UMCOR / News Room / Hotline News Update / Archives 2008
  • July 15, 2008

The UMCOR Hotline

In Today's Hotline:

*US: Help Midwest Flood Survivors

*ARMENIA: Returning Home

*US: New Moms Get Help

*GHANA: Small Beginnings

*EVENT: The Empowering Ministries of Health Conference


UMCOR is encouraging United Methodist congregations to support Midwest flood survivors by taking up a special offering. Thousands of people throughout the Midwest are in great need following record flooding caused by severe storms and heavy rains in recent months. Cedar Rapids, Iowa has suffered the highest concentration of flooding. Current damage assessments are estimated at more than $1.5 billion. Nine of Iowa’s rivers crested at record levels—covering 1,300 city blocks or 9.2 square miles.

In Wisconsin, 30 counties have been declared disaster areas representing 41.6 percent of its state counties. There are still unreachable areas where disaster response personnel are unable to make assessments. Approximately 40,000 people have been evacuated from their homes and many have lost their homes, possessions, businesses or their crops.

UMCOR response teams are standing alongside flood survivors and are partnering with local annual conferences to offer relief and support. However, long-term recovery will continue for years to come and your continued support is greatly needed.

Download and share our most recent church bulletin and support UMCOR’s long-term recovery work in the Midwest. UMCOR is helping to coordinate case management work, manage volunteers, and provide consultations, as well as provide emotional care support and trainings where needed. Please send your gifts to Domestic Disaster Response UMCOR Advance #901670. Click the button to give now online


Mariam* is a single mother of three living in Armenia who once had no means of supporting her family. Abandoned by her husband who left her family no financial support—Mariam was forced to leave her children with her parents and travel to Moscow where a friend promised a good-paying job.

Her hopeful Moscow destination took a frightening detour when Mariam was quickly transported to Dubai. She was coerced out of her legal papers, and trapped into prostitution. After becoming pregnant, Mariam was thrown into a migration prison and her baby boy was removed from her immediately after giving birth. Eventually, Mariam and her son were sent back to Armenia where well-trained border authorities recognized Mariam as being trafficked. She was immediately referred to a shelter operated by UMCOR’s Anti-Trafficking Project.

UMCOR provided Mariam and her baby medical examinations as well as psychologists to care for the emotional trauma she had experienced. In addition, UMCOR attorneys advised Mariam of her legal rights and helped her obtain the legal documents that were taken from her. With your gifts, more survivors in Armenia can take back control of their lives. Please give to Armenia Emergency, UMCOR Advance #250225. Online Giving


First United Methodist Church in Laurel, Md., was blessed with a baby boom in their congregation this year. Over the course of twelve months, thirteen babies—including 4 sets of twins, were born. Becky Boeckman, a faith community nurse, developed a ministry of respite, meals, advocacy and education to help the new families.

“As a former navy wife, I know what it is like having to raise children while your husband is out to sea. A number of the families with new babies are military families and others also do not have close relatives to help. The church becomes our family,” Boeckman explains.

The “New Moms” ministry is just one area of congregational health that Boeckman is leading in her church. First UMC is forming a diverse health ministry team to emphasize holistic health in the congregation and their community. She looks forward to attending the Empowering Health Ministries Conference in September to connect with other faith community nurses and explore models of congregational wellness support.


After James Dankwah, 33, a farmer from Jeduako, Ghana completed livestock training from UMCOR’s Sustainable Agriculture & Development Program (SA&D), he received his first goat. It was the small start he needed to build a new life.

Prior to receiving his goat, Dankwah was earning very little to support his family. He took a one-year micro loan to purchase more goats and then sold a few for $40 each. Today, Dankwah owns 16 goats and has paid-off his loan. He lives in a brand new two-room house with his wife and seven children.

UMCOR’s SA&D Programs are giving hope to small-scale farmers. By helping farmers establish livestock in their communities the people are getting the protein they need as well as the opportunity to earn additional income. Support programs like these by sending your gifts to UMCOR’s Sustainable Agriculture & Development Program, UMCOR Advance # 982188. Click the button to give now online


On September 21-24, 2008 in Lake Junaluska, NC, The Empowering Ministries of Health conference, produced by the United Methodist Church, will provide participants the opportunity to share information about successful health ministry programs. The conference will empower the church community to provide a wellness service that is an effective ministry tool to serve its congregants in mind, body and spirit.

Conference participants will learn how to analyze their wellness programs for return on investment, learn how to build a wellness team and seek grant funding, as well as identify the tools that mobilize people to develop ministries of health. A parish nurse track on “caring for the caregivers” will examine tools for empowering and working with clergy and helping families in crisis.

Registration is now open for those interested in advancing or incorporating a health ministry in your congregation. Click here for more information and to register.

UMCOR provides emergency relief in many areas of the world. To find out more about UMCOR's ministries, please visit 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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