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WMU providing safe water, support for tsunami victims

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (BP)–Woman’s Missionary Union is sending more than $37,000 worth of water purification equipment to Indonesia to help provide clean water to those affected by the devastating tsunami.

A total of 457 different items from the Southern Baptist missions auxiliary, ranging from water filter units to portable water purification systems for personal use, are going to the region by way of disaster relief teams, volunteers and other Great Commission partners.

Sending this supply to Indonesia will deplete the supply of water filters WMU currently has had on hand. However, Jean Cullen, the organization’s missions involvement specialist, said $100,000 worth of filtering units has been reordered and WMU is “committed to sending more water systems to help provide safe, clean water to those living in the midst of this crisis.”

Cullen continued, “We are eager to help with relief efforts through this vital ministry and are in position to continue responding thanks to the generous donations from various church groups for Pure Water, Pure Love in recent years.”

WMU began its Pure Water, Pure Love ministry in 1997. The main purpose of the ministry is to help support missionaries with pure, safe drinking water as they follow God’s call to serve around the world. Although most water filters and purification systems are provided to missionaries serving overseas, North American missionaries who serve in areas in the United States with unsafe water also have received filters in recent years.

During 2004, WMU received more than 1,100 donations from various church groups and individuals, which resulted in approximately 300 water filters being shipped last year.

Because of the overwhelming support of Pure Water, Pure Love, WMU is seeking to expand the ministry to include digging wells and other long-term solutions for providing clean water in areas where missionaries serve.

“Not only will this provide a source of clean water for missionaries, it also serves as a tangible expression of God’s love for all people as water becomes available to those living in these areas,” Cullen said. “And now, thanks to the support we have received for this ministry, we are able to respond to those in need of clean water in southern Asia.”

In addition to provisions for safe, clean water, the WMU Foundation continues to receive donations daily to aid those living in the aftermath of the tsunami. Through WMU’s HEART Fund, 100 percent of these gifts will be given to Baptist women’s organizations in the affected countries.

“The gifts we receive for tsunami relief efforts will mobilize and enable indigenous personnel to respond in the most effective way possible through WMU-related organizations,” said David George, president of the WMU Foundation. “Giving through the HEART Fund provides a unique opportunity for Baptists in the United States to connect with and support their sisters in Christ in South Asia.”

WMU’s HEART (Humanitarian Emergency Aid for Rebuilding Tomorrow) Fund is managed by the WMU Foundation and was established in response to the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. It is intended to provide aid in the name of Christ to those in emergency or disaster situations.
For more information on how to obtain a water purification system for tsunami disaster relief teams, medical teams or missionary needs on the field, contact Barbara Yeager at WMU by calling (205) 991-4091 or by e-mail at [email protected] Donations to WMU’s Pure Water, Pure Love ministry, payable to WMU, can be sent to Pure Water, Pure Love, c/o WMU, P.O. Box 830010, Birmingham, AL 35283-0010. For more information regarding relief efforts through WMU’s HEART Fund, contact David George at 1-877-482-4483. To make a donation online, visit www.wmufoundation.com, click on the Tsunami Disaster Relief section, and select HEART Fund. To send a gift by mail, send checks payable to WMU to WMU Foundation, HEART Fund-Tsunami Response, P.O. Box 11346, Birmingham, AL 35202-1346.