian / Wednesday – Los Montoneros / Thursday – Barrio Nazareth (last so the paint has time to dry).”
Tifton First Senior Pastor Chip Grantham is pleased that Tifton First is being represented in the mission field.
“It was one of Jesus’ instructions,” Chip reminded, adding that often it is hard to see the poverty around us until we leave and see it in another country.
Chip pointed out the value of supporting the full-time missionaries, as well.
“To help people who have been called and support them is so important. We get to taste a little of what the kingdom is about.”
It will not be all work for the Tifton missionaries as they will have the opportunity to experience some Ecuadorian culture.
“After the Tifton Mission Team arrives on Friday they’ll rest in Quito and as they make their way down the Mountain on Saturday morning, they will visit Mitad de Mundo – Middle of the World – Equator and Museums,” said Sharon. “Then make their way to Santo Domingo.
“Sunday they will attend our Church and be part of Children’s Sunday School and Worship. After lunch they will visit the Tsáchila Reservation. The Tsáchila were the first to discover our Region in Ecuador. Our Province is named Santo Domingo de los Tsáchilas.”
The Nichols, originally from the Augusta area, have been living and serving in Ecuador for over 11 years. December 15 will complete year 12.