"Beyond the CNN Effect"

Week of Compassion - Around the World, Around the Year

Steve Cranford, a retired Disciples minister and member of Bethany Christian Church in Tulsa, Oklahoma, sent us this great reminder:

"We have responded generously to the Week of Compassion's relief efforts in Haiti, and we are glad to know that our church is involved in providing life-saving assistance to those suffering people.
Wouldn't it be wonderful if, for the remainder of this year, there were no more earthquakes, no floods, no hurricanes, no tornadoes, no tsunamis? Wouldn't it be wonderful if, for the remainder of this year, there were no more violent conflicts, no more refugees fleeing from their homes? Wouldn't be wonderful if there were no more famines, if no more children died of starvation?
But when has there ever been such a year? From bitter experience, we know that there will be more natural disasters and human conflicts that create more suffering. And we want to be there. We want to be there so we can extend the compassion of Jesus Christ. We will be there through the Week of Compassion.
Every year in February the Christian Church receives a special offering that creates a rapid response fund so that when disaster strikes, whenever and wherever people hurt, whether in Oklahoma or in the far corners of the earth, we are there.
That's why we give to the Week of Compassion."
Steve gets it exactly right. Our Compassion Response Fund gives us flexibility and the ability to act quickly. Within 24 hours of the earthquake in Haiti, funds had been wired to Global Ministries, enabling them to respond to the relief efforts of CONASPEH, a grassroots ecumenical council of churches in Haiti, and to the Ecumenical Foundation for Peace and Justice (the House of Hope in Port au Prince), as well as to Church World Service and ACT International.

Your contributions to the appeal for earthquake relief in Haiti have been generous. We've raised over $1.3 million. However, in order to respond to the immediate needs that emerge whenever a disaster strikes--whether it's on the scale of Hurricane Katrina, the earthquake in Haiti, or a windstorm that never makes the news, but does serious damage to a neighborhood--we need your continued Courageous Compassion.

Likewise, because of your faithful giving, we are able to accompany communities in places as diverse as El Salvador, Armenia, even North Korea, as they seek to develop new sources of sustenance and self-support.

To the alleviation of suffering due to disaster and chronic poverty, we are able to respond effectively because of your continued, courageous support.  To see all of the places where you've been able to make a difference in the last year, click here. This is cause for celebration! This is what YOU have done, through your gifts to Week of Compassion!

If you have given to the appeal for Haiti, thank you so very much. Consider making a difference in yet another way--with a gift to this year's Week of Compassion Special Offering. It is a way that we as Disciples can share God's love with the entire world: where systems, structures, and hopes have been broken, we can contribute to new life by stepping out with communities in Courageous Compassion.

Video Update from Earthquake Survivor, Rick Santos, IMA World Health

IMA World Health is WoC's primary partner organization providing health and medical assistance to those in great need. Many of you have assembled IMA Medicine Boxes or Safe Motherhood Kits for the Congo or for Haiti. Medicine Boxes are in great demand in Haiti currently; follow the link for more information.

IMA's Director, Rick Santos, was one of our ecumenical colleagues in Haiti at the time of the earthquake. Rick was trapped under the rubble for 55 hours, but made it home. He recently recorded this message for Week of Compassion about the ongoing relief effort. We are so appreciative of Rick and his entire staff at IMA World Health; they are such an important partner for us Disciples!