Tuesday, August 08, 2006

A Volunteer’s Perspective Part 1, The Beginnings of FCMI

Sherry and Roger asked my husband Lanty and I to share some of the experiences that we’ve had with FCMI. It’s hard to know where to start. I decided I’ll start this off as a 2 to 3 part series, so I can really capture the details of what I remember.

Our connection with FCMI goes all the way back to before FCMI existed. That’s because we have been a part of Sherry’s life and had the opportunity to learn about FCMI before it officially existed, and before it even had a name. My husband has known Sherry for over 10 years, and I met her in 2000 when we were part of Sunrise Church which at the time was a small church on State Street. Sherry and a group of us were part of a mission trip to India in 2001 which was the first time any of us went to India. She was there for 3 months, while we joined for a 2-week period during that time. It was after the mission trip that I can remember Lanty and I hanging out with Sherry at a coffee shop and she began describing her dreams for an organization that would later became known as Full Circle Ministries International. The neatest part about FCMI is how the organization ministers to those in need right in the heart of Madison, while at the same time reaching out halfway across the globe to those who are poor and in need in the heart of India.

It is the Madison outreach that I am most familiar with, having been able to see that take shape first hand. When we were part of Sunrise Church, we had a lot of opportunities to hang out on State Street and minister to the people there, especially people in Peace Park. During the times I hung out there, it was always inspiring to see the deep friendships that Sherry was developing with many of the people there. Those relationships continued to grow and finally Sherry realized she needed a place, a sort of respite where people could come and where she could minister more fully. From what I remember, it started with Sherry having a small office area in one of the rooms of Sunrise Church, but then Sunrise left State Street, so Sherry moved to a neat little office space on the lower level of a building off University. This is my recollection of when FCMI really started growing. Stayed tuned for part 2, Sherry as Sherri Maamma.

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