Asian-American United Methodists Respond to Tsunami Crisis

United Methodists Caucus representing Asian-Americans urges Methodists to participate in disaster relief and pray for tsunami victims.
( [email protected] ) Jan 09, 2005 12:30 AM EST

A caucus made up of Asian-American United Methodist leaders recently released a statement urging Asian American Methodists nationwide to pray and assist in the global effort to aid tsunami victims.

“My wish is that all Asian-American United Methodists would respond to

the disaster and give generously,” Inday Day said to the United Methodist News Service. Day is currently the executive director of the National Federation of Asian American United Methodists.

According to sources from the UMNS, the response from the Asian-American UMC community has been immediate. Amongst the groups that responded to the caucus’ call were members of the Filipino-American UMC community.

In an interview with the United Methodist News Service in January 4, the chairperson of the federation’s Filipino caucus was said, “The Filipino-American community grieves with its Asian sisters and brothers that suffered losses in the Tsunami disaster.” According to federation sources, the Filipino community has reportedly mobilized local Filipino Methodist churches via email and telephone calls towards disaster relief efforts.

Additionally, Indochinese-Americans have also responded to the federation’s call. In a January 4 letter written on the behalf of pastors and laymen representing the Indochinese National Caucus, Phu Xuan Ho wrote, “Faced with a catastrophe of incomprehensible proportion, the family of Indochinese United Methodists reaches out to and unanimously declares our solidarity with the victims, families and relatives of the victims in the countries of Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Sri Lanka and

Thailand.” (source UMNS website)

Phu continued by writing, “Our hearts go out to those who lost loved ones, their homes, livelihood and property. We offer our prayers to God on behalf of the injured, sick

and bereaved in the affected areas.” (source UMNS website)

In addition to asking for prayers, the federation has also asked the Asian-American UMC churches to give donations to the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) “South Asia Emergency” relief program.

The National Federation of Asian-American United Methodists is currently made of UMC members from India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, and Thailand. Of the twelve regions represented by the federation, seven were affected by the tsunami that struck South East Asia and Africa following a magnitude 9 earthquake near Indonesia.