AWARE stands for Alternative Work-study And Reality Experience. This program provides educational and work experiences for Mexican and international visitors, volunteers, and teams. The AWARE program is designed for adults of all ages, immersing them in the reality of life in rural Mexico as it relates to the issues of hunger, poverty, development and global awareness. This cross-cultural experience focuses on the needs of villagers and farming families and the Church's response through Christian outreach; sustainable agriculture; community development; health issues; creation stewardship; and church and faith development.
The "Tree of Life" Training Center also receives local groups and organizatios that want to be AWARE of actual rural needs and learn how to help improve impoverished communities.
The GYTTE staff and the Methodist Church of Mexico are grateful to the many Christians who volunteer to participate in AWARE Teams that come to serve with the “Give Ye Them To Eat” program. Teams of ten to seventeen people come to serve for nine to ten days at the “Tree of Life” Training Center for integrated devepment.
Besides the various work projects at the Training Center and in the community the team participates in daily devotions and study segments which are a vital part of the AWARE experience. The team members attend church services in a village setting and/or the city of Puebla. They visit a village project where they have the opportunity to see GYTTE trained community-based health workers involved in teaching villagers the basics for good health. Throughout their time in Mexico the team works, worships and lives beside their new Mexican friends and colleagues thus participating in a truly cross-cultural experience.
From the outside looking in the AWARE experience appears to be a construction project. But for those working the program the view looking out is seen through the eyes of faith and Christian commitment as an international journey on this walk of life.
Team Season 2015
Belmont UMC, TN Team:
Team Season 2014
Mount Nittany UMC, PA:
MARIAN HARTMAN, VOLUNTEER FROM PA:
Belmont UMC/Brentwood UMC, TN:
Impressions from some of the members from Belmont UMC/Brentwood UMC, Tennessee in the GYTTE [Give Ye Them to Eat] Experience at Tlancualpican, Puebla/Mexico
I have learned to adapt to the reality I encountered both rural and urban
Where have I seen God?
There are so many things to share that I have a bottleneck in my heart and center! I will think and process soon. Epiphany moments: How inspired to live my faith—more than abundant life. LZ
Great moments of experiencing
God’s presence were in church in the village while hearing the
people singing hymns and offering their praise;
--I saw the Lord in the faces of the staff, workers, and people of the village [happiness and kindness].
In trying to think of where I saw God, I find it more accurate to ask where didn’t I see God?! My answer is there wasn’t any place where I didn’t see God! Such things as friendly faces, patient guides, presentation and renewal of God’s Creation, not to mention the programs and mission, all bear the Face of God. The health ministry sticks out the most for me. I can better see God! JLK
This week I have had my eyes re-opened to different ways of working because our way is not the only way. Often times we rely on a certain trip or a certain place to bring us close to God, but the truth is, we cannot get any closer to God. He is here with us and in every fiber of our being. We must open our eyes to experience God to the fullest in our lives; to live in an attitude of prayer and not to pray on certain occasions only, but to always thank God and give Him the glory in good times and bad! Here at the Tree of Life Center there will never be a shortage of things to do or reasons to thank God; and for that I am eternally grateful. JRA
I have been humbled by my experience with GYTTE this week. I have worked harder, but laughed harder. I have eaten more and smile more. I feel a stronger and deeper connection to myself, to God, and to the people of Mexico. I am thankful for what I have learned and I pray that others will be able to have this unique experience. I am anxious to see how this experience will shape my ministry back in the United States. God continues to do amazing things in Tlancualpican. MS
Am going to be honest! This was a hard week. Without God on mty side, the work would have been impossible. I saw God this week in the nature and beautify in this place, and the people I have become friends with. I see abundant life here that I strive to continue back home. I don’t want to just survive life! I want to live it!! JDA
This experience has given me:
Team Season 2011 - 2013
During this team season the following groups participated in the AWARE experience.
Susquahanna Conference Volunteers:
Belmont UMC - Nashville, TN:
We invite you to see pictures of this AWARE Team clicking on this link:
Susquahanna Conference - Tennessee Team:
Grace UMC - Hastings, NE Team:
Central Pennsylvania Conference Team:
Brentwood UMC - TN Team:
Kansas East Conference Team:
Tabernacle UMC, VA - North Ridge UMC, CA Team:
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