* Any views expressed in this article are those of the author and not of Thomson Reuters Foundation.
NEWS: HELP REPLENISH RELIEF SUPPLIES
By the end of 2013, a total of 536,946 relief kits went to 12 countries and to 12 states in the US. It was an increase of 28.5 percent as compared to 2012, or any previous year for that matter. And, while this is good news, UMCOR Sager Brown and UMCOR West depots are now experiencing critical shortages of relief-supply kits to meet the increased demand for supplies around the world.
“We have shipped out more kits than ever,” said Material Resources Director Kathy Kraiza.
Just in the month of December alone, five shipping containers full of health kits and school kits set out to Amman, Jordan, to benefit displaced Syrian refugees, and to Haiti.
One way UMCOR West in Salt Lake City, Utah, helped to ramp-up support was through a recent three-day holiday event called “Joy of Giving.“ Here, people were invited to donate items and money in support of the depot, as well as three local non-profit organizations.
Throughout 2013, health kits and school kits were in urgent demand. Supplies of all kits (except cleaning buckets) are nearly exhausted. “We are looking to our United Methodist congregations and conferences to help us replenish these critically needed supplies,” Kraiza said.
PRAYER: TRAFFICKED PERSONS
Human Trafficking Awareness Day is January 11. Please pray for the more than 20 million men, women, and children around the world who are subject to involuntary servitude, debt bondage, or slavery through the use of force and coercion. Intercede with Psalm 91.
As part of your observance, read the story of “Mary” who was forced into prostitution after accepting a babysitting job in Dubai, but who is now undergoing the process of rehabilitation, thanks to UMCOR’s Anti – Human Trafficking Project.
CAREERS: UMCOR AND GLOBAL MINISTRIES
The General Board of Global Ministries and UMCOR have positions open across multiple units, sectors, and countries. Visit the Careers webpage to learn more.
RESOURCE: ONE GREAT HOUR OF SHARING
One Great Hour of Sharing (OGHS) resource materials are available to help inform your congregation about this special offering which covers UMCOR’s administrative costs and other undesignated gifts.
From sermon starters and frequently asked questions, to bulletin inserts, posters and videos, you’ll find all that you need to prepare for this special offering. One Great Hour Sharing will be observed this year on March 30, but contributions to this offering can be made all year around.
Donations to OGHS make it possible for UMCOR to use 100% of all other contributions on the projects you specify, instead of on administrative or fundraising costs. UMCOR does not receive United Methodist World Service or apportionment funds, so without your offerings, UMCOR would not exist.
Order your free printed resources and other Special Sunday resources now by clicking here, or call toll free 1-888-346-3862 to order resources by phone.
MEDIA: NOT WITHOUT HOPE
Alisa (not her real name) from Armenia was threatened with the kidnapping of her 9-month old baby and forced into prostitution. After a year-long ordeal, Alisa spots a hotline number on a television news ticker for a human trafficking prevention program supported by UMCOR. She jots the number in the palm of her hand and reaches out for help. She is referred to an UMCOR shelter.
Watch the video to learn more of Alisa’s story and hear the heart cry of those living hidden in the shadows of the trafficking business. Please share Alisa’s story with others as you observe Human Trafficking Awareness Day, January 11.