March 1, 2002: On December 30 and 31, 2001, Tropical Cyclone Waka struck the Tongan Islands causing extensive damage to crops, fruit trees, and buildings. Island residents described the cyclone as the worst in living memory. Many widows, elderly persons, and large families with low incomes lost their homes. UMCOR is responding through the Free Wesleyan Church of Tonga and our ecumenical partners to provide hurricane proof homes and water tanks for 30 families that lost their homes in the storm. The cost of each home is just over $7,000. To support this recovery work please give to Advance #229650-4 and designate "Tonga Cyclone."
Heavy rains and a hailstorm on February 19th caused devastating flooding in the city of La Paz, Bolivia and rural communities downstream of two rivers that overflowed. UMCOR is working through ACT (Action by Churches Together) and the Methodist Church of Bolivia to help rural residents reestablish agricultural production. Funds will be used to provide tools and seeds for families who lost their crops. Please join in this response by giving to UMCOR's International Disaster Response, Advance #982450-8. Designate "Bolivia Floods."
A woman shows the damage to her crops caused by recent torrential rain and flooding in La Paz. Bolivia and the rural areas surrounding the city. Credit: Evangelical Methodist Church in Bolivia/ACT, February 2002. Click on photo to see a larger version.
UMCOR is supporting many relief efforts in the Democratic Republic of Congo. There is a cholera outbreak in North Katanga due to flooding. The United Methodist Church has access to this remote area and is using an UMCOR grant to provide medicine. UMCOR continues to support feeding centers for displaced people in all three annual conferences in the country. These centers focus on providing basic nutrition for children who have been displaced by the ongoing war. Many of them have lost or been separated from their parents. There is continuing need in the areas affected by the volcanic eruption in Goma, where people are also suffering from cholera. Current recovery work includes rebuilding the latrine system. To support these relief efforts, please give to Democratic Republic of Congo Emergency, Advance #198400-0.
Teams of volunteers continue to be needed in Houston, Texas and North Carolina to help rebuild after the floods. Please call (800) 918-3100 for further information.
Gifts may be made through local United Methodist churches, or by calling 1-800-554-8583. Credit card donations are accepted. (Read more about how you can help UMCOR's emergency responses.)
UMCOR is providing emergency relief in many areas of the world. To find out more about current UMCOR ministries, please visit the website: http://gbgm-umc.org/umcor/ .
And, please pray for those who are hungry, displaced, sick or in poverty because of these and other natural and human-made disasters, and for the workers who minister to them.