UMVIM Team Supports Learning in Costa Rica


A United Methodist Volunteer in Mission (UMVIM) Team has recently returned from Costa Rica. Glenn and Donna Waltman of Gresham were part of the team that worked at the Universidad de Biblica Latinamerica, a small United Methodist school.

As part of a team of fifteen from Oregon and Washington they contributed to an ongoing project to provide married student housing. A Team from Rose City Park Church in Portland, and another from Louisiana had preceded the group and torn down four old homes. The Waltman’s team chopped large rocks and flooring into small pieces so a construction crew could begin four apartments. It was hot and dirty work and the team worked a week and a half in the Caribbean sun.

The group members didn’t just contribute their time; each paid their own travel expenses and contributed to materials and tools. Money that was left over from their work was contributed to the schools scholarship fund.

Universidad de Biblica Latinamerica (UBL) is a fully accredited university that offers future teachers and ministers a low-cost education. United Methodist missionaries not only teach in the school, but also work with visiting teams.

UBL is unique in that it trains students from just about every country south of the USA border and the Caribbean. The one thousand students work on the Internet from ten satellite areas with professors at the school. Then, when ready, about 35 come each semester to complete their degrees. They spend a year in Costa Rica with two dozen faculty to obtain one of two degrees. Many come from poor families who struggle to raise even the airfare to send their student to the campus.

The Waltmans will be returning next year (Feb. 20 – Mar. 5, 2012) with another UMVIM team to help complete the housing and enable Latin American students to be a powerful influence in the future of the region. Those who contributed to the team's success and its work make possible the continuing growth of Christian education in a small nation known mostly for tourism. Contact Glenn and Donna at dgwaltman@juno.com or 503-622-3226 for details on the next trip.