A Moment for Mission
There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus. —Galatians 3:28, NRSV
Migration extends far beyond the Western Hemisphere, says the Rev. Nora Colmenares of the General Board of Global Ministries. The United Methodist Committee on Relief, she notes, is intentionally developing global migration programs, supported by Advance #3022144. Grants "are currently being explored or developed to provide education to refugees in Sudan and Kenya, to provide protection to unaccompanied minor refugees in Bosnia, to equip communities with conflict transformation and reconciliation skills in Serbia, and to prevent trafficking in the Philippines," Colmenares said.
One recently approved grant allows the Church World Service office in Bihac, Bosnia and Herzegovina, to improve the well-being of people residing in refugee/migrant centers. Unaccompanied minors especially benefit from case management and advocacy. UMCOR anticipates that efforts will also improve cross-border cooperation, resulting in more efficient and targeted service provision. This grant is expected to assist 840 young people.
In East Darfur State, another UMCOR grant aids South Sudanese children in Al Nimir Refugee Camp. The goal is to restore access to basic education in an emergency setting for 1,450 school-age refugee children. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees predicts that refugees who settle in camps often will stay 17–22 years, so it is imperative that children be offered education. Through this program, classrooms and water and sanitation facilities will be constructed, and volunteer teachers will be trained.
Thanks to United Methodist generosity through The Advance, struggling migrants and refugees receive help and hope.
Loving God, we often use labels to explain why we cannot help our sisters and brothers in need. "They're not like us," we say. Inspire us to welcome all of your children. In your name, we pray. Amen.
From Discipleship Ministries: Second Sunday after Pentecost — God of mercy and grace, your patience with your children is beyond our imagination. We bring our gifts to the altar, and there are days when we give them out of fatigue rather than joy. We sing the hymns of praise and songs of commitment; but inside, we are feeling spent out, like your prophet Elijah in the wilderness. "Let me lie down under a tree and die rather than be sent out on one more mission for you." So show as one more glimpse of your divine purpose, and inspire us again to get up and go into a needy world. Not just our gifts, but dedicate our feet, our hands, our hearts to your purposes in our world. In your holy name, we pray. Amen. (1 Kings 19:1-4, (5-7), 8-15a)
For more than a year, El Calvario United Methodist Church in Las Cruces, New Mexico, has provided transitional shelter services for asylees approved by Immigration and Customs Enforcement for internal travel into the United States. The church provided this service once a week as part of the Catholic Charities Annunciation House program in El Paso, Texas. On average, the church was asked to receive 50 to 100 people, once a week.
Six months ago, the entire El Paso area transitional shelter program, coordinated by Annunciation House, received up to 1,000 people per week from ICE. That volume has increased dramatically in recent months. El Calvario UMC hopes to expand this program to accommodate five nights a week. The church is registered as a 501(c)(3) organization.
Thanks to generous United Methodists, migrants receive welcome and critical assistance to help them move into the next phase of their lives. Your gifts to Advance #3022144 – Global Migration prove that "all … are one in Christ Jesus."