In addition to meeting and welcoming Week of Compassion's new Executive Director Vy Nguyen, the Committee on Week of Compassion, meeting at the Benedictine Retreat Center in Indianapolis last week, also made a number of important decisions. 13 sustainable development projects in 11 countries totaling $194,460 were approved, including an ebola virus project with IMA World Health in Liberia; a women's training project in the Democratic Republic of Congo with Global Ministries Africa Office; and a street children's project in Serbia with Church World Service. The Committee also approved a major 3-year earthquake recovery plan in Haiti to support the work of several partners including CWS, IMA World Health, AgMissions, Prosperity Catalyst and Global Ministries. The overall plan will allow for the faithful stewardship of more than $700,000 designated gifts that remained from the generous response from Disciples after the Haiti earthquake.
Furthermore, the Committee also approved new partnership Memorandum's of Understanding with Child Disaster Services and the Society of St. Andrew. Both of these new partnerships will provide outstanding volunteer opportunities for Disciples members and congregations. Congregations involved in local food ministries and hunger issues will find the Society of St. Andrew to be a superb resource.
The Committee also received with gratitude an update on the WoC endowment program including the good news that 30 congregations have now joined the Circle of Compassion with funds totaling more than $575,000 and that gifts to the WoC Endowment for the first two quarters of 2014 totaled more than $375,000 and exceeded, more than was given in all of 2013 ($338,006.19)
It is the gracious and generous support of so many Disciples congregations, members and friends across the whole church that make the remarkable work and witness throughout the world possible. We are grateful and you can be sure, many, many more will be also.
This will be my last update as interim director of Week of Compassion. It has been a gift of grace to serve again. My prayers and best wishes to the new director and the WoC Committee for this ministry of our compassion around the world, around the year.
Responding to a Refugee Crisis at the U.S./Mexico Border
Many people have inquired about WoC's response to the growing refugee crisis along the U.S. Mexican border, especially the large number of unaccompanied minors. Week of Compassion is in conversation with Refugee and Immigration Ministries in Disciples Home Missions, Southwest Good Samaritan Ministries (SWGSM) and Church World Service about a long- term response. In the meanwhile, emergencies grants totaling $16,000 have been made to SWGSM as Feliberto Pereira and his staff there deal with a significant influx of refugees there.
This Week’s Responses:
Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance
Minnesota, Flood Relief
Mississippi, Tornado Relief
North Carolina, Tornado and Fire Relief
Texas, Refugee Food Relief
Missouri, Long-Term Tornado Relief
North America, Storm Relief
Development and Long-Term Recovery and Rehabilitation
Mexico, Indigenous Rights and Education
Peru, Sustainable Community Health
South Africa, Shelter for Girls
Zimbabwe, Clean Water Projects
Democratic Republic of Congo, Micro-Industry (2)
Ghana, Support of Street Children
Egypt, Care of Abandoned Children
Liberia, Ebola Education and Public Health
Serbia, Women’s Economic Empowerment and Education
Kenya, Education and Sanitation for Children
Georgia, Vocational Training and Employment Opportunity for Youth
Serbia, Street Children Outreach