St. Luke's United Methodist Church


4851 S. Apopka-Vineland Road
Orlando, FL 32819
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Global Mission Stories

Posted on May 25, 2020 at 8:54 pm in .

Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?”
I said, “Here am I. Send me!” Isaiah 6:8


Are you being called to serve others far from home?
Experience a St. Luke’s Global Mission trip.

Agua Viva, Costa Rica

Did you know that 664 million people on the planet do not have access to safe, clean drinking water? That is one in ten people. Agua Viva is helping communities not only get access to water, but to set up a long-term maintenance system for this precious water source. With your help, we can improve the quality of life and health of these communities.

Agua Viva Serves leads sustainable, clean water projects in Costa Rica. St. Luke’s will work alongside the community to connect pipes, dig ditches and bury pipeline to bring water to remote areas on the Nicaraguan border. All of the community sized projects include a co-op component to continue to maintain the systems for the future.  Agua Viva partners with communities to build a board of directors and begin collecting money to build a maintenance fund for ongoing operation. Learn more about this life-saving organization at




Click on the link below for a peek into what Agua Viva is about



Read Max’s blog capturing the week of the team’s experience from 2018

Melones, Cuba

Report on Nov. 2018: Four St. Luker’s traveled to Melones, Cuba over the Thanksgiving break to meet Pastor Ramon and his family. Our sister church is blessed by this dynamic new pastor who has already brought 170 members of the community together for a healing service and has many ideas to engage the community in the church. Top priority of our meeting was meeting Felix, the construction lead for the new church which  should start construction in the spring. Our construction expert Patrick Ziegler reviewed the detailed plans while our own Luky Nova made sure that we all understood each other!

Keep our sister church in your prayers as this exciting year of building approaches!

To read more about our visit, click the link below.

We ran and walked for children who walk miles to live!


The first annual Zoe Empowers/St. Luke’s UMC was held on November 13, 2021 in downtown Windermere and we had virtual walkers as well, from as far away as Michigan.

Great news! We met our fundraising goal of $8500 and we have partnered with another empowerment group of 80-100 children in Zimbabwe.  These children will be identified in the coming months and we will have a list of their names and ages and a photo in the spring of 2022, which we will share on our church website.

To date, St. Luke’s UMC has partnered with over 1000 children, in eleven and one-half full empowerment groups.  Over 325 households have been able to be a part of this life-saving and life-changing empowerment model thanks to the generosity of our congregation.  Other families, individuals and Bible study groups associated with St. Luke’s UMC, including the United Methodist Women and our own Children’s Ministry have also partnered with empowerment groups of their own, resulting in over 1500 more children being a part of the Zoe Empowers program.  (

We’ll see you next year for the second annual Zoe Empowers/St. Luke’s 5K and in the meantime remember what Shackmore of the United Family Empowerment Group said in response to hearing that our church members would pay money to walk or run a 5k distance.   He was incredulous and responded “walking is my hustle…if I do not walk, I do not eat.”

Happy Thanksgiving!  We are grateful for your generosity!


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ZOE Graduations in 2020

Above, the Abakoranabushake “Committed” Empowerment Group, Nyamagana, Rwanda, has sent St. Luke’s UMC its greetings upon their graduation from the Zoe Empowers three-year empowerment program in June of 2020. The kind letter is translated below:

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ZOE Mission Experience, Rwanda

We had a team of 14 people visiting our ZOE partners in Rwanda. On this mission experience, they were able to see child-led community transformation through this empowerment model program for vulnerable and orphan children. This ministry is Restoring Hope in Africa.



Aimable, Edouard and Jean Baptiste from the Lift One Another working group (Tuzamurane) are looking back at a picture of them from three years ago.

They have completed one year of vocational training and a six-month internship and now work in a district welding cooperative. Zoe provided a start up kit of tools for them. The government gave them six months tax free to start their business. Now they are running their own business and paying taxes.

So proud of these amazing young men.


Our St. Luke’s team was presented gifts from each team we visited. The Commit team (funded by the leaf campaign) gave us a poster of their group’s dreams.














They also gave us two baskets of fruit they grew. They said we were hungry and you provide grants for us to farm. Now that we have food, we wanted to share it with you. They have been together just 1 year. There is so much beauty and love in receiving! We are grateful!








Today, St. Luke’s met our first year teams. We were given a basket filled with the dreams of each child. The drawings are beautiful. This was one of the most moving experience of my life. I cannot wait to share it with you!


John Paul runs a banana juice business. He is surrounded by customers relaxing in his shop.

Here he is in his room where he shared his dream chart.


The faces of Zoe are capturing our hearts.




We visited 5 working groups representing 122 families and 411 children. We were greeted with song, dance and lots of hugs.










Group one arrived safely in Kigali. A second flight comes in later tonight. We were warming welcomed by Epiphanie and are excited to see our Zoe kids in the morning.

For more information about ZOE, please contact Amy Winslow at

Visit the ZOE website at

REPORTSZOE Ministries Working Groups


Lifted Up Manzununu Empowerment Group, Zimbabwe

Partnered with St. Luke’s UMC, Orlando, April 2021 – March 2024

Click on the link below for more information about this Empowerment Group in Zimbabwe.


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Abundance Chidazembe Empowerment Group, Zimbabwe
Partnered with St. Luke’s UMC Serve Ministry, March 2020 – March 2023


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With your help during Lent 2019, we were able to partner with a new group.

For information about the Duterimbere “Progress” Empowerment Group, please click on the link below.

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For information about the
Urumuri “Light” Empowerment Group,
Partnered with St. Luke’s UMC – Children’s Ministry and United Methodist Women

January 2018-December 2020
please click on the link below.



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For information about the ZOE “Love” Empowerment Group, Cyeya, Rwanda
please click on the link below.

This empowerment group was funded by St. Lukers and the Missions Budget.

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For information about the ZOE “Love” Empowerment Group, Kigarama, Rwanda
please click on the link below.

This empowerment group was funded by a portion of the Lenten Offering this year.

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Abakoranabushake “Committed” Empowerment Group

This empowerment group was funded with the 2017 Tree of Hope Campaign

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ZOE - Brave Working Group

Abanyamurava “Brave” Empowerment Group, Rwanda

For information about the St. Luke’s January 2016-2018 ZOE “Brave” Empowerment Group,
please click on the link below.

This empowerment group was funded with a portion of the Advent offering in December 2015.

For additional information about the ZOE Program, visit their website at



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Check out the first few monthly ZOE newsletters!

January 2017

February-March 2017

June-July 2017

ZOE Prayers of Hope cards

Brigette Prayer Card

Clementine Prayer Card

Jean Baptiste Prayer Card

Marguerite Prayer Card

Tacien Prayer Card

Winifred Prayer Card

Please visit to read the blog from Pastor Jenn’s visit to Rwanda in 2016.

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