A well of support

Saturday, June 20, 2009
Kara and Mike Skelton with their son, Grant, look at some of the artwork on display at Grace United Methodist Church that will be available at an auction to benefit the church's Mozambique Initiative. (Fred Lynch)

Grace United Methodist Church is attempting to do its part to help Mozambique churches. An art auction and dance will be held June 28 to raise funds for partnerships that Grace has in Mozambique.

Ten years ago at the Missouri Methodist Church Conference, the Missouri Methodist Church adopted Mozambique. At first it started off small, said event chairman Jim Finley. Missouri churches were asked to just adopt one church to support. Eventually they were asked to support young Mozambique men and women who were interested in joining the seminary but were unable to afford it. Grace now supports both.

Ranito A. H. Machanguela is enrolled in Cambine Seminary and will be receiving assistance from Grace until he graduates and is assigned to a church in his country.

Grace is paired with Jerusalem United Methodist Church, a small church in Morrumbene South District. The church is pastored by recent seminary graduate Makhuki C. Nemba. Grace is also working on helping build other churches in the Mozambique area.

"The church that we sponsor ... [the members] have to walk two miles to get water," Finley said. "It takes $5,000 to dig a well."

This picture was drawn by Liria, age 10 in 2007, of her reed-walled home with tin roof in Mozambique.

Finley said it takes $900 a year to support the church.

This is the first year for any type of fundraiser like this, Finley said. He moved to Cape Girardeau from Ironton, Mo., two years ago. He got the idea for the auction to help Mozambique because he had helped arrange a similar fundraiser for a hospital in Ironton. The goal for the Mozambique fundraiser is $5,000 -- enough to build a well.

Finley said that the congregation has helped during the setup process and donating money and items for the auction.

"What this is supporting is primarily is helping church that has no funds. They have leadership," said the Rev. Scott Moon, Grace pastor. "A significant part of this is of digging wells. It makes a difference in the community."

The fundraiser will be at the Academy of Dance Arts from 2 to 5 p.m. A live and a silent auction will be held. Some of the paintings and prints available were made by Peter Max, Margaret Dement, Bev Doolittle, Tony Schuck, Jake Wells, Herb Wickham and Al Agnew. Other items available include a Tiffany-style stained-glass lamp, Hummel figurines, a custom-made duck call, framed photographs and volumes one to three of the History of Missouri by Louis Houck, published in 1908.

This picture was drawn by Raul, age 9 in 2007, who lives in Chicuque village, Inhambane Province, Mozambique. It includes a male figure, a reed-walled traditional home with tin roof, trees and a building of contemporary masonry construction.

Finley estimates that there are 30 pieces of artwork available and at least 40 things for the silent auction. They are still collecting items to auction.

Tickets are available at Grace's office 334-1321, Garber's in the Town Plaza 335-2837, or call Jim Finley at 334-4889.

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