June 29, 2004
United States: Storms Revisit Wisconsin, Texas
A midweek storm front rolled across Wisconsin and tornado-strength winds destroyed more homes in Waupun, a town hit hard in May. The Wisconsin Annual Conference is providing emergency relief with an UMCOR grant. In central Texas, floods displaced more families. UMCOR has sent a grant to assist relief efforts there. You can help in two important ways. Your contribution to UMCOR Advance #901670, Domestic Disaster Response, helps assure that funds are available to assist storm survivors in the United States. Your gift of flood cleanup supplies will replenish depleted stocks. Specifications for supplies are online.
UMCOR Sager Brown: Where Do All Those Flood Buckets Come From?
When United Methodist volunteers clean up flood damage, they often use supplies assembled by other volunteers at UMCOR's mission center and warehouse, UMCOR Sager Brown. A new bulletin insert tells how flood buckets, health kits, layettes, and other relief supplies get to the depot in Baldwin, Louisiana, and then ship to destinations all over the world. You can download this free insert, distribute it with your Sunday bulletin, and inspire your congregation to get involved in a mission project. Remember that generous gifts to Advance #901440, Material Resource Ministry, will ensure that United Methodists will be able to meet the material needs of beneficiaries around the globe.
Sudan: Adding to Disaster, a Polio Reinfection
Last week disease specialists warned that polio could reestablish itself in west and central Africa as they confirmed that a five-year-old child in the Darfur region of western Sudan is infected. The paralyzing virus can spread as long as there is a case anywhere, health officials said. UMCOR participates in an ecumenical response to the humanitarian crisis in the Darfur region. Aid efforts include shelter, water and sanitation, supplementary food, primary health care, and educational services. A cost list of relief and development needs is online. Please pray for displaced families in this African country and donate generously to UMCOR Advance #184385, Sudan Emergency.
Armenia and Afghanistan: Counter-Trafficking Initiatives Assist Children
UMCOR and the Armenian Ministry of Labor, together with local partners, will mount a new program to combat trafficking of children and women in Armenia. Trafficking is a modern form of slavery that each year ensnares an estimated one to four million people against their will. UMCOR's ongoing counter-trafficking effort in Afghanistan has assisted some 150 boys and girls who were trafficked to Saudi Arabia. When the children return home to Afghanistan, they receive counseling, medical checks, and assistance with reintegrating into their families. Talks are in progress for extending the program beyond this month's end date. UMCOR also runs an anti-trafficking program in Kosovo. Donations to UMCOR Advance #333615, Counter-Trafficking underwrite all these activities.
Haiti: Pastoral Care Combines With Strong Faith-Based Response
A coordinated faith-based response addresses longterm recovery efforts in the southern region of Haiti that borders the Dominican Republic. Last month, cataclysmic floods and landslides swept away 1,700 houses and severely damaged another 1,680. UMCOR participates in the delivery of emergency supplies, food, and cash to rehabilitate basic housing and infrastructure through Action by Churches Together. ACT, an international network of relief agencies, is working through partners with a longtime presence in Haiti. In addition leaders of the Methodist Church of Haiti met with crisis management specialists in June to create models of pastoral care for assisting survivors. The need remains great. Entire villages were destroyed in May. Your prayers for the people of Haiti and donations to UMCOR Advance #410200, Dominican Republic/Haiti Flood Relief, will provide meaningful assistance.
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.