MISSION OF THE MONTH
Presbyterian Disaster Assistance
Presbyterian Disaster Assistance enables congregations and mission partners of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) to witness to the healing love of Christ through caring for communities adversely affected by crises and catastrophic events. As the emergency and refugee program of the Presbyterian Church U.S.A., Presbyterian Disaster Assistance (PDA) focuses on the long-term recovery of disaster impacted communities. It provides training and disaster preparedness for presbyteries and synods and works collaboratively with church partners and members of the ACT Alliance (Action by Churches Together) internationally, and nationally with other faith based responders.
Most recently, Presbyterian Disaster Assistance is responding to needs in:
Ukraine: Emergency assistance has focused on items such as cash assistance for food, housing and other basic needs, psycho-social support, transitional housing (private and public), registration assistance and information and referrals. By May 2022, relief organizations were already shifting their focus to longer term housing, language instruction, school enrollment and other services to support refugees who intend to stay in the host country until the conflict ends.
Pakistan: The rainfall received nationwide is 2.87 times higher than the national 30-year average, with some provinces experiencing more than five times as much rainfall as their 30-year average. It is estimated that 33 million people have been affected and more than 1,340 lives have been lost. PDA is working with partners on the ground as they are closely monitoring the situation, undertaking assessments and mobilizing funds, preparing to start relief operations as soon as possible.
July flooding in the U.S.: Severe flooding impacted Kentucky, Missouri and Virginia in late July. PDA has processed grants and deployed National Response Team members to affected areas. In eastern Kentucky, we anticipate this being a long-term response, with information on volunteer hosting to come.
Hurricane Fiona: Hurricane Fiona impacted Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic with torrential rain resulting in flooding and powerful winds leading to widespread power outages. PDA is in touch with Presbyterian leadership in the presbyteries and synod of Puerto Rico, in addition to our international partners in the Dominican Republic. While assessments are underway, solidarity and initial assistance grants are being disbursed. As always, PDA will work alongside our partners for the long-haul.
Hurricane Ian: PDA is working with affected presbyteries and international partners to assess the aftermath of Hurricane Ian and offer resources and support. Emergency grants have been disbursed and National Response Team members are deployed.
Visit Presbyterian Disaster Assistance (pcusa.org) for more information on PDA and its worldwide disaster response activities.
Please give generously to support Presbyterian Disaster Assistance in their efforts to witness to the healing love of Christ. Donations may be made at the church, mailed or be made through the church’s on-line giving portal.
Frontera de Cristo
The Mission Committee now sponsors Mark and Miriam Adams in their involvement in the mission called Frontera de Cristo. Based in the sister cities of Douglas, Arizona, and Agua Prieta, Sonora, Frontera de Cristo works to build relationships and understanding across borders. People often see borders as nothing more than division, but at Frontera de Cristo, borders are seen as a place of encounter. Discerning God’s will, Frontera de Cristo serves migrants and community members on both sides of the border.
By demonstrating gospel values in all that they do, Frontera de Cristo seeks to build relationships that demonstrate God’s will, and build bridges rather than walls. So many people are migrating, seeking refuge and fleeing extreme poverty and violence. Our Frontera de Cristo’s goal is not only to address their immediate needs, but also to address the root causes of mass migration, creating safe and prosperous opportunities that allow our sisters and brothers to stay in the land they call home, if they so choose.
Through the building of community-driven partnerships with ministries and secular organizations in DouglaPrieta, Frontera de Cristo offers shelter, resources, education, emotional support, medical care, and new solutions. The hope is that everyone they meet knows they are made in God’s image, they are worthy of respect, and they are welcome here.
Frontera de Cristo also partners in ministry with Café Justo. Café Justo and its sister organization, Café Justo y Mas, operate on a fair trade plus business model. By removing the middleman who purchases coffee from Mexican farmers and sells it to large American corporations, our fair trade plus system creates an opportunity for farmers to be in control of the process from start to finish. From harvesting, to roasting, to packaging, all the way to your doorstep, the cooperative’s partners are involved. This optimizes the farmers’ profits in a way that creates a just and livable income, eliminates their need to head north seeking work, and allows them to stay on their land with their families. Frontera de Cristo has been proud to serve as a partner with Café Justo since its establishment in 2003 and with Café Justo y Mas since its opening in 2016, watching one man’s dream become a reality that provides new life for many through both.
Frontera de Cristo website: http://fronteradecristo.org/ Café
Justo Ministry partner info: http://fronteradecristo.org/cafe-justo/
Pastor Leanne's Trip to the Border
Family Promise of
Family Promise of Kandiyohi County is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization which finds its origin from a national organization stemming from Summit, New Jersey. We are one of approximately 200 affiliates found in 43 states and Washington D.C. FPKC has partnered with 12 local congregations (and 13 support churches) to provide shelter, meals and hospitality to homeless families within the Willmar/Kandiyohi County area. Our goal is to do whatever we can to assist homeless families gain emergency shelter, daily meals, and partner with local agencies to equip families with the skills they need overcome homelessness. We believe that families need a “hand up,” not just a “hand out.”
Check out more of what Family Promise is and offers at their website:
We, at the First Presbyterian Church, have placed a Blessing Box at the front of our church at 316 Sixth Street SW in downtown Willmar and we are seeking donations from you and others to help our brothers and sisters in need. The following is a list of suggested supplies: Food items (non-perishable) -- canned goods, soup mix, cake mix, rice, cereal, noodles, peanut butter, snacks, ramen/instant meals, Hamburger Helper, mac & cheese, fruit, vegetables, bread/buns, baking items, condiments, coffee, juice boxes, seasoning items, crackers. Personal hygiene -- toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, shampoo/conditioner, soap, lotion, toilet paper, feminine products, tissue, Q-tips. Baby/child items -- diapers, wipes, baby food, baby cereal, pacifier, powder, lotion, bottles, powder formula. Misc. items -- pens/pencils, paper, seasonal items, gloves,books, small toys, gift items. Prohibited items -- home-baked goods, expired opened goods, alcohol, tobacco, sharp objects.
Every Second Wednesday of the Month (during the school year) our Mission Committee donates, makes, and provides a meal during the lunch hours (11-1:30) for students at Ridgewater College in the Ministry Department of the college!! The Mission Commitee is always willing to have volunteers to help out each month if available!! If so, contact the church office for more details.
Meals on Wheels
The First Presbyterian Church of Willmar we help out with Meals on Wheels. Meals on Wheels has been guided by a single goal since the first known U.S. delivery by a small group of Philadelphia citizens in 1954 – to support our senior neighbors to extend their independence and health as they age. What started as a compassionate idea has grown into one of the largest and most effective social movements in America, currently helping nearly 2.4 million seniors annually in virtually every community in the country. If you would like to sign up to help deliver Meals on Wheels, contact the church office.