The UMCOR Hotline
August 15, 2006
In Today's Hotline:
The resurgence of conflict in Sri Lanka between the Sri Lankan Army (SLA) and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) has placed UMCOR and the Methodist Church of Sri Lanka in the unique position to be first responders in a humanitarian crisis that grows more severe by the day. Fighting broke out in early August in Trincomalee District where UMCOR has been working in tsunami recovery. UMCOR and MCSL workers set aside their tsunami work and immediately began helping the tens of thousands of civilians fleeing the fighting. UMCOR is working alongside another organization in the area, Muslim Aid, and in the initial days of the conflict they were among the few agencies able to provide assistance.
UMCOR's aid station in Kantale where approximately 50,000 people are seeking refuge has provided medical treatment to thousands, distributed water, clothing, and hygiene kits. UMCOR, MCSL and Muslim Aid are also providing organizational support for some 20 refugee camps in the area.
Please pray for a peaceful resolution to this conflict and for the safety of the aid workers there. Your gifts to UMCOR Advance #982450, International Disaster Response, Sri Lanka, support these efforts.
In less than a month El Paso, TX and surrounding communities received double the rainfall they would normally get all year. The saturated ground could not absorb the rain water leading to widespread flooding. The engorged Rio Grande River breached its banks wiping out roads, homes and businesses. Now, the region is working to recover what was lost not only in their area, but in Juarez, a town in Mexico just over the border.
UMCOR is providing funding and personnel to help the Rio Grande Annual Conference with their recovery. The North Texas Annual Conference is also lending a hand by sending Early Response Teams to their neighbors in the south. The community's immediate needs are for flood buckets and health kits, which are being provided by UMCOR Sager Brown, the United Methodist relief supply depot.
As the fragile peace between Lebanon and Israel takes hold and people displaced by the fighting make their way back to their homes, their needs continue to increase. Many are coming home, weak from lack of water, food and medicine, only to find their homes and businesses destroyed in the fighting. UMCOR is working with the Middle East Council of Churches to provide relief in Lebanon to those left homeless. Distributions of mattresses, shelter, food, water and medical care are helping to meet the basic needs of people displaced by the fighting.
The US Embassy recognized UMCOR Georgia's work providing medicine and supplies to people in need in Abkhazia, a disputed region of Georgia, on its website. A special distribution took place in June when 386 children from Abkhazia attended a community performance in Western Georgia. UMCOR used this opportunity to provide the children with medical check ups and supplies such as school kits, health kits, and sewing kits.
UMCOR Georgia's Medical Distribution Program provides medicine and medical supplies to 11 clinics in Abkhazia. You can support UMCOR Georgia's important work by giving to UMCOR Advance #250305, Georgia 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. You can also give online by clicking on any of the "Give Now" links. 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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