The UMCOR Hotine
In Today's Hotline:
PAKISTAN: Flooding Again Devastates Country
INDIA: Earthquake Recovery in Himalayas
US: Early Response Team in Bastrop, Texas
EVENT: Mental Illness Awareness Week
PAKISTAN: FLOODING AGAIN DEVASTATES COUNTRY
By some accounts the massive flooding in Sindh province and other areas of Pakistan is even worse than that which last year affected large swaths of the country. Since August, floods have left 248 dead and damaged or destroyed at least 1.2 million homes.
At least 300,000 people have been displaced, adding to the 800,000 who are still living in shelters since last year’s flooding. An estimated 2 million people are suffering from flood-related diseases, news reports and other sources said.
The United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) said that 73 percent of crops and 67 percent of food stocks in Sindh province have been destroyed in the flooding, and that 78,000 head of livestock have died. FAO said rain and floods in Sindh this year are “worse than last year’s devastating flooding.”
The United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) is already responding to the needs of flood survivors through partner Church World Service. UMCOR is also in contact with partner GlobalMedic to discern and respond to needs for clean drinking water, hygiene, and sanitation.
Your support is urgently needed. Please give to International Disaster Response, UMCOR Advance #982450, and earmark your check “Pakistan Floods.”
INDIA: EARTHQUAKE RECOVERY IN HIMALAYAS
Indian government and nongovernmental relief organizations continued to make their way to the epicenter of last Sunday’s earthquake in the Himalayas. Parts of India, Nepal, Bhutan, and the Tibetan region of China were affected by the 6.9-magnitude quake.
According to news reports compiled by the ACT Alliance’s India Forum, at least 130 people have died in the disaster. The quake’s epicenter is in the Indian state of Sikkim, in the village of Mangan. Sikkim is not accessible by air or rail, and poor weather and destroyed roads have slowed progress to survivors there.
The Inter Agency Group from Assam, including a field officer from CASA, dispatched an assessment team to Sikkim last Tuesday.
By Friday, CASA said, rescue teams had “inched close to the quake epicenter, and columns of soldiers, riding trucks, tractors and earthmovers, and armed with drills, cutters and pick-axes, completed an arduous trek to enter Mangan, the flattened headquarters of the North Sikkim district.” Casualties are expected to rise.
UMCOR is standing by, prepared to support the efforts of our partners to respond to immediate and long-term needs of survivors of the quake. Your gift to International Disaster Response, UMCOR Advance #982450, will help.
US: EARLY RESPONSE TEAM IN BASTROP, TEXAS
An UMCOR-trained early response team composed of seven individuals from seven different North Texas congregations came together to help survivors of the horrific wildfires in Bastrop, Texas, take the first steps toward their recovery.
Rev. Marji Bishir, team leader and associate director of the Center for Missional Outreach of the North Texas Annual Conference, wrote that the team’s task was described to them as “doing funerals for houses.” They helped homeowners sift through the ashes to locate precious possessions.
“Periodically we’d unearth ceramic items that survived completely intact. It was almost like doing an archeology dig, with very traumatized people directing our efforts,” Bishir said. They heard heart-wrenching stories of loss.
A firefighter shared his angst when he had to decide “which houses were saved, and which ones burned” because it was impossible to save them all. “He knew all of the people who lived in those homes,” Bishir said.
But there were also signs of hope, Bishir said, most notably, the community’s actions to help each other out. Read her full account here.
When UMCOR trains early response teams, we help them provide technical expertise as well as a ministry of presence to those struggling in the wake of catastrophic events.
Your gift to US Disaster Response, UMCOR Advance #901670, helps UMCOR provide this valuable training. Please earmark your check “Wildfires 2011.”
EVENT: MENTAL ILLNESS AWARENESS WEEK
Mental illness is often a hidden disability, so few congregations are aware of the persons in their pews who are affected, either directly or as family members of those living with mental illness.
According to current statistics, in any given year, more than a quarter of adults will experience some form of mental illness. These illnesses also affect family, friends, and employers.
Mental Illness Awareness Week is October 2 – 8, 2011. The United Methodist Task Force on Disability Ministries, a program of UMCOR Health, is offering churches resources they can use to help improve their ability to recognize mental illness and increase responsiveness to it. Read more.
Your gift to Disability Ministry, UMCOR Advance #3021054, helps the task force carry out and expand its ministry.
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 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.
BE SURE TO RECEIVE OUR HOTLINE EMAILS. MAKE UMCOR YOUR BUDDY! Some Internet Service Providers like AOL, Yahoo!, Hotmail, and Juno use email filtering software that allows you to add email addresses to a "buddy," "trusted," "safe," or approved list. Please add email@example.com to your list so that our messages don't end up in "junk mail" or the "trash."