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“Doing More Good” in Tonga – A Foundation Story

by | Apr 4, 2022 | Not In USe

By Anne Green, Executive Director

Desert Southwest United Methodist Foundation (DSUMF)

Did you know that the Desert Southwest United Methodist Foundation can give grants to churches? The best part of my job is when the Foundation can ‘do more good’ for churches and individuals. Now that COVID restrictions have loosened, I regularly travel to different churches every Sunday for worship – sometimes two in one day! Although churches can apply for grants, sometimes the need is discovered through local church visits.

At one of my latest worship stops, it was brought to my attention that the local Tongan United Methodist Church needed some support. In late December, the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai volcano erupted. Volcanic activity continued, and on January 14, 2022, a much larger eruption commenced, leading to historic destruction and tsunamis in the region. Since then, it has been challenging to ship items as all shipping to Tonga must go through a charitable organization. This regulation has made it difficult for families to send care packages to their loved ones in Tonga to replace essentials and personalized items that were destroyed in the disasters. Pastor Timote Piukala and I connected, and he let me know that they were generously given about $8,000 in financial donations to help with the shipping. Unfortunately, they were still short by around $4,300, and this is where the Foundation stepped in.

On March 20, I had the privilege of worshipping at the Tongan United Methodist Church. Even though the service was in a language I did not understand, I could feel the presence of the Lord moving among His people! On behalf of the Desert Southwest United Methodist Foundation, I provided a check to Pastor Timote to cover the final costs to ship the containers to Tonga. The service was a wonderful experience for me, personally. I pray for the Lord’s provision and blessings on the congregation and their families in Tonga as they recover and rebuild.

The individuals in the photo from left to right are Naioti Taufa, Lay Leader; Rev. Timote Piukala, Sr. Pastor; Anne Green, Executive Director of DSUMF; Susana Tautua’a, Church Finance Secretary; Ana Fatafehi Piukala, Timote’s wife.

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