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While violence and fear continue to pervade war-torn Syria, Presbyterians across the United States are helping those displaced by the conflict rebuild their lives. Thanks to previous gifts given to One Great Hour of Sharing, Presbyterian Disaster Assistance (PDA) has been able to respond quickly to the refugee crisis.
For the general overseer of the South Sudan Council of Churches (SSCC) there is trauma and hopelessness in his country, and the only institution that can offer hope at the moment is the church.
Several ministries of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) have issued alerts and provided information on their activities in response to the ongoing conflict in South Sudan. According to the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR), 1.61 million people are internally displaced and another 751,000 people have escaped into neighboring countries, including Sudan, Ethiopia, Kenya and Uganda, since conflict broke out in 2013.
Heavy rains, mudslides and flooding continue to wreak havoc on parts of Peru, leaving nearly a hundred people dead and hundreds of thousands without homes. The South American country was caught off guard by the rains that began in mid-January but grew worse in the past few weeks causing severe flooding and subsequent mudslides in the region.
The Ethiopian Evangelical Church Mekane Yesus (EECMY), a long-time Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) partner, is requesting prayers for victims of violence after several attacks by bandits from neighboring South Sudan in the past two weeks.
Presbyterian Disaster Assistance recently sent a National Response Team to the panhandle of Texas. Recent wildfires have left four people dead, more than 350,000 acres damaged, and as many as 10,000 horses and cattle displaced. An estimated 2,500 animals are believed to have perished in the rapidly moving fires.
For two weeks, a delegation from the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) visited 10 villages in the countries of Sierra Leone and Liberia. The villages are participants in the West Africa Initiative (WAI), a partnership of Presbyterian Disaster Assistance, Presbyterian Hunger Program and Self-Development of People.
A Sierra Leone resident recently said that the drive from Kenema to the Liberian border is like riding six hours inside of a concrete mixer. Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) delegates visiting the region agreed with this assessment after making the trip on the all-dirt road.
The ‘Flint Water Crisis’ video story in the June 2016 ‘Keeping Faith’ segment with Tony De La Rosa, Interim Executive Director of the Presbyterian Mission Agency, has received a Telly Awards honor.
Between Freetown and Kenema, Sierra Leone, there is an old dirt road off the main highway that winds its way further and further into the wilderness. Sometimes the holes in the road are half as big as the cars that drive around them. At the end of the 20-minute ride is the village of Makai Sanka, one of the groups in the so-called central cluster of the West Africa Initiative (WAI).