Sunday, June 1, 2014

Samaritan's Purse has broad range of challenging overseas volunteer programs, some in dangerous areas

While at Sunday school this morning, I saw a booklet on the activities of a group called Samaritan’s Purse (link).  

The group appears to be involved in relief efforts both overseas and within the US, particularly with disaster recovery as well as relief efforts associated with violence or famine overseas.

Some of the specific projects appear to exist in the Rwanda, Congo, Syria (or in nearby Jordan), and with refugees from the Sudan (or South Sudan) staying in a camp in Uganda.  Some of the efforts are in countries with serious political instability and violence, and (as often covered here) vitriolic anti-gay law and culture.  Flooding in Serbia is also mentioned on the website.

A lot of the work, however, appears to involve disaster relief, especially after large tornadoes, in the US south and Midwest. 

The group appears to be faith-based (sectarian, Christian).  I’m not sure how it compares to “larger” charities like Save the Children (which is on my regular contribution list).  It is also not clear how feasible it is for “average people” to volunteer in dangerous overseas areas.  Many churches and faith-based groups sponsor projects (like fresh water) overseas (recruiting recent engineering college graduates), as well as missions, but these projects have become increasingly difficult in recent years in violence-prone areas. 

Picture is Tupelo MS, last weekend, four weeks after tornado (my visit). 

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