Cal-Nev Churches Respond to Tongan Disaster
November 04, 2009
By Becky Perry
San Jose District UMVIM Co-leader
Thanks to the coordination efforts of two United Methodist churches - Hilltop UMC of Seaside, and Church of the Wayfarer in Carmel - two crates of food and supplies are headed for Tonga to provide relief from the devastating effects of the September 29 tsunami. The shipment, which totaled 3,248 pounds, is being shipped to the Wesleyan Church of Niua Toputapu, Tonga, the homeland church for many of the 78 Tongan members of Hilltop UMC.
According to the national news agency, Matangi Tonga, food and water is in short supply on Niua Toputapu. Homes, fishing boats, and nets were destroyed, along with pandanus trees, the source of the islanders' weaving income. Many rainwater tanks also were destroyed or contaminated by the tsunami, and there been little subsequent rain to replenish the supply.
In a continuing effort to support the urgent needs in Tonga, another shipment will be sent soon. At the San Jose District Quarterly Conference, coming up on Saturday, November 7, another food collection will be taken so that more crates can be shipped to Tonga.
Churches may donate food items such as: rice, flour, sugar, Maruchan or Ramen noodles, tins of fish and corned beef, peanut butter, beans, tea, and coffee.
Money is very helpful, too, as it can be used to purchase needed items and to pay for shipment of the large containers. Checks may be written to Church of the Wayfarer, with the notation, "Tongan Relief," in the memo line, and mailed to Church of the Wayfarer, P.O. Box 2205, Carmel, CA 93921.