23 April 2012

£10,000 grant to Methodist Church in storm-battered Fiji

A solidarity grant of £10,000 has been sent to the Methodist Church in Fiji, which has been helping communities affected by flooding after a tropical storm hit the islands.

A powerful tropical storm hit Fiji in early April, of a severity not known for years. It is proving difficult to assess the full extent of the damage, but it is clear that so far at least seven people have lost their lives and the livelihoods and homes of thousands have been destroyed. The Fijian Church is providing support for flood affected families, offering them clothes, food, kitchenwares and utensils, as well as other donations made by church members.

"In the western region of Fiji, this flooding was the third time this year that devastating heavy rain has taken lives and left thousands of families homeless," said mission partner Julia Edwards. "Once again, the Church has acted quickly to help those most in need. We are very thankful for the generous support that will enable people to start to rebuild their lives and livelihoods. Relief efforts have been ongoing and the youth of the Church have been especially active."

The grant, which has been provided by the British Church's World Mission Fund, will help the Church's ministers to exercise their pastoral role in their communities.

The Church's ministers themselves have been effected, as the crops that would have paid their stipends have been lost. This has left them worried about how to feed their own families as well as serve the needs of their communities.

"The Methodist Church in Fiji is already showing its great generosity to those whose lives and livelihoods have been devastated by the flooding," said Christine Elliott, Secretary for External relationships for the Methodist Church in Britain "We hope that this grant helps them as they live out their call to clothe the vulnerable and feed the hungry."

People can donate to the World Mission Fund online here, or by sending cheques made payable to 'Methodist Church World Mission Fund' to Methodist Church House, 25 Marylebone Road, London NW1 5JR. 

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