July 27, 2004
Liberia: Forgiveness and Rebuilding Continue at Ganta
Workers at Ganta Hospital in Liberia are practicing the art of forgiveness. Ganta is the only hospital in the northeastern region with a surgeon. The facility reopened in April 2004 after sustaining severe damage during the civil conflict that gripped Liberia for 14 years. Medical staff members are providing health services amid burned-out buildings and replacing looted equipment with home-grown devices made from spare parts. Yet in the words of Mary Zigbuo, a United Methodist missionary at Ganta, "We must forgive the ex-combatants who destroyed and looted the buildings and are now coming back to the hospital for medical services. Jesus requires us to forgive without keeping score." UMCOR is sending a grant to assist with further renovations at Ganta. You can help in a meaningful way through your contributions to UMCOR Advance #150385, Ganta Hospital Emergency.
USA: Flood Recovery Continues
So far the summer of 2004 is a stormy one. In New Jersey volunteers are clearing away damage from heavy rains and failed dams that plagued the state two weeks ago. UMCOR is sending a grant to the New Jersey Annual Conference to assist with the recovery effort there. Flash floods swept through the Greenwood, Arkansas, area recently, displacing some 100 families. UMCOR's grant to the Arkansas Annual Conference will help residents in the recovery process. United Methodists can make sure UMCOR is ready to respond quickly to such emergencies with contributions to Advance #901670, Domestic Disaster Response.
Africa: Sudanese Refugees in Eritrea Face Food Scarcity
The humanitarian crisis of Sudan extends to a group of Beja people, who have fled their traditional grazing grounds to escape military activities in their region. Some 25,000 Beja now living in an Eritrean camp are facing a lack of fresh water and disease. UMCOR has sent a grant to Action by Churches Together, an international alliance of faith-based relief agencies, to assist with utensils and health education. Please give generously to UMCOR Advance #184385, Sudan Emergency.
USA: Hospitality Awaits Refugees Seeking a New Home in the States
Friendship, care, donations and hospitality of local United Methodist churches can make a big difference in how successfully refugee families resettle in the United States. UMCOR cooperates with Church World Service to provide services for resettlement. By September 30 of this year, the US expects as many as 10,000 refugees to arrive-- a return to more normal admissions levels, severely curtailed following the tragedy of 9/11. Major groups will be Hmong, Burmese, Somali Bantu, and Liberians at risk. UMCOR invites congregations near resettlement sites to consider sponsoring a family. For specifics on many levels of response, including sponsorship opportunities, visit CWS' Immigration and Refugees page. To contact UMCOR staff, drop a note to firstname.lastname@example.org. And consider a generous donation to UMCOR Advance #901779, New Hope for Newcomers.
Afghanistan: Bulletin Insert Pictures Hope at Heart of United Methodist Projects
Fresh water, a chance to go to school, decent housing--these signs of hope and community stability are the results of UMCOR's recovery efforts in Afghanistan. A bulletin insert tells the story. You can download it for distribution in your Sunday morning worship, in a church school class, or use it as a sermon starter or mission minute. United Methodists can be proud of their assistance to people in Afghanistan to find their way home after 24 years of war. Your donations can continue to make Afghanistan a safer place to live and work. Please consider a gift to UMCOR Advance #602225.
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.