The UMCOR Hotline
September 26, 2006
In Today's Hotline:
Violent storms over the weekend spawned high winds, tornados and floods throughout the Midwest. UMCOR is in contact with the eight annual conferences affected by these storms and is offering support as needed. Some conferences were minimally affected while others, like the South Indiana Conference, were struck hard by this weather while still recovering from last year's tornado damage. Kentucky was also heavily affected by the rains that killed 12 people in flash floods. Affected annual conferences are continuing their assessments of the damage and are creating action plans for recovery.
The following is an excerpt from an article by Chris Bowers, resource and volunteer coordinator for Mississippi United Methodist Katrina Response, on the theology of case management--a keystone in UMCOR's long-term disaster response. In response to Hurricanes and other disasters, UMCOR trains family advocates, or case managers, to help the most vulnerable survivors get on the path to recovery.
"In Jesus Christ we see a God who doesn't stand back or turn from our pain. Instead we see a God that comes and joins us, entering into our world and taking on the pain and suffering of all, reconciling us to one another. As Paul writes in Philippians, "When the time came, he set aside the privileges of deity and took on the status of a slave, became human! Having become human, he stayed human" (2:6, The Message). In Jesus we see a God that through sustained presence brings hope--a God that journeys with us, enabling us to continue the journey toward wholeness and reconciliation. We see a God that stays for the long term, walking with those who suffer, not leaving our side.
"We want to embody the characteristics of God revealed to us by Jesus. That means finding ways to be a sustained presence with those who are hurting. Case management offers that."
UMCOR's case management methodology allows these advocates to walk with survivors for the duration of their recovery. They help survivors create their own plan to restore their lives and then connect them to the resources they need to make that plan a reality. Your support of UMCOR's domestic disaster response programs supports this kind of Christ-like ministry to people who are hurting in the wake of terrible tragedies.
As peace continues to take hold in Liberia families are returning to the areas where they once lived. In many places they find that they no longer have homes or communities to return to. In an area of Lofa County that was severely affected by the war, UMCOR and the United Methodist Church in Liberia worked together to help 10 families with a total of 127 people build new homes.
The church sought out the people in the most need: widows and families with many children or caring for elderly relatives and provided them with supplies and assistance to help them reconstruct their homes in this war devastated community. Your gifts to UMCOR Advance #982450, International Disaster Response, help provide for people in need in Liberia and around the world.
Investing in people and their knowledge is the basis of UMCOR's Sustainable Agriculture and Development program. The Farmer Field School model is used to provide training in various topics in Liberia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Sierra Leone, and other countries with life-changing results.Learn more about how this program is changing lives in UMCOR's newest church bulletin insert: Farmers Helping Farmers, available here.
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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