PHOTO: Central Texas Conference volunteers on a mission trip to UMCOR’s Sager Brown Depot in Baldwin, La., verify and secure thousands of health kits bound for relief efforts in Haiti. Congregations in the Central Texas Conference assembled many of the health kits. Pictured are Rev. Laraine Waughtal, chair of the Conference Disaster Response Task Force, and members of Bethel United Methodist Church, Weatherford.
Greetings in the name of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior. As the presidents of the General Board of Global Ministries, the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) and The Advance, we have witnessed the devastation caused by the earthquake that struck Haiti on January 12, 2010. Since then, we have seen the tangible generosity of the people of Central Texas Annual Conference. As of May 1, the people of Central Texas Conference have given $308,323.41 for relief and recovery in Haiti according to the current records in The Advance office.
While the needs for recovery are immense and ongoing, the response of The United Methodist Church has been swift and profound. The church’s outreach begins with United Methodists in each annual conference. Their generous support has been directed through The Advance to ensure that the transparency and accountability of all of the funds collected remain intact. The gifts given by Central Texas Conference have enabled UMCOR to be on the ground in Haiti and other places of need. Each United Methodist in Central Texas Conference is a vital part of the work of Global Ministries, UMCOR, and The Advance. The church’s mission work is made possible by individual support at the conference level.
The incredible response of our connectional church has gone beyond financial support. United Methodist Volunteers in Mission (UMVIM) have been logging the names of thousands of people throughout The United Methodist Church who are ready and willing to travel to Haiti to be a part of the recovery process. Recognizing that sanitation is a key concern for those who have lost everything and are living in displaced person camps, United Methodists worked through their churches, conferences and local community channels to assemble more than 700,000 health kits for distribution through UMCOR Sager Brown.
While we are grateful for the support that has been given to date, we know that the work is far from over. This recovery will take years to complete. You can be assured that through our connectional church, support given through The Advance to UMCOR makes a United Methodist presence in Haiti possible through many years of recovery. You are very much a part of this ministry of love. Whether the work is about the physical rebuilding of structures, the healing and nourishment of wounded and hungry people, or the spiritual restoration of souls facing fearsome challenges, The United Methodist Church and all its members are there as God leads us.
May God’s grace and peace be with us all as we move toward recovery in Haiti.
Bishop Bruce R. Ough Bishop Hope Morgan Ward Bishop Janice Riggle Huie