Our mission statement calls us to be more like Jesus Christ for our community and beyond. FUMCB is making a commitment to being Christ beyond our community in Belmont by participating in a partnership with Project AGAPE (American Greater Armenian Partnership Efforts).
Project AGAPE is the collaborative effort of both United Methodist conferences in North Carolina, who have worked in cooperation with the Armenian Apostolic Church for 27 years, some 6,000 miles away in the Euro-Asian part of the world. More specifically, Armenia and Artsakh in the Kashatagh region. Long-standing, multi-layered conflict prevents any other humanitarian group from working with the people of this area. Therefore, the United Methodist Church is their only hope to provide aid and develop ways to help the people prosper. Project AGAPE has shared the love of Christ by providing humanitarian aid (clothing, cloth for sewing, school supplies, etc.) wells for small towns, schools, children’s homes, rebuilding homes for families and schools for communities, as well as an agriculture development project to help families have a sustainable living.
Last November the media was consumed with news of our election and the horrible impact of Covid in our part of the world. Meanwhile during that time, our Christian brothers and sisters of Artsakh and Armenia became under attack by terrorists from Azerbaijan. After six weeks a peace resolution was signed but not without a cost. The conflict left 1,300 Armenians dead and an estimated 100,000 people have been displaced since their land was taken by the Azerbaijanis.
Project AGAPE, over the next 3 to 4 months will focus on providing aid to families that no longer have a place to live. I have been in conversation with Nara Melkonyan the AGAPE Director in Armenia. Nara shared they were able to transfer many humanitarian supplies that were stored in a warehouse within the recaptured territory, to a safer location. However, there is an immediate need for clothing for children. Between the war and Covid, families are using all resources for food and shelter. Therefore, with your help, the Service and Missions committee is hoping to make a difference in the lives of the people of Armenia and Artsakh by sponsoring a Children’s clothing drive during the month of February.
The committee has set up dates and times to drop off clean, gently used or new children’s clothing at the church. Nara said they need clothing in all sizes, from newborn to children size 16-18. Style and type does not matter as their seasons are similar to ours. To assist in distribution, we have offered to sort the clothing by size and gender before placing them in boxes for shipping. If those participating can presort donations prior to drop off it will assist us in expediting to the packing and shipping phase. If you would like to help but have no used clothing to donate you are welcome to donate new clothes or make a contribution to help with the cost of shipping.
We mourn with the Armenians in the losses they have suffered and offer our prayers for them. I thank you in advance for the generous response you will offer to this effort. The Service and Missions committee at FUMCB is committed to help them during this time of need and plan to continue our relationship with Project Agape in the future.