The UMCOR Hotline
In Today's Hotline:
GAZA: On Watch for Relief Entry
ZIMBABWE: Generous Donations Help Zimbabwe
JFON: Seeking Asylum in the US
UMCOR: 100-Ton Challenge Over Halfway Mark
GAZA: ON WATCH FOR RELIEF ENTRY
According to UMCOR’s partner Action by Churches Together (ACT), the movement of aid by the United Nations into Gaza is at a standstill. Most of the UN relief workers that transport relief supplies, including supplies through ACT, are on strike due to the lack of security for truck drivers.
UMCOR continues to work with local partners to respond to the unfolding crisis in Gaza. UMCOR is working with multiple partner agencies on the ground including ACT and Muslim Aid to assist in response until access to regions most affected is resolved.
Due to complexities of the crisis, the distribution of food aid into Gaza is difficult and dangerous. Please lift up this region in your prayers. You can also support these efforts to bring medicine, food and other aid to the Gaza Strip by giving to Middle East Emergency, UMCOR Advance #601740.
ZIMBABWE: GENEROUS DONATIONS HELP ZIMBABWE
Generous financial donations from First United Methodist Church in Mansfield, Tex. and a program of the North Carolina Annual Conference will aid Zimbabwe’s critical health crises. The donations will allow for much-needed cholera medicine to be purchased that will treat 80,000 people.
"My pastor, Mike Ramsdell, asked if I needed anything for Zimbabwe I told him about the cholera packages so he announced it at Christmas Eve services as an extra offering and raised $8,900.55,” said Julie Warren, a member of Mansfield First UMC. The cholera medicines are being purchased and shipped through Children Giving Hope, a faith-based humanitarian agency involved in assisting Zimbabwe.
These medicines support UMCOR’s work of helping United Methodist hospitals in the midst of the crisis. You can contribute to Zimbabwe’s healing by giving to Zimbabwe Emergency, UMCOR Advance #199456.
JFON: SEEKING ASYLUM IN THE US
Nfansu*, a highly respected political figure in Gambia, often represented his country abroad and before the United Nations. However, Nfansu was considered a political threat and several of his relatives were assassinated before he fled Gambia. Nfansu, along with his wife, mother and younger sister were all granted refuge in the US.
Under current immigration law, Nfansu’s son, Madi was considered an adult and not a dependant under his father’s asylum petition. His son would have to apply for asylum separately. Left behind and fearful for his life, Madi came alone to the US and applied for asylum without representation.
JFON’s Baltimore-DC clinic took over his case and after two years, his request for refugee status was granted. Tears poured down his face and his mother, Aime was also sobbing. It was a day filled with inexpressible joy! You can support JFON’s work of helping immigrant and refugees in sorting out complex legal issues by giving to Justice for Our Neighbors, UMCOR Advance #901285.
*not their real name.
UMCOR: 100-TON CHALLENGE OVER HALFWAY MARK
UMCOR’s 100-Ton Challenge has made it over the halfway mark. As of December 31, 2008, United Methodists have purchased 56.5 tons of fairly traded coffee, tea and snacks through UMCOR’s partner Equal Exchange. The 12-month Challenge which began in May, 2008 encourages United Methodists to help increase the amount of fairly-traded products purchased through The UMCOR Coffee Project and Equal Exchange. The purchases allow small-scale farmers to earn fair prices, invest in farm improvements and improve their communities.
Help UMCOR meet its 100-Ton goal. The Challenge ends on World Fair Trade Day, May 9, 2009. By purchasing fair trade products though the Equal Exchanges Interfaith Store, a portion of sales goes to support small-scale farmers in Latin America, Africa and Asia through UMCOR’s Sustainable Agriculture and Development Program.
Download UMCOR’s 100-Ton Challenge poster and encourage your congregation to participate in the Challenge and help farmers earn fair wages, send their children to school or empower their communities. You can also give to Sustainable Agriculture and Development, UMCOR Advance #982188.
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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