Our church began supporting the Ganta Africa School Project in 1988. Thus began the many projects to support the school, such as making school bags and filling them with school supplies for the students. A scholarship program was also begun to assist the many students unable to meet the tuition requirement. The Ganta complex consists of 600 acres, which is not only home to the grade school, high school, and gymnasium, but also a leper colony, and the Ganta Hospital which includes an eye clinic and school of nursing.
In 2008 FUMC sent a team to Ganta for the first time since 1988. They saw firsthand the remains of the civil war devastation, but also the rebuilding of not only Ganta School but of the entire country. They met the native born principal who was educated and living in the U.S. when she received the mission call to return to her native land.
Returning to Goshen, the team sought to renew our commitment to the Ganta School Project by sending supplies to complete a much needed chemistry lab for the high school, books to create a grade school library, and medical supplies for the Ganta Hospital. We hope to again have a team from FUMC return to the Ganta School Project.
We were called to this ministry in May of this past year. Since then we have experienced a growth in the number of our inmates to between 8-12 men. We meet every Thursday. The ministry is a two-hour Bible study using DVD videos to vary the approach. There are two of us from this church along with two others that minister to these men. They are truly thankful and appreciative of our visits.
Christmas Gift Ministry
The Christmas Gift Ministry is about bringing hope to families in the season where so many see a desolate, cold and dark place. Our mission is to provide gifts to our local community by providing gifts of love, food, gas cards, letters of encouragement, and a Bible, so that all may read and know of the light that God has brought. For more information, please contact the church office, 533-9518.
The Discretionary Fund is a fund to help church families with financial needs. We receive donations outside of the church budget of about $25,000 per year, and we pass those monies on to hurting families.
Goshen First United Methodist Church has a food pantry.We buy food from the Food Bank in South Bend, and receive donations from individuals. We serve needy families in the Goshen community. Currently we are serving 30 families per month. Last year we served 405 families in the community. We work with the Salvation Army, so we ask families to go there first before coming to our pantry. Pantry hours are from 8:00 a.m. - 12:00 noon each week day.
The Graceful Living women's transitional home in Goshen is home for up to 5 women and 4 children for a period of up to nine months as the women re-establish their lives after a term of incarceration. The home is a faith-based non-profit organization helping women make the transition back into society, but with mentors and additional training. The home is in need of volunteers to plan fun days and community services, provide rides to and from church and appointments, and other extras. There are additional needs which include household items, children's items, curtains for children's bedrooms, and staple food items. For more information, please contact the home's director, Vanessa Austin, at 534-0808.
The Window is a non-profit outreach ministry which serves the basic needs of the elderly and of those in our community with limited incomes. It coordinates Meals on Wheels which provides a hot noon meal for those who need it. Katie's Kitchen serves lunch to approximately 60 or 70 people per day. The Window operates a food pantry and a clothing closet. The Window depends on voluntary contributions from churches, private donations, and fund raisers to support its programs. For more information about The Window, please call the office at 533- 9680.
Help-A-House, sponsored by LaCasa, assists needy families by repairing homes and consequently improving community neighborhoods through this special volunteer program. Last year our church joined several other churches in such projects as roofing, replacing windows, repairing porches, painting, and building wheelchair ramps.