UMCOR / News Room / News & Features / Archives 2008 / 0222 -A Ministry of Presence and Hope

A Ministry of Presence and Hope

February 22, 2008—Fernley, Nevada., had a rough start to the New Year. Floodwaters breached the local irrigation canal and this desert town was inundated with water in the first week of January. No one would have thought that a place like Fernley—a place that needed irrigation from a dam some 30 miles away—would ever flood. Some 515 homeowners and 130 renters lost nearly everything to the water and just one homeowner had flood insurance to cover their losses.

Fernley is just one of the thousands of places in the US and around the world where UMCOR is working to be there and be hope to people in desperate situations. In Fernley UMCOR is working through the California-Nevada Annual Conference where Sue King is their Domestic Disaster Response Coordinator. She notes the long hard work ahead for the people of Fernley, “after clearing mud and debris, they will have to remove the water-damaged sheetrock, insulation and flooring. They must have duct work and studs sanitized and dried, and then put the flooring and walls back together again.”

Not Alone

They will not be doing this hard work alone. Even though there is no United Methodist Church in Fernley, UMCOR and the annual conference have responded just the same. Bishop Beverly Shamana notes that the closest church is being used as a recovery center and other United Methodist Churches in the region are making the long trip to Fernley to help out.

UMCOR has trained case managers in Fernley to help survivors to know their rights, connect them with available resources and to help them on the path to recovery. “FEMA and state funds are available for many, but only if they apply,” writes King. “Case managers keep people from falling through the cracks”

One Great Hour of Sharing

This very real help—these hearts and hands extending to people in need—is possible because of the One Great Hour of Sharing. This single offering provides the support UMCOR needs to cover its administrative costs so that every dollar given in response to disasters such as the flood in Fernley or the recent conflict in Kenya goes 100% to that need.

Because UMCOR receives no apportionment or World Service funds of any kind, this offering provides for UMCOR’s basic needs allowing us to keep our policy of using 100% of designated gifts for the program they are designated for. And any over and above gifts given to One Great Hour of Sharing supports under-funded programs.

One Great Hour of Sharing Sunday is March 2. Please give generously.