Today's post is by UM & Global blogmaster Dr. David W. Scott, Assistant Professor of Religion and Pieper Chair of Servant Leadership at Ripon College.
Here's another great example of the type of international collaborative ministry that's made possible through The United Methodist Church: This article describes a partnership between UMCOR (United Methodist Committee on Relief), Pittsburgh-area UMC churches, the UMC of Finland, the UMC of Zimbabwe, and local Zimbabwean partners to make clean water more readily available in the Zimbabwean town of Nyadire.
One of the things that makes this story an especially good example of the types of partnerships that are possible through the UMC as a global organization is that it's not just a two-pole, one-way arrangement. Of course, countries giving assistance are never solely givers - they receive from the process too. But this instance of international ministry partnership shows that when partners come together from several places all around the world - the US, Finland, Zimbabwe - they can accomplish more than when one group tries to do alone something for another group.
Moreover, this example of international ministry partnership was made possible by the additional participation of UMCOR, the denominational agency. Thus, there's really four United Methodist partners here - Zimbabweans, Finns, Americans, and the denomination as a whole, which ideally transcends national boundaries.