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More ways to help: UMCOR Asia Tsunamis Update, December 30.

December 28, 2004

South and Southeast Asia: UMCOR Responds to Catastrophic Disaster
UMCOR has issued an urgent appeal for donations to assist tens of thousands of earthquake survivors in South and Southeast Asia. The death toll has risen above 59,000 according to press reports today, in one of the most devastating earthquakes in a century.

An UMCOR bulletin insert for this appeal is available.

UMCOR will be working with church-related alliances such as Action by Churches Together and Churches Auxiliary for Social Action to provide food, clean water, shelter, and sanitation services in a broadband of nations from Asia to Africa. The areas affected include parts of India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Bangladesh, and islands such as Sri Lanka and the Maldives.

The exact extent of the destruction is not immediately known. Waters from tsunamis-the term is Japanese for tidal wave-pushed far inland, and many of the affected regions are remote.

In India CASA has deployed 12 teams to assess needs and assist people in the coastal states of Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, and Kerala. The organization told UMCOR it expects to work with 50,000 families.

The island nation of Sri Lanka was one of the hardest hit. As many as 10,000 died there. UMCOR assistance there will be coordinated through the National Council of Churches of Sri Lanka. Immediate need is to provide food and housing for displaced people.

Cash gifts will be most meaningful in the initial days and weeks of this response, according to the Rev. Kristin L. Sachen, head of UMCOR's international emergency services. "We have some initial funds to send this week," she said, but noted that long-term support will depend on the offerings local churches receive in response to the disaster. A bulletin insert will be available at umcor.org later this week.

You can get involved through giving to UMCOR Advance #274305, South Asia Emergency. UMCOR is also accepting online donations at http://MethodistRelief.org .

Souper Bowl of Caring: Every Dollar Helps People in Need Feel God's Love!
Fifteen years ago a Super Bowl Sunday prayer inspired a group of young people to do something more than celebrate a football game. They created the Souper Bowl of Caring, a youth-led, grassroots movement that is now an international event. Participation helps young people put God's love into action. UMCOR urges local church youth to participate-a bulletin insert at http://www.souperbowl.org/bulletin.php may be downloaded and printed locally-and to designate part of the donations they receive for a local organization battling hunger and part for UMCOR Advance #982920, World Hunger and Poverty.

Sudan: UMCOR to Address Enormous Suffering in Darfur
Early in 2005, UMCOR expects to have a team of five workers on the ground in Sudan. The agency's relief and development work there will help meet immediate emergency needs as well as long-term recovery and development goals. UMCOR will concentrate its initial efforts with displaced persons inside South Darfur, one of the three regions in Western Sudan torn by conflict. You can learn more and inspire the sharing of God's love through second-mile giving in a bulletin insert available on UMCOR's web site. Print friendly, this insert is ready to download and print locally. Please pray for the people of Sudan, and give generously to UMCOR Advance #184385, Sudan Emergency.

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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Featured Photos
United Methodist Committee on Relief

People tour new housing built by UMCOR in Santa Fe, Cuba.

An man sits atop the ruins of his house destroyed in a tsunami in Cuddalore, India. Credit: REUTERS/Arko Datta, December 27, 2004, courtesy www.alertnet.org.

People tour new housing built by UMCOR in Santa Fe, Cuba.

Local residents take shelter from possible aftershocks at Phuket city hall after the area was hit by a devastating tsunami. Credit: REUTERS/Luis Enrique Ascui, courtesy www.alertnet.org.

Displaced Sudanese mothers and children by USAID

Displaced women stand together in a transit camp in South Darfur, the area where UMCOR will begin work early in 2005. Credit: USAID 2004.

More Information About UMCOR's Work