San Diego — The Rev. Randy Day, speaking to the Connectional Table of The United Methodist Church in its first meeting, outlined six projects responding to tsunami victims in the Banda Aceh region and other areas of Indonesia.
Pharmaceutical distribution. Pharmaceuticals will be distributed among eleven camps for displaced persons with a total population of 8,600 residents. These camps around the city of Bireuen are in an area that has not received the same attention and level of response as the city of Banda Aceh. UMCOR is requesting local churches to contribute to its Medicine Boxes program.
Destruction Clean-up. Banda Aceh and Meulaboh churches were in the center of destruction zones. Debris and toxic mud and water contaminate the environment. Cleanup has already begun in Banda Aceh but it is being carried out by hand and this is very dangerous work because of the risk of injury and contaminated mud. The UMCOR report notes that serious anti-Christian vandalism and personal violence have occurred here in the recent past. In addition, local authorities are repressive toward Christians. The courageous young Methodist pastor is dedicated to serving all his neighbors and he is seeking peace in Aceh.
The report states UMCOR will provide heavy equipment to clear the church property and hopes to resurface it with clean soil within the next week.
Community Services Center. Once the churches in Banda Aceh and Meulaboh are cleaned and their community services re-started, UMCOR will attempt to add storm-safe rooms and community service centers in both cities.
House Replacement. As a first step in what is hoped will become a multi-year housing replacement and income generation project, UMCOR proposes to build 30 houses for members of the church and an equal number for vulnerable persons regardless of creed, race or gender.
Health Care Volunteers. UMCOR is working with the Indonesian Methodist Church to prepare to receive health care volunteers. The Indonesian church has not coordinated a volunteer program of this magnitude before and will need assistance in coordination and logistics. UMCOR is developing a plan for managerial assistance and is projecting a schedule to rotate health care teams as well as Volunteers in Mission for a period of two years.
Pastoral Care. Rapid death, long, intense physical pain, exhaustion, shock and grief contribute to a crisis among the whole population, including pastors and laity. UMCOR will gather pastors and other leaders for theological reflection, grief support, assessment of church leader’s health and corporate planning for recovery.
will be announcing these initiatives in more detail as planning and