The first group of seven Global Justice Volunteers left in May for an 8-week mission experience. Three traveled to São Bernardo do Campo, Brazil, to work with the Street Children's Project, and four went to the Philippines. Although the majority are United Methodists from the United States, the team includes a Baptist, a Roman Catholic, and a member of the Methodist Church of Brazil. The Global Justice Volunteer program is open to college-aged young adults. For more information, contact Bud Heckman in the Mission Volunteers office: firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 212-870-3825.
According to Catholic Bishop Carlos Belo, the 1996 Nobel Peace Prize laureate, conditions for a free and fair election on the issue of independence for his native East Timor do not exist. While the Indonesian government has agreed to hold an election on August 8 to determine East Timor's political status, the Indonesian military and its affiliates appear to be attempting to eliminate, intimidate, and disperse as many pro-independence activists as possible before the vote. The Humanitarian Project on East Timor reports that about 500 young people were killed by the militias between February and May in one area alone and that there are up to 35,000 internally displaced people, most of them women and children, in urgent need of assistance. Thousands of men have fled to the mountains. On May 5, 1999, UN agreements signed in New York allowed for a UN police force and observers in East Timor. The Humanitarian Project urges people to contact legislators to press for larger numbers of UN observers, a greatly expanded presence for the International Committee of the Red Cross, and diplomatic pressure on Indonesian authorities to disarm and disband the militias working out of West Timor.
UMCOR's ecumenical partner ACT (Action by Churches Together) is working with NATO to build camps for Kosovo refugees in Albania and to provide food for them and their host families. UMCOR is also working with Bishop Heinrich Bolleter and the United Methodist Church in Macedonia, as well as with CitiHope International, to provide medicine, health care, and food to refugees in Macedonia. In Bosnia, UMCOR is working with other agencies to meet the needs of 75,000 refugees from diverse ethnic backgrounds. United Methodists in Central Europe are developing a healing center for women and children who have been abused and victimized during their forced flight from Kosovo to Macedonia. And in Armenia, UMCOR has distributed $2.2 million in airlifted medicine and medical supplies. To aid Kosovo refugee ministries, give to UMCOR's International Disaster Response, Advance #982450-8.
On April 20--for the second time in three years--New World Outlook was honored by the Associated Church Press (ACP) as one of the two best Denominational General Interest Magazines in the United States and Canada. "This is clearly the best designed and most thoughtfully constructed magazine in this category," wrote one judge. "Range and variety in the content is also solid." Another judge praised the magazine's "very good use of color, excellent page balance throughout, and writing that is very good and very friendly." In addition to its Best in Class plaque, New World Outlook won Certificates of Honorable Mention for Magazine Photography (Dr. J. S. Murthy, "Empowering the Young Women of India") and for its Mission Statement--the judge observing that "this magazine covers its 'beat'--Christian mission and its contexts--much more thoroughly than any general publication could." Earlier, on March 23, New World Outlook was one of only two national magazines to win a DeRose-Hinkhouse Award from the Religion Communicators Council (RCC). The judge who gave the Award of Merit praised our "attractive covers, excellent contents page, wonderful use of four-color photography, strong graphics, and good writing." Congratulations to our staff and contributors.
Text and photographs copyright 1999 by New World Outlook: The Mission Magazine of The United Methodist Church. Used by Permission. Visit New World Outlook Online at http://gbgm-umc.org/nwo/.
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