13 December 2005

Out of Place: New resource tells of hope after disaster

A free resource to help churches learn more about the aftermath of emergencies is now available from the Methodist Relief and Development Fund (MRDF). The stunning images in the Out of Place Study Pack illustrate the work of MRDF partners as they help communities rebuild after conflict or natural disaster and can be viewed at www.methodist.org.uk/do wnloads/ne_posterlandscape_1205.pdf.

Sankuthakala lives in a village in South India where most of the houses were destroyed by the Boxing Day Tsunami, as well as the boats and nets that the fishing community use to make a living. In the pack, she describes returning to her village after the disaster: 'When we came back, there was only sadness, the wells were salty and we had diarrhoea and stomach pains'. MRDF partner CWSDS provided families like hers with clean water and the means to rebuild their livelihoods: materials to repair their nets and boats and new pots to carry their fish to the market for sale. Sankuthakala concludes: 'We have come this far with your help, now we want to stand on our own feet.'

Kirsty Smith, MRDF Director, comments that 'The individuals featured in this new pack will inspire all who use it. People like Sankuthakala have to make decisions that we, in our comfortable lives, never have to face. This resource shows the importance of well-targeted emergency aid in ensuring long-term rehabilitation'.

As well as inspiring stories, the pack includes Bible studies, posters, prayers and suggestions for action Ð giving groups something to do as well as something to read and talk about. It is particularly suitable as a Lent course, but it can be used at any time of the year. The studies highlight the devastating effects of disasters, but also illustrate the transformation that is possible with the support of those in the UK.

The Out of Place Study Pack can be ordered from MRDF, Methodist Church House, 25 Marylebone Road, London NW1 5JR, Tel: 020 7467 5132, Fax: 020 7467 5223. It can also be downloaded directly from their website at www.mrdf.org.uk/Resources/MRDF_resour ces.htm.

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