The Thanksgiving Ingathering is a way for Iowa United Methodists to address hunger problems locally and around the world. Micah 6:8 says that the Lord requires us “To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” When we share from our abundance we are acting justly and reflecting our desire to serve God.
Projects Supported by the Ingathering
CHURCH WORLD SERVICE: A relief, development, and refugee assistance ministry of 35 Protestant, Orthodox, and Anglican denominations in the US. Working in partnership with indigenous organizations in more than 80 countries, CWS works worldwide to meet human needs and foster self-reliance for all whose way is hard. In the US, CWS assists communities in responding to disasters.
HEIFER PROJECT INTERNATIONAL: Works to help hungry families feed themselves and care for the earth. HPI is a nonprofit organization and works in partnership with churches, civic groups and other organizations as well as individual donors.
SELF-HELP INTERNATIONAL: Continues to introduce digestible protein corn, QPM (quality protein maize) to Nicaragua and Ghana. The seed produces higher yields, tastes good, and is more nutritious. At least 80% of Ghana farmers grow QPM and more than 35,000 farmers in Nicaragua. A Children’s Feeding Project is operating in both countries serves QPM porridge to 1,000 children annually in an effort to alleviate malnutrition. Self-Help operates a micro-credit program for nearly 500 women in Ghana and Nicaragua each year. Loans are paid back with interest with 97% return. Women use their proceeds to improve their family’s quality of life, especially education for their daughters. The goal is self-reliance.
IOWA-NIGERIA PARTNERSHIP: A joint United Methodist mission project that links the Iowa and Nigeria Conferences. Nebraska, Eastern Pennsylvania and California/Pacific Conferences are also in partnership with Nigeria. Funds raised help support Rural Health Programs, Women’s Leadership Training Center, Agricultural Programs, Bible Institutes, Banyam Theological Seminary, Village Wells program, Women’s micro-credit program, Preschools, Elementary and Secondary School and Maternity Clinic. Layettes, Classroom, Book, Tailoring, and Seed kits are sent to Nigeria. These gifts provide hope to many rural illiterate Nigerians who cherish these love packages from unseen and unknown friends in Iowa. INP needs money to fund A3, a Chinese medicinal plant. Leaves are made into tea that, when drunk, relieves malaria. For 23 years the Iowa United Methodists have covenanted with the United Methodist Church in Nigeria to share in the planning, promoting and funding of agreed upon programs and projects. Known as the Iowa-Nigeria Partnership (INP), this program has been the recipient of Ingathering kits and funds.
UMCOR DEPOT – BALDWIN, LA: The UMCOR DEPOT is a 48,000 square foot facility that serves as a warehouse and distribution center for relief supplies that are used in the United States and around the world. The supplies are donated by churches and individuals from across the US and are shipped to disaster areas at the request of a United Methodist Bishop or United Methodist Committee on Relief Representative in the area of the disaster. Health, Sewing, Layette, School, and Birthing kits as well as components of the kits are sent to the Depot where they are assembled for distribution by approximately 3000 volunteers who go there annually. The kits offer love and hope to people made vulnerable by the disaster that surrounds them. You can help by providing kits and items for the kits or by volunteering at the UMCOR Depot by calling 1-800-334-4221.
PERSONAL ENERGY TRANSPORTATION: (PET) is a sturdy, hand-cranked wheelchair. It has a heavy metal frame and wooden bed; uses wheelbarrow wheels; is shipped partially disassembled and with a tool kit for repairs and spare parts; comes in two sizes-adult and junior; is powered by a hand-crank with a 21 to 26 gear ratio with #35 machine chain; is shipped with a seat belt and instruction packet; and is made by volunteers in eight workshops across the USA, but parts are interchangeable. It is now in more than 90 countries of the world. The cost of a PET is $250.
DISTRICT HUNGER RELATED AGENCIES: Each of the eight districts has a modest sum of money for distribution to hunger related agencies within the district. Contact your District Representatives for more information. Call your District Office for the name of your Ingathering Representative or look in the Ingathering booklet.