Appeal for Sri Lankan Churches struggling with refugee crisis

The Methodist Church's Fund for World Mission is working withlocal churches in Sri Lanka to deliver immediate aid andrelief.

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

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

Revd Ebenezer Joseph, President of the Methodist Church in SriLanka, said: "The willingness of the Methodist people in the UKreally strengthens us. The demands are increasing as the number ofrefugees rises. Our needs for the next six months may be somethingaround Rs 20 million (£113,000) at least.

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

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

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

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

David Bennett, Fundraising Coordinator, said: "People's generousgiving over the years has enabled the Fund for World Mission torespond immediately to the crisis in Sri Lanka with supporttotalling £35,000."

"This, however, is just the start. Donations are still needed byour Partner Churches to continue this vital work and we now need totop up our reserves so that we can respond just as quickly tosimilar situations. Please support our work with Partner Churchesby making a donation to the Fund for World Mission. You can do thisby sending a cheque to the below address (quoting the referenceSR59) or by making an online payment through www.justgiving.com/mcfworldmission."