Posts Tagged ‘green planet’

Minot Mission

Thursday, September 1st, 2011

We went. We saw. We prayed. We worshiped. We cried. We lent a hand.

We were two teams. The first departed Southwest District Friday morning 12 August. The team received overnight accommodations from Lydia Zion UMC in Jordan , Minnesota. After a breakfast feast provided by the Rev Larry and Vicky Kasten we arrived in Minot, North Dakota on Saturday evening 13 August and were welcomed into the home of our hostess from Faith UMC, Kara Gross. The team worshiped with the Faith UMC congregation at the home of their sister church Vincent UMC on Sunday morning. After worship we met Judy Roed, the UMCOR project coordinator, who introduced us to the owners of the homes we were to assist. The house of Mr. Rhodes had been underwater up to the roof. The house of Mr. Silseth had suffered flood damage up 3 feet on the main floor walls. The team only worked at the Rhodes residence for one day as asbestos was detected to be present in the ceiling. The team decided to concentrate efforts at the Silseth house. The team finished its work and departed North Dakota on Friday.

Team #2 departed Southwest District Monday morning 22 August and arrived at the Gross home 22 hours later having driven straight through. On Tuesday morning we met with the project coordinator and Mr Ortiz the home owner. The Ortiz house had been under water up to the ceiling. We mucked out the basement and the first floor up to the ceiling. The team completed its work on Friday and departed Minot on Friday afternoon. Their trip to Lydia Zion had an extra surprise with the Southwest District’s UMCOR trailer getting a flat tire along the way. After a restful night, the Kastens greeted them with a good morning breakfast prior to their departure for Indiana.

We saw the aftermath of the Souris River flood that left over 4000 homes, many businesses, and churches in need of flood recovery assistance. Many homes and perhaps Faith UMC suffered extensive damage beyond repair. Teams from churches and charitable organizations are working together in hopes of getting survivors back into their homes before winter. Winters are extremely severe and come early in North Dakota.

We worked alongside the home owners. It isn’t hard to love people who have lost everything. They were so thankful for us. Their appreciation of us increased our faith. They became a part of us. Something very unforgettable happens when you help someone carry once valuable possessions to the curbside amidst the debris. Priceless treasures from spouses, parents, and children buried in a pile of useless clutter along the roadside awaiting the coming trash compactor to be taken forever away.

 Jesus asks his followers to teach others to observe his teachings. He only gave us two. Love God and love one another. Our responses to people in need reflect our love for God.



The Global Village

Monday, November 22nd, 2010

If all people of the world lived in a global village of 100 people, 14 would live affluently, 11 would live comfortably, 35 would have at least their basic human needs met. The remaining 40 would struggle for existence. Those in extreme poverty sell their own scarce resources to their affluent neighbors in exchange for basic necessities.

The village is facing two major crises. The first is ecological as the environment suffers from the surge of technological advances. Depletion of soil, pollution of rivers and lakes, and deforestation become barriers for the agrarian poor villagers to provide for their families. The poorest of the poor are on the verge of hunger, which is the second major crisis.

The poorest 40 do not have enough to eat. Many suffer from malnutrition and none can afford basic health care. The 22 extremely poor plan for one meal a day and often only eat four times a week. Some of them are too poor to stay alive. They have pleaded to the rich affluent for assistance. They have been sent to the world’s money doctor. The main prescription has been budgetary belt tightening for patients much too poor to own belts. Riots and coups have led to social chaos and economic distress.

Even though it takes large amounts of grain to produce meat, the comfortably affluent eat increasingly large amounts of meat. The impoverished 40 sell their livestock and other produce to their rich neighbors to purchase a few beans and some rice. Most of the village’s hunger problems are due to the affluent lifestyle of their rich neighbors.

The 35 people living between the poor and the affluent are the relatively poor. They have succeeded in finding low paying jobs in sweat shops, live in sub-standard housing, some with running water, and a few have working latrines. Their income level exceeds $2.00 per day. However, they still do not have access to quality health care or education. Occasionally, these villagers splurge and eat unhealthy fast food.

The affluent 14 recognize the problems and set up procedures to help their unfortunate neighbors. They have enacted a plan to eliminate poverty in the village, yet their elaborate security systems and necessities of life make it difficult to set aside fifteen cents out of every one-hundred dollars earned for development aid.

To an outside observer, such a situation may seem strange. But this is life in the Global Village.


Why is poverty a global problem? How can you help eliminate poverty?