Message from Missionaries Pat and Melenda Edmiston

“She will give birth to a male child and you will slap his name with Jesus, because he will cause-live his people from their bad actions.” 

The above verse is a literal translation of Matthew 1:21 from the Kandas language. Last month I was able to work with the Kandas and help them to finish the last 5 books of their New Testament project. They are now on the home stretch in making final preparations for having it printed next year.

Another group I was able to work with was the Notsi. We completed the final check of 2 Timothy. One of the translators, Lynette, had this to say about the impact of the work they have been doing:

“Since I joined the translation team, I’ve found that as we translate verse after verse, the text is so clear to me. In my own language I can really understand the meaning. And as I understand the text, it changes my life. Even my family life is different now.

“After we have translated a book from the New Testament, we take it home and read it in church during the Scripture reading time. And I can see it in people’s faces that they can understand it too. Some people listen with tears in their eyes. 

“Once a lady from the Catholic church came to our church, and she asked to read some of the translation, but she couldn’t read it without tears running down her face.

“Also, just being here at the Institute is like a foretaste of heaven. Here we all are, black and white people coming together. The expats join us Papua New Guineans at our level and we are like one family in Christ. The expats have left their homes and families to come and work here to help us. That really shows me God’s love.

Mel and I want to thank all of you for the part you are playing in showing God’s love to the many Papua New Guineans in the languages where we are working.

In His Love,
Pat & Melenda

Church Member Reflects on the Impact of a Nicaragua Mission Trip

Church Member Reflects on the Impact of a Nicaragua Mission Trip

Mary Lynn Ulrey reflects on the life-changing impact of a Nicaragua Mission Trip. “Never did I realize that the mission was not only for those I would serve, but for me as well. In fact, I think the change in my perspective and my heart was long lasting. I can only hope it was for the people of Nicaragua.” – Mary Lynn Ulrey, ARNP

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. June 19, in Knox Hall Room 150 at the Hyde Park campus, 500 W. Platt St. RSVP here.

Mary Lynn Ulrey, ARNP, is among the dozens of Hyde Park members who have participated in a mission trip to Nicaragua with our church team, and here shares her experience for others:

My wonderful trip to (our Nicaragua mission home) El Ayudante occurred almost 5 years ago now. It was a bucket list thing for me to go on a mission trip. Never did I realize that the mission was not only for those I would serve, but for me as well. In fact, I think the change in my perspective and my heart was long lasting. I can only hope it was for the people of Nicaragua.

Nothing about going was what I expected. It was comfortable and we were very well fed! The facility is lovely and the grounds welcoming and homelike. At 61, I was a little afraid it might be too physical, but it wasn’t.

I am shy, though no one would ever think so, because of my real world job, but I am. I knew some of the members of our group, though not well. Working, eating, praying, playing games and having fun together was an extremely bonding experience. I still feel that connection when I see one of these participants in church, hear their name or see them in the community. It is a lasting, God-inspired connection.

I pray but not in a formal way, more in a way that is a conversation with God. The evening groups after dinner when we reflected on our day, helped me to be more prayerful in a routine way that I was not before. The habit that grew out of this experience was an unexpected change.

I’m a nurse and I loved the clinic. The interpreters were remarkable and the fact that there was one other nurse on the trip made the experience shared and supported.

The doctor is an amazing human being and this too enriched my experience.

Finally, when I hear the word Mission or El Ayudante, I still tear up knowing I made a small difference in someone’s life, but the real change was in who I became. I can tell you that you can’t get that feeling anywhere else.

Have questions about the trip? Contact Vicki Walker, 813-.253.5388

Baltic Methodist Theological Seminary

Greetings from the President April 2017

We have a good reason to praise God for the fact that our seminary is able to continue its work as a state accredited educational institution. Even as the formal decision will be announced in June, the final report we have already received is stating clearly that the seminary meets state requirements fully in all three assessed areas. Praise the Lord!

Faculty news
Several faculty members who work also as student mentors met with their mentor-groups in April. We ask for your prayers that the mentoring program we have initiated this study year would really support our students’ academic achievements as well as their spiritual development in the very best way.
We are continuing with the faculty reading group, and are already looking for the theological book to read in the next study year.

Students and Alumni
In the framework of the MTSE student exchange program, several of our third year students are right now visiting our sister schools in Reutlingen and Manchester. We pray that their experiences would provide a positive change from intense study for them, and at the same time would challenge them intellectually. We ask for your prayers for all potential graduates during their last stretch – that giving their last exams, and finalizing their diploma papers would go successfully.
Regarding the strategies for recruitment of new students, one of our recent graduates Vitali Baranov has joined our team, and with his help (and as a result of several intensive brainstorms) a short video will be made in May. In this video some graduates will share briefly their seminary experience and change of life as a result of their studies. We plan to share this video in the media as well as in UMC congregations before the Seminary Sunday on May 28.
Let us also pray for Seminary Open House on May 18 that it would bring to us interested people who would get positive impulses for seminary studies.

God has answered our prayers, and our financial status is continuing to be stable – this is a valid reason to praise God!
We just got the positive response from Central Conference Theological Education Fund (CCTEF) regarding the financial support to our projects in 2017, and the money will arrive soon. We are grateful as their grants make a notable part of our budget.
Let us continue to pray for seminary’s long-term partnerships, and their further development. Recently we have also found some new supporters, and our prayer is that these new relationships would last and grow.

Friends near and far
In the beginning of May a delegation from Asbury Theological Seminary will visit us in order to develop further our partnership. As the plans are only in the very initial stage, we ask for your prayers that in our discussions and conversations we would have wisdom and grace to see all possibilities for cooperation, and all options to use them in the very best way.
On Sunday, May 7th I am invited as a guest preacher to Tallinn UMC.
We love our seminary, and we would like to give it our very best – everyone in their own way – that our students would fully recognize their call, and find their own place in God’s Kingdom. We ask for your prayers that we would have energy and wisdom to give our best, and we would recognize God’s leadership for the seminary future. This is our sincere prayer: „Send forth your light and your truth, let them guide us; let them bring us to your holy mountain, to the place where you dwell.“ (Ps 43:3)

Meeli Tankler
President of the BMTS

Learn About Meals on Wheels, our Mission Partner

Learn About Meals on Wheels, our Mission Partner

Meals on Wheels is a mission partner of Hyde Park United Methodist that brings hope and a meal to individuals in need.

Want an opportunity to learn about Meals on Wheels over lunch? Meals on Wheels of Tampa is hosting open house informational “Nourish at Noon” luncheons so that you can learn more about their great work in our community. This is a great opportunity to tour the Meals on Wheels kitchen, enjoy a meal and hear success stories from the organization.

The events are located at Meals On Wheels of Tampa, 550 W. Hillsborough Ave. Tampa, FL 33603. RSVP for an event below:

June 6 Tuesday | July 18 Tuesday | August 3 Thursday | August 16 Wednesday | September 5 TuesdaySeptember 21 Thursday | October 4 Wednesday | October 17 Tuesday | November 2 Thursday | November 15 Wednesday | December 5 Tuesday

For more information, visit or call 813-238-8410.

Cuba Donations Make Life-Changing Impact

Cuba Donations Make Life-Changing Impact

Hyde Park United Methodist has been supporting a new ministry in Cuba through our sister church in Bayamo that has had a life-changing impact on the marriages of its participants!

We have received many donations of formal and wedding dresses that have been taken down to Cuba and are being rented out for locals who often do not otherwise have access to these types of dresses. Recently, our sister church had a marriage vow renewal on the beach. Most of these couples have been married, but never had any formal type of marriage in the church. The church also counsels and has marriage sessions prior to the vow renewal.

Many of the dresses seen in the picture were donated by our church and other churches here in Florida. Thank you to those who have unleashed God’s work in the lives of these couples through your donations!

Have your own dress to donate? Contact Drema Muller.

Society of St Andrew, Gleaning Network

Monthly News and Stats

Accomplished January 1 to March 31, 2017
4.1 Million Pounds Gleaned from the Fields
2.6 Million Pounds Shipped in the Potato & Produce Project
A total of 6.6 Million Pounds Collected and Distributed
19.9 Million Servings of Fresh Produce Provided
654 Events Held / 4,261 Volunteers Engaged

News and Events
Young SoSA Volunteers
Two young volunteers helped SoSA distribute fresh cabbages to recipients in Georgia. March was a good gleaning month, and there were wonderful cabbages gleaned in abundance in Florida, and Georgia.

The Cabbage Not Wasted
A group, representing the Council on Aging from three separate Georgia communities, gleaned more than 6,000 pounds of cabbage that morning. One woman left in tears because there was so much food left that they had been unable to glean.
Read the article on

Hungry for More Than Knowledge
13 million children in America come from food-insecure households. For many, at some point during the school year, free breakfasts and lunches are the only meals they get. It also means that from Friday lunch to Monday breakfast, they might go up to 68 hours without a substantial meal.
Read the article on

A Food Bank in Central Tennessee Appreciates Food to Distribute
“We are grateful for the 1,000 lbs. of potatoes from the SoSA Potato Drop. A donation of this magnitude goes a long way to help the Rutherford County Emergency Food Bank distribute food, at no cost, to individuals, families, and senior citizens who are currently in need until a more permanent solution is found.”
See the article on the WGNS Radio website

Two Vacation Bible School Programs Available from Society of St. Andrew
Abundance Orchard: Old Testament
Abundance Orchard: New Testament
Each version offers a complete, stand-alone, all-in-one hunger-action themed Vacation Bible School program. Materials are included to plan for 2-3 hours daily for up to 5 days. You can also help feed hungry families through you mission offerings with the Society of St. Andrew.
Learn More, Download Full Programs

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