September 13, 2002: On the anniversary of the September 11 tragedy, United Methodists and, indeed the whole world, prayed and participated in community gatherings of remembrance.
United Methodists and other community leaders in Ladysmith, Wisconsin, met this week to form an interfaith committee. The group will receive grants and guide the work on long-term recovery from the tornado that devastated the community on Labor Day. An initial grant of $10,000 from UMCOR has already been sent. Please make your contribution to Domestic Disaster Response Advance #901670-1. Soon volunteers will be needed to help with the restoration. Please contact the Volunteer Hotline at 1-800-918-3100.
UMCOR's International Disaster Response Advance makes it possible to respond to disasters that are both large and small. In Asia, funds are needed to assist the victims of massive flooding in China, India, Bangladesh, and Nepal. A $3,000 grant has been provided to The United Methodist Church of the Philippines for the Sarangani Province, where most people are starving and the spread of communicable diseases remains unabated. The grant will help provide for basic needs for a short time so the people can envision their own rehabilitation and sustainable development. Your gifts to the International Disaster Response Advance #982450-8 allow UMCOR to respond both to widespread and local needs.
In response to the famine in Africa, UMCOR has sent a large emergency grant to help meet an urgent need in Swaziland: feeding children in 26 schools. The request from Bishop Bill Meaker of the Methodist Church said there is "a dire need to salvage the lives of people in Swaziland who are ravaged by poverty and the resultant diseases and behaviors." More resources will be required to meet the multiple needs caused by this food crisis. Please give through your church to the Churchwide Appeal for the Southern Africa Famine, Advance #101250-4.
Southwest Texas has been hit by disaster again-- this time by Tropical Storm Fay-- in the communities of Live Oak, Tilden, and George West in Three Rivers County. The Frio and Nueces Rivers have been swollen. Houses that were beginning to dry out from July's severe floods are flooded again. The water is still rising as it moves downstream toward Corpus Christi. Major flooding is happening and expected to continue for a few days. More resources are needed to respond to the needs of first and second-time victims. Gifts should be designated Advance #901315-0 "Texas Floods."
This week a grant was given to the Nebraska Annual Conference to help respond to the effects of drought in the central and western parts of the state. Funds will help provide grain and hay so farmers and ranchers can save their livestock. Mental and physical health supplements will be provided and clergy will be trained to better meet the spiritual needs of families caught in crisis. Please give to Domestic Disaster Response #901670-1 to keep funds available for the next such need.
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.