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Asian-American United Methodists call for action on tsunami relief

 


Asian-American United Methodists call for action on tsunami relief

Jan. 5, 2005

A UMNS Report
By Linda Bloom*

The caucus representing Asian-American United Methodists is asking church members everywhere "to pray and act" in response to the tsunami that struck countries along the rim of the Indian Ocean.

"My wish is that all Asian-American United Methodists would respond to the disaster and give generously," said Inday Day, executive director of the National Federation of Asian American United Methodists. The Rev. Mark Nakagawa is the organization’s chairperson.

The federation has members from the South Asian countries of India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh and the Southeast Asian countries of Indonesia, Malaysia, Myammar and Thailand – seven of the 12 countries hit by December’s tsunami.

"The Filipino-American community grieves with its Asian sisters and brothers that suffered losses in the Tsunami disaster," said Aquilino "Pong" Javier, chairperson of the federation’s Filipino caucus, in a Jan. 4 interview with United Methodist News Service. "Recently, we too were recipients of love and care and help from the rest of world after the devastating typhoons in the Philippines."

Working with the federation, Filipino-Americans have mobilized their aid via e-mail and telephone calls to churches and individuals.

"We are aware that contributions are pouring in," Javier added. "We are most fortunate that the UMC has an established communication direction (through) UMCOR and UMCom to lead and guide resources in moments like this," he said, referring to the United Methodist Committee on Relief and United Methodist Communications.

Phu Xuan Ho sent a Jan. 4 letter to pastors and lay leaders on behalf of the denomination’s Indochinese National Caucus. "Faced with a catastrophe of incomprehensible proportion, the family of Indochinese United Methodists reaches out to and unanimously declares our solidarity with the victims, families and relatives of the victims in the countries of Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Sri Lanka and Thailand," the letter said.

"Our hearts go out to those who lost loved ones, their homes, livelihood and property. We offer our prayers to God on behalf of the injured, sick and bereaved in the affected areas."

Federation leaders are encouraging United Methodists to make donations through UMCOR.

Donations to UMCOR’s "South Asia Emergency" relief efforts can be placed in local church offering plates or sent directly to UMCOR, 475 Riverside Drive, Room 330, New York, NY 10115. Designate checks for UMCOR Advance #274305 and "South Asia Emergency." Online donations can be made by going to www.methodistrelief.org. Those making credit-card donations can call (800) 554-8583.

News media contact: Linda Bloom, New York, (646) 369-3759 or newsdesk@umcom.org

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