General Superintendent Dr. Jo Anne Lyon has authorized the
Wesleyan Emergency Relief Fund (WERF) to launch an appeal for prayer and financial support for the Flint, Michigan Water Disaster.
Flint's water supply is contaminated with lead and it is uncertain how long it will take to resolve this issue. Meanwhile, residents are advised not to drink the tap water coming into their homes. The lead contamination is especially disastrous for children.
For over a year, lead has increasingly been tainting the entire city supply. A government action switching the source from Lake Huron to the Flint River resulted in the more acidic river water eroding lead water pipes throughout the city. Although they have changed water sources again, it will take years and an estimated $1 billion to repair the system. Although bottled water is now in use for drinking, cooking, and bathing, test kits and replaceable filters are greatly needed in every household.
Pastor Scott Sacrey of Bentley Wesleyan Church has met with the director of Genesee County United Way (GCUW) and the Red Cross. The GCUW is coordinating the materials and volunteers working with the families affected by the water crisis. Pastor Scott stressed that several companies have made substantial donations of bottled water, so that is not the immediate need.
Instead, volunteers who are going door to door in the neighborhoods need mittens, hats, and hand and feet warmers in the bitter cold. In addition, replacement cartridges for water filters are needed. Because of the high lead count, the cartridges can only be used for 100 gallons before needing to be replaced. The GCUW also needs donations to purchase water test kits. Other expenses include truck rental and sandwiches for the volunteers.
East Michigan District Superintendent Richard Meeks said, "The people in Flint are in crisis and it doesn't look to be getting better anytime soon. This is our opportunity as Wesleyans to come alongside others and offer hope in this tragic situation. We can literally become the hands and feet of Jesus for folks as we tangibly show them his love by assisting those delivering test kits and filters and by meeting other critical needs of those suffering."
Wesleyan General Secretary Wayne MacBeth noted that, "Many individuals and churches have responded again and again to give what they are able to WERF in a wonderful spirit of generosity and with a servant's heart."
Please pray for the families in Flint as they cope with this crisis. Pray also for church leaders and volunteers who are coordinating efforts to relieve the suffering. One hundred percent of gifts donated to the Wesleyan Emergency Relief Fund for the Flint, Michigan Water Disaster will be used to help with materials needed and support of volunteer efforts.
Donations can be made online here. Checks can be made payable to The Wesleyan Church with a note in the memo line for WERF Flint.
Mail to attention: General Treasurer's Office
The Wesleyan Church c/o General Treasurer's Office
P.O. Box 50434
Indianapolis, IN 46250