On mission



We seek to intentionally, creatively, respectfully, and prayerfully
engage, serve, and befriend the least and the lost in order to invite them to follow Jesus with us.

local missions

GROW U brings schools, community neighbors, churches and businesses together to equip children and adults to thrive in their environment.

What that looks like

  • schools give space and time with students
  • neighbors volunteer time
  • businesses provide finances
  • businesses provide volunteers
  • churches provide volunteers
  • churches provide finances
  • churches provide finances


The collaborative efforts of Ypsilanti Community Schools, Washtenaw Literacy, and GROW U offer training and support for our volunteers.



Red Backpack is a weekend supplemental food program organized through the collaboration of The Salvation Army, Ypsilanti Community Schools, Ypsilanti Free Methodist Church, and Food Gatherers providing food for elementary school children.


GROW U supplements families’ nutritional needs throughout the school year by providing weekend Red Backpacks filled with nutritious supplemental food for Saturday and Sunday breakfast, lunch and dinner for four people. 180 families regularly receive Red Backpacks during the school year.



GROW U helps increase the ability of English Language Learners to assimilate into our community by providing free ELL tutoring. We also offer tutoring in basic literacy skills in reading, writing, or math to English speaking adults who have children in the school system.



GROW U helps parents & guardians become full partners in their children’s academic growth by promoting parent/guardian involvement in the schools. We equip families with relevant new or deeper skills, knowledge, and resources. This equipping helps them build relationships with other parents and with school staff, while also helping their child succeed in life.


Job Skills

According to Nobel Laureate Amartya Sen

it is a lack of freedom to be able to make meaningful choices, to have an ability to affect one’s situation, that is the distinguishing feature of poverty.

Our goal & vision will utilize Work Life to do the following:

  1. Provide soft-job skill training and mentoring
  2. Develop social enterprise for direct job training
  3. Develop workplace partnerships
Estabrook Elementary
We partner with our neighborhood elementary school to encourage teachers, support students, and assist the administration.
Cru | Eastern Michigan University
Cru ministers on the campus of EMU helping college students connect with a mentor, discover their purpose and live that out in community. They achieve these goals through small group bible studies on campuses, large group meetings, and personal mentorship.
Cru | Michigan State University
We’ve partnered with MSU leaders Brian and Robin Langford for many years as they’ve faithfully continued to minister the Gospel on campus in Lansing.  

global mission

At YpsiFree we believe in sustaining mutual partnerships with international missionaries. These global leaders are our friends and colleagues in ministry and we are honored to be an ongoing part of this work.  
BrentCreative Access Country, FMWM
Keith & JulieCreative Access Country, FMWM
Colombia | Thad & Nikki Roller
The Rollers primary strategic focus is to help fuel a church planting movement by investing in and mobilizing Colombian leaders for transformational impact around the country and beyond. 

Brazil | Dan & Hope Owsley


Dan and Hope Owsley have been serving the Lord in Brazil, South America since 1988. As Free Methodist missionaries, they have been blessed to be a part of many church plants. Often the churches were started by Brazilian “pioneers” and Dan and Hope came along to train the newly formed leadership and to help disciple new believers. In 2020 they moved back to São Paulo where Dan is heavily involved in the Free Methodist seminary. Hope enjoys teaching theology and inductive Bible study, as well as discipling women who feel called into ministry. The Owsleys have four adult sons living in the U.S. 

Kenya | Russ & Beth White
We have spent the last 20 years at Tenwek Hospital, where Russ has been a surgeon and Beth his support—a stay-at-home Mom, homeschool/co-op teacher, and part of the Tenwek community. Russ was recently awarded a grant to begin funding a new cardiothoracic program at Tenwek. God has been good in the many ways He has provided! Tenwek’s motto is “We Treat, Jesus Heals.” We have seen this to be true over and over, and we look forward to the humbling ways He will continue to show us in the future.

personal mission

FRANCES | Team Teach Haiti

We are empowering the Haitian to take direction of their educational attainment. We are developing sustainability. Haitians are empowering Haitians. And Haitians will change Haiti!
Encouragement on the ground in Haiti
Training continues! Jacquelin hosted a wonderful community reading session for a poor town outside of Dessalines. The teachers in this town took our training. Jacquelin told them about our Lekti (Storytime) program. They loved the idea! In collaboration with Jacquelin, they set a date and time. The teachers promoted the idea and brought the community together for this program. Adults and children enjoyed fun and laughter, then got about the business of reading. A book was projected on the big screen (a white bed sheet) and everyone could see the book as the student read. After she read the book a couple of times, the session ended with a community reading of the book. Imagine 50 villagers coming to gather to listen to stories, and then read a book! This a tremendous move in the direction of literacy.
Virlande, our Leki (storytime) teacher, is so dedicated to helping children read, she often stays after Lekti has finished to work with some struggling readers.
Team Teach Haiti hopes to host another movie time featuring the Jesus (film) for Children in Creole. Last time, we had over 150 children attend to watch this movie about Jesus.