Wil & Yolanda Bailey Visit First UMC

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Written By Ashley Goad, Director of Global Missions
This fall, several of our Global Missions Partners are visiting First United Methodist Church! Our ministry team emphasizes mutual, equal relationships. As such, we don’t want our visits to be one-way, nor do we want to limit our relationships to just a few people; we want our entire church congregation to know our ministry partners and to welcome them into our Shreveport home!
What a blessing it was to have Costa Rican Missionaries Wil, Yolanda, and Isabella Bailey with us in August!
Wil Bailey is a North Carolina Conference Missionary. He received his Master of Divinity degree from Duke University Divinity School in May of 2003 and was then commissioned as a United Methodist Volunteers in Mission Individual Volunteer. His wife, Yolanda, is an active, life-long member of the Evangelical Methodist Church of Costa Rica.
Wil went to Costa Rica for the first time when he was 15 years old with a United Methodist Volunteers in Missions youth work team. He went back every chance he got, and by the time he moved to Costa Rica in 2003, he had been 14 times. The majority of those trips were mission work teams. Wil says, “I have known since that first trip that doing mission work in Central America would always be a part of my life.” Wil has also been on work teams to Honduras and Belize and spent the summer of 2001 working with the Methodist Church of Southern Africa in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Wil spent the summer of 2002 back in Costa Rica living with a pastor and his family in San Isidro. It was over the course of those three-and-a-half months that God showed Wil there was a ministry for him in Costa Rica. The week before he left to come back to the States to finish seminary, Wil met with Bishop Fernando Palomo in San Jose, and the Bishop invited him to come to work full-time as a part of the Evangelical Methodist Church of Costa Rica. From there, Wil and Yolanda formed Costa Rica Mission Projects (CRMP).
On Sunday, August 30, Wil spoke to a combined Sunday school class of 150 members, and we were blessed to have him deliver the message in FaithLink.
“… When Jesus washed the feet of His disciples, he taught us, in dramatic fashion, that if we claim to be His followers, we must be servants to one another. Christian service comes in many forms, and we believe we have been called to provide opportunities for churches in Costa Rica and churches from other countries to serve one another and explore what it means for us to be part of a body that extends far beyond the walls of our own individual churches. We hope to help foster long lasting, fruitful relationships between the congregations who participate in this ministry. It is very important to us to avoid establishing or reinforcing already existing relationships of dependency, but rather, that the churches involved will discover the benefits of interaction with one another. We know the communion that takes place across borders, cultures, and languages as a glimpse of God’s Kingdom and as a sign of the work of the Holy Spirit among us.”
Two big announcements came at the end of Wil & Yolanda Bailey’s visit:
1) First United Methodist will send two teams to Costa Rica in 2016 – March 26-April 2 and July 9-16. Registration is now open for the Family Mission Trip over spring break. To sign up, please contact Ashley Goad at agoad@fumcshreveport.org.
2) Costa Rica Mission Projects will send a team of Costa Ricans to work with FUMC on the October 2017 Fuller Center for Housing building project!
To find out more about Wil and Yolanda, visit www.firstserves.org, or hear their full testimony by visiting https://vimeo.com/96878723.