First United Methodist Church - Wausau Wisconsin
Wednesday, January 24, 2018
Live and Share God's Love

Conference & Connections

From United Methodist News Service (UMNS)

Church In Liberia Donating School Toilets

By (Jayneann’s friend) Julu Swen

 
For World Toilet Day … the church dedicated new toilets at the Love, Caring and Sharing Community Institute in Paynesville, Liberia. Jefferson Knight, human
rights director for the church, said
 
students at the school, especially girls, were getting sick from the old toilet facilities. “We will make your school environment healthy by constructing modern toilet facilities for you,” he told the students.

The construction was funded through the The United Methodist Church Water for Life Project Advance #3020811. …

The Rev. George Wilson, the Liberia Connectional Table director, said sanitation is one of the crucial issues that the Liberian church is trying to address through its Water for Life project. “We will make sure that schools like yours and many other communities that are facing sanitary challenges will benefit from the project once the support keeps coming,” he told the students. …

In 2013, the UN General Assembly officially designated Nov. 19 as World Toilet Day. The event is coordinated by UN Water in collaboration with governments and partners. …
 
How an Immigrant Family Found Room at the Inn
By Heather Hahn
 
“Who will give lodging to these pilgrims who are weary of traveling the roads?” As a child in Mexico City, Elizabeth recited a version of this line every year at Christmastime.

She and her neighbors – decked out as a sort of mobile Nativity scene – marched down their block re-enacting the search for room in the inn. The children knocked on doors and could expect at least a few rejections before finally a neighbor welcomed them inside. There, they enjoyed a party featuring delicious food, warm camaraderie and a piñata ready to burst with candy.

The tradition, popular [is called] Las Posadas. … What was a fun childhood custom now has special resonance for Elizabeth, 24, and her immigrant family. Like Mary and Joseph, Elizabeth and her family journeyed in search of safe lodging. They too faced shut doors and real peril.
 
Elizabeth puts herself in the dusty shoes of the pregnant Virgin Mary. “You’re not doing anything wrong, yet they won’t accept you,” she said. “And you are in dire need.” Although Elizabeth is in the U.S. legally, she asked that her full name not be used because of anti-immigrant sentiment.
 

Thanks to help from the UM ministry Northern Illinois Justice for Our Neighbors, Elizabeth and her family now have legal status. The ministry, under the umbrella
of National Justice for Our Neighbors, provides legal services to immigrants who cannot afford a private attorney. “The clients we serve all want to do things the right way,” said Rob Rutland-Brown, executive director of the national network. “One misconception is that people are trying to circumvent the law. No, they are trying to understand it and to navigate it.” ...

Americans often ask why unauthorized immigrants in the U.S. don’t simply wait their turn and come lawfully. For many immigrants, however, there is no line to get in and no “turn” they can wait for. … Elizabeth, her parents and sister now have legal status because they have a U visa. U visas are only available to victims of violent crimes who help law enforcement in the prosecution of criminal activity. … Elizabeth qualified for the visa because she was almost raped at the age of 12. …

Justice for Our Neighbors ministry receives financial support through Advance #901285.
 
Deaconesses Observe Anti-Violence against Women Day By Gladys Mangiduyos
 
United Methodist deaconesses took part in an ecumenical gathering that addressed the vulnerability of women to violence and called for an end to that violence.

The National Council of Churches in the Philippines and the Association of Women in Theology sponsored the observance of the International Day for Elimination of Violence Against Women. "We cannot simply ignore the fact that within any tyrannical or dictatorial rule, women become more vulnerable to violence,” said Darlene Marquez-Caramanzana, a UM deaconess. … "We are women and we want to send our voices – loud and clear – that we will not allow another dictator, and that we will oppose tyranny. History would tell us that many accounts of violence against women and their loved ones have been perpetrated by state personnel," she said. Marquez-Caramanzana is also chief executive of the Education and Nurture unit of the National Council of Churches here. …

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