UMCOR Offers Aid in Peru Earthquake
NEW YORK, NY, Aug. 16, 2007—United Methodist Committee on Relief is responding to the massive earthquake that leveled several cities in Peru Aug. 15, with offers of aid to the Methodist Church of Peru and a planned grant to Action by Churches Together, the international relief alliance.
“On behalf of…the General Board of Global Ministries please know of our continuing prayers for the people of Peru as the recovery effort begins,” wrote Sam W. Dixon in an email to the Rev. Jorge Bravo, bishop of the Methodist Church of Peru. “UMCOR would like to be of assistance to the conference in any recovery efforts the Church may be planning,” Rev. Dixon wrote. UMCOR is a unit of Global Ministries.
Aid to the Peruvian church is likely to cover an array of initiatives, including funding to address immediate relief, as well as long-term recovery needs as they become known, and deployment of experienced disaster response personnel who can help establish priorities and means for response. Rev. Dixon said a portion of proceeds will assist with rebuilding damaged uninsured churches. There are Methodist churches in the south part of Peru, where damage was heaviest, he said.
Though the quake disrupted telecommunications Action by Churches Together has mobilized a response team in the region. UMCOR is likely to participate in the rapid response fund request when plans are known.
The Methodist Church of Peru and the North Carolina Annual Conference share a special covenant relationship, begun in the 1990s with visits of mission teams and volunteers. According to Rev. Dixon, a Volunteer in Mission from the North Raleigh United Methodist Church is working at a Methodist church north of Lima. There were reports of “shaking,” but no immediate damage.
Donors who want to contribute to the recovery in Peru may give to UMCOR Advance #982450, International Disaster Response; designate Peru Earthquake. Checks may be mailed to UMCOR, PO Box 9068, New York, NY 10087.