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UMCOR Hotline Update, May 29: Haitian-Dominican Republic Floods: UMCOR's Response.

May 25, 2004

Nebraska: Weekend Tornadoes Level Hallam
UMCOR is in touch with disaster response representatives from Nebraska Conference who are en route to Hallam after weekend tornadoes destroyed much of the town. Homes in surrounding communities in the southern Lancaster County area fell to the storm as well. Displaced residents retreated to Lincoln, where the Red Cross has established a shelter. A grant from UMCOR will assist in immediate relief efforts. You can help with a donation to UMCOR Advance #901670, Domestic Disaster Response.

Iowa: Flood and Tornado Damage Affect Northwest Region
Storms moving across the Midwest last Friday unleashed a tornado, lightning, rains, hail, and floods in two northwest Iowa counties. As floodwaters recede, Annual Conference disaster response volunteers are assisting with setting up emergency response efforts. A grant will provide funding for immediate needs. UMCOR Advance #901670, Domestic Disaster Response, is in place to provide for urgent requests. Please give generously.

Dominican Republic: Rain-Swollen Rivers Sweep Away at Least 270
In the Dominican Republic, at least 270 people were killed in floods early Monday, May 24, near the nation's border with Haiti. UMCOR is monitoring the devastation, which occurred when a river burst its banks, sending flood waters rushing through several poor neighborhoods and destroying hundreds of fragile homes. Reuters reports that some of the dead were Haitians who had crossed the border to live and work. When you give to UMCOR Advance #982450, International Disaster Response, you are assuring that the most vulnerable people will receive assistance in their recovery.

Sudan: Violence Continues as Government Declares Region Stable
Armed militia on horseback swarmed over villages in western Sudan over the weekend, just days after the government declared the region was stable. As many as 56 people died in the raids, according to a Reuters report. United Nations officials say fighting has displaced about a million people in the impoverished and arid Darfur region, creating one of the world's worst humanitarian crises. In the south, a new strain of the deadly Ebola virus adds to Sudan's woes. UMCOR cooperates with other humanitarian agencies providing relief to Sudanese refugees who have fled to Chad. To help in a meaningful way, please pray for the uprooted people of Sudan and make a donation to UMCOR Advance #184385, Sudan Emergency.

Haiti: Shooting Has Stopped but Crisis for Many Continues
The shooting has stopped, but Haiti's impoverished population faces food shortages, disabled sewer systems, and water shortages. These emergencies, now out of the media's scrutiny, are virtually invisible to all but those whose lives are immediately affected. The Methodist Church of Haiti has prioritized several programs to assist with recovering from civil disruption--health care, spiritual care, school fees and hot lunches. Encourage healing in Haiti by encouraging generous gifts to UMCOR Advance #418325, Haiti Civil Emergency, and to UMCOR Advance #418790, School Hot Lunch Program.

World Refugee Day: New Resource Available Online
World Refugee Day is June 20. In time to incorporate in your planning UMCOR offers a new bulletin insert. It contains stories of two refugee families whose successful resettlement in the United States is thanks to United Methodist congregations like yours. You can download and print as many copies as you need for distribution at a worship service, to a church school class, or as a sermon starter. There are also suggestions on how to get involved and how to give to UMCOR's refugee ministries. You can help fund refugee relief through Advance #982540, Global Refugee Response, or #901779, New Hope for Newcomers. Thank you for your generosity.

UMCOR provides emergency relief in many areas of the world. To find out more about UMCOR's ministries, please visit umcor.org. You can donate to any project by placing a contribution in the offering plate at a local United Methodist church; by sending a check to UMCOR, PO Box 9068, New York, NY 10087-9068; or by calling 1-800-554-8583, where credit card donations are accepted. UMCOR is exempt from tax under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of the United States and qualifies for the maximum charitable contribution deduction by donors.

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.

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