Out of Place: New resource tells of hope after disaster

A free resource to help churches learn more about the aftermathof emergencies is now available from the Methodist Relief andDevelopment Fund (MRDF). The stunning images in the Out of PlaceStudy Pack illustrate the work of MRDF partners as they helpcommunities rebuild after conflict or natural disaster and can beviewed at www.methodist.org.uk/downloads/ne_posterlandscape_1205.pdf.

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

Kirsty Smith, MRDF Director, comments that 'The individualsfeatured in this new pack will inspire all who use it. People likeSankuthakala have to make decisions that we, in our comfortablelives, never have to face. This resource shows the importance ofwell-targeted emergency aid in ensuring long-termrehabilitation'.

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

The Out of Place Study Pack can be ordered from MRDF, MethodistChurch House, 25 Marylebone Road, London NW1 5JR, Tel: 020 74675132, Fax: 020 7467 5223. It can also be downloaded directly fromtheir website at www.mrdf.org.uk/Resources/MRDF_resources.htm.