This year I caught a glimpse of the first firefly next to a pile of refuse near our back gate, blinking beautifully and hopefully in an abandoned place. When we celebrate Pentecost we celebrate the coming of the Holy Spirit. The disciples gathered in prayer, hidden in a room, in fear. While there may have been hope and expectation, it was likely tentative. I imagine it felt like an abandoned place. Into that place of fear and disorientation came a blinking light. A flicker of flames amidst a rush of wind.
Brethren Disaster Ministries has directed grants from the Church of the Brethren’s Emergency Disaster Fund (EDF) for a tornado response and rebuilding program in Kentucky, aid to Ukrainian refugees and others affected by the war, a hurricane response in Honduras, projects of the Church of the Brethren in the Democratic Republic of Congo, among other needs.
Due to numerous humanitarian crises around the world, thousands of people are seeking asylum in the United States, some of whom make perilous journeys to the southern border. In April 2022, the state of Texas began sending many of these asylum seekers in buses to Washington, D.C., without plans for their care or in coordination with the city government or others in the area.
As director of Humanitarian and Disaster Response for World Relief, and someone who has attended a Church of the Brethren congregation for many years, I am stunned and saddened by what is happening in Ukraine. As a member of the Integral Alliance, World Relief has witnessed many natural and man-made disasters over the years. Nothing quite compares to this.
Church World Service (CWS) is circulating a faith sign-on letter urging the administration to support Ukrainians and uphold protections for displaced and at-risk populations. The deadline for signatures is Wednesday, March 23.
The Church of the Brethren Mission and Ministry Board issued a statement on Ukraine during its Spring meeting at the denomination’s General Offices in Elgin, Ill. Board chair Carl Fike, who led the meeting, signed the statement with the unanimous consent of the members of the board.
Responding to this crisis will be a massive, multi-year effort. Brethren Disaster Ministries is working with partners to determine the best avenues of support, including immediate assistance as well as a longer-term response. An initial Emergency Disaster Fund (EDF) grant of $10,000 has been given to CORUS International.
A new joint Church of the Brethren and Church World Service (CWS) effort supporting the resettlement of Afghan evacuees in the US has received support from the Mission and Ministry Board and a grant of $52,000 from the Emergency Disaster Fund (EDF).
currently facing the compounding crises of political unrest following the assassination of President Jovenel Moïse, the effects of a destructive 7.2 magnitude earthquake, and the aftermath of Tropical Storm Grace. These events, as terrible as they are individually, also exacerbate existing problems like gang violence and food insecurity throughout the region.
respond to Hurricane Ida and to provide care for children of Afghan evacuees, after a busy few weeks monitoring several deployment possibilities as well as preparing for multiple trainings to continue to prepare volunteers to respond to the special needs of children in disaster and trauma-related situations.