22 May 2009

Appeal for Sri Lankan Churches struggling with refugee crisis

The Methodist Church's Fund for World Mission is working with local churches in Sri Lanka to deliver immediate aid and relief.

The Church is appealing for people to help alleviate the suffering caused by the conflict by donating to the Fund.

A £15,000 grant from the Fund for World Mission will be sent to Sri Lankan Church leaders to help assist victims affected by the Sri Lankan humanitarian crisis and to take initiatives to build peace. The gift follows an earlier £20,000 Fund for World Mission grant made in October after around 200,000 residents in the Wanni region in the north of the country became trapped by heavy shelling and aerial bombing.

Revd Ebenezer Joseph, President of the Methodist Church in Sri Lanka, said: "The willingness of the Methodist people in the UK really strengthens us. The demands are increasing as the number of refugees rises. Our needs for the next six months may be something around Rs 20 million (£113,000) at least.

"Please continue to pray specially for the people who are caught in between. It's God grace alone that enables us to continue with what could be done without just giving up."

Stephen Poxon, President of Methodist Conference in Britain, wrote to Church leaders in Sri Lanka last week.

"As I travel around Britain you and your nation are mentioned and upheld in prayer in almost every church and fellowship meeting I attend," he said.

"We pray for an end to violence and hatred, for healing and reconciliation to come and that lasting peace which is born out of there being justice for all. We continue to stand alongside you and seek to respond to your growing needs as we are able."

David Bennett, Fundraising Coordinator, said: "People's generous giving over the years has enabled the Fund for World Mission to respond immediately to the crisis in Sri Lanka with support totalling £35,000."

"This, however, is just the start. Donations are still needed by our Partner Churches to continue this vital work and we now need to top up our reserves so that we can respond just as quickly to similar situations. Please support our work with Partner Churches by making a donation to the Fund for World Mission. You can do this by sending a cheque to the below address (quoting the reference SR59) or by making an online payment through www.justgiving.com/mcfworldmission."

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