10-Fold began this week with an in-depth look at UMCOR Disaster Response.
October 4, 2012—It was nearly three years ago that James Rollins, director of Communications and Marketing for the United Methodist Committee On Relief (UMCOR), had a literal dream that would change the way many advocates in mission would come to understand ministry.
“The idea of 10-Fold, an intense mission-awareness media campaign, came to me in the middle of the night in early January of 2010. In fact, I got out of bed at 2 a.m. and sent an email about it to three of my close colleagues,” Rollins recalled.
“At about the same time,” he continued, “my colleague, friend, and mentor, the Rev. Shawn Bakker, had a similar idea about an advocacy campaign. After a couple of hours brainstorming, we were able to combine the ideas into the concept of 10-Fold and planned the launch for October 10, 2010: 10-10-10,” said Rollins. Bakker is the deputy general secretary of Development and Communications for the General Board of Global Ministries, UMCOR’s parent agency in The United Methodist Church.
Originally, 10-Fold ran for 10 days and highlighted a different Global Ministries or UMCOR program each day. It provided videos, webcasts, stories, and resources, and invited viewers and browsers to sign up as “advocates” for each of the programs.
This year, 10-Fold is running for five weeks, beginning October 1, and is devoting an entire week to each of the program areas covered.
The first week treats disaster response and highlights two particular areas of work: the UMCOR Relief-Supply Network, anchored by UMCOR Sager Brown Depot in Louisiana, and disaster risk reduction. Through it, advocates are learning various ways to offer support.
10-Fold reminds advocates that ministry, as a way to help improve the human condition, encompasses a variety of methods. It is about our willingness to be present with the method in which we can best give. Everyone, regardless of where we might find ourselves in life, has something to share.
“Support can come in many ways,” Rollins said. “Prayer, reflection, raising awareness, volunteering, financial donations—all of these are equally important. 10-Fold aims to show the church all the ways it is active in mission.”
The ministry of 10-Fold has had an impact on supporters across the globe. “So many times I've heard, ‘Oh—you're the 10-Fold guy. I'm so grateful for the work that you all do with that campaign. I learn so much about our church and I'm so proud to share this with my friends,’" said Rollins.
This ministry of presence that 10-Fold reflects has taught him something far more valuable than what he could have initially fathomed three years ago.
“This is humbling. My work has allowed me to walk with some of the most beautiful souls on this planet. They may not have a home, a formal education, running water, or electricity. They may have witnessed their earthly possessions completely disappear in a flash when a tornado ripped through their community, or a hurricane flooded their home, a fire swept through their land, or an earthquake rattled them to the core. Yet, these souls remind me that fulfillment is not attained through earthly possessions,” Rollins explained.
Through the 10-Fold Campaign, we learn that engaging in authentic ministry is not wholly based on financial donations but, more importantly, prompts us to ask ourselves, “How can I truly be present in ministry?”
“I am reminded that the ministry of presence is greater than any material donation. And these souls remind me that I am honored and blessed to share their stories of hope with the world on behalf of The United Methodist Church and through the opportunities that 10-Fold has provided,” Rollins said.
Learn more about 10-Fold by visiting www.10-Fold.org and be counted!
*Klay S. Williams is a writer and contributor to UMCOR.org.