News from El Ayudante, Leon, Nicaragua

From January until now, El Ayudante has had the pleasure of hosting 9 teams with many more to come in the following months. As of now, Boynton UMC, Missionary Friends, Mamaronek, New Life Missions, St. Paul’s United Methodist, Toledo School of Nursing, Walking Together, a team representing Tennessee, and Riverwood International Charter School have all visited our campus...to keep reading click here.

You’re Invited to Serve One Week in Nicaragua!

You’re Invited to Serve One Week in Nicaragua!

Make God’s Love Real in Nicaragua by joining the Adult Mission Trip team! Learn more at the information session 6 p.m. May 15 in Knox Hall (RSVP here).

In this reflective season of Lent, will you hear God’s call to serve? Do you already hear God’s call to grow closer to him and others? Consider serving one week in Leon, Nicaragua, as part of Hyde Park’s adult mission team Oct. 28 – Nov. 4, 2017.

The second information and organizational session for the 2017 trip will be at 6 p.m. May 15 in Knox Hall. RSVP here.

You will learn about the trip, costs, projects, the opportunities to serve, and our mission partner El Ayudante. Hyde Park has sent teams of short-term missioners to Nicaragua since 2006, serving the people of Nicaragua in partnership with El Ayudante. All are invited to the April 3 and following team-building meetings May 15 and June 19.

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Why mission trips to Nicaragua?

Hyde Park member Ken Cowles served on Hyde Park’s first Nicaragua team in 2006 and has returned four more times to serve and lead. He offered one response to the question “why:”

“Why do we go to Nicaragua? What can we accomplish traveling to a nation that has so many needs and is so poor?

What really happens is not that we might build a home for a family in need, or that a young lady will learn about prenatal care for her and the baby, or that someone will receive medical care from a visiting doctor. What really happens is that people choosing to go on mission are changed. We experience people and a country that is alive and beautiful filled with potential and also is burdened with many, many needs. We learn how people live and thrive in conditions that are very foreign to us.

People on mission change, learning that they can make a difference, even though ever so small, a difference. Come and see horizons broaden to the awareness of our Lord in all places, and how a difference can be made in someone’s life and how they will forever be a part of yours!”

Former team members also will be in the Courtyard on Sunday morning March 26 to answer questions and share their experience with anyone interested in the trip.

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For more information, contact Vicki Walker, minister of missions and outreach, or Glenn Simpson, 2017 Nicaragua mission team leader. RSVP for the informational session here.

Nicaragua Mission Trip Changes Your Perspective

Nicaragua Mission Trip Changes Your Perspective

A Reflection by Steve Rorrer
Sure, there is plenty to do in your own backyard. Hurricanes, tornadoes, mudslides, flooding….you name it and you could respond to it. So why Nicaragua?

For me, it has been a way to broaden my perspective on the world and the beautiful people that live in it. It has also been a way for me to understand that God is not always concerned about us simply performing a task. He is as interested, if not more so, in us connecting with each other….developing relationships. You will do this not only with those on your mission team but with many of the Nicaraguan people.

Just this past year, we began working with a new community in the Leon area which was particularly heartwarming. Observing the simplicity of those that would seem to be “lacking” or the “have-nots” will likely impact you the like the way Jesus does when he turns the tables and changes the way you see things.

Those that are lacking have an abundance of the things that you may be lacking. Their love for each other is strong. Their faith in Christ is overflowing. They are happy, joyful and thankful with the basics. They have a sincere understanding of where their blessings come from and they remember and are grateful for them.

All of this changes your perspective on many things. Suddenly, your “things” aren’t as important as the relationships you have and the time you have to spend with others.

You see life in a more simplistic way…..actually, in a more faithfully rooted way….realizing that God does provide and you can rest in the grace and peace of that assurance. You will likely gain a better understanding of who you are, what God may be calling you to do or be, and come away with a brighter light in your heart.

You might go to Nicaragua with the attitude that you will change their lives and solve their problems. Sure, you will make a difference, but the most surprising difference will likely be the way the experience changes you. You might even learn a little Spanish 🙂
Dios te bendiga!

Stever Rorrer, member 2015 and 2016 Hyde Park Mission Teams to Nicaragua


The 2017 Nicaragua Mission trip will be Oct. 28-Nov. 4, 2017. The second information meeting for prospective team members will be at 6 p.m. May 15, 2017 in Knox Hall Room 150 at the Hyde Park campus, 500 W. Platt St. Learn More.

“Thank you” from the Tampa Hillsborough Homeless Initiative

“Thank you” from the Tampa Hillsborough Homeless Initiative

On Feb. 23, the Tampa Hillsborough Homeless Initiative held a “point-in-time” count to accurately count the number of homeless individuals. Hyde Park United Methodist both sent volunteers and offered its facilities to support the event. We are thankful for those from our church who served at or supported this event.

Below is a “thank you” from the Tampa Hillsborough Homeless Initiative:

On behalf of the Tampa/Hillsborough County Chamber of Commerce and all of us at the Tampa Hillsborough Homeless Initiative, we would like to thank everyone who helped with the 2017 Point In Time Homeless Count in Hillsborough County.

More than 330 people from all walks of life in our community – including local, state and federal government departments, homeless and non-homeless service providers, faith communities, businesses, civic/service groups, university students and other community members – volunteered to help on the day of the homeless count.

The data collected during the Homeless Count is still being processed and analyzed. The final data results will be released in early May following our required reporting to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Florida Department of Children and Families.

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