In March, we reported on the assistance GCI is giving to the congregations being impacted by the devastating droughts in the African nation of Mozambique. Here is an update on the relief work from pastor Manuel J. Vasco.
We have been distributing food to GCI congregations in central Mozambique. Each has received three large bags of rice (pictured below, left). The trip went well despite motorcycle breakdowns and other challenges. We ferried our motorcycles across the Chirre and Zambezi rivers (pictured below, right). Due to bad road conditions and political tensions, we were unable to stay long at each location.
Because many people have lost their crops to drought, hunger is rampant. The people subsist on green bananas and roots from various plants (pictured below, left). They take advantage of the little rain that falls by planting sesame, maize and sweet potatoes.
During the aid delivery process, the people cooked and ate some of the rice (pictured above, right). They thanked us, saying they would die without this assistance. There were many joyful faces among the recipients, knowing they would have sufficient food for a while.
My trip coincided with a big rain (pictured at right)—it had not rained like this until we were traveling in the area. Because we lacked protection from the rain, we all got very wet. I contracted a fever.
The Mozambican church thanks our brothers and sisters who are supporting them both directly (financially) and indirectly (prayer).
GCI Disaster Relief Fund
If your congregation has a heart to help members impacted by major disasters like the one in Mozambique, probably the best way to do so is to donate to the GCI Disaster Relief Fund. The Fund helps provide members in disaster areas with emergency needs such as food, water, medicine, clothing, temporary housing, home and/or church hall repairs, temporary local pastoral salary expenses and other emergency needs. Monies received into the Fund that are not immediately needed will remain in the Fund to be allocated in future disasters. In previous years, money from this Fund has been used to help members recover from Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans, storms and flooding in Bangladesh, an earthquake and tsunami in the Solomon Islands, typhoons in the Philippines and an earthquake in Haiti.
If your congregation would like to donate to the Fund, your treasurer can set up a one-time or monthly donation through the GCI Online system (http://online.gci.org) by logging in and selecting Church Giving under the Treasurer tab.
If your congregation prefers to send a check, make it out to Grace Communion International, indicating on the memo line that the donation is for the GCI Disaster Relief Fund. Send the donation to:
GCI Disaster Relief Fund
Grace Communion International
P.O Box 5005
Glendora, California 91740