Mission Project Update

Thank you to our Conference!

As always, our churches continued to show their generosity in giving to the Annual Conference Mission Projects – The Long Journey and Tongan Relief.

Conference Treasurer Randy Bowman recently shared the updated totals: $11,290.12 for The Long Journey Scholarship Fund – which donation receipts will be ongoing, and $12,603.84 for Tongan Relief.

Of note, in a report from MSN on August 10th, the volcanic eruption in Tonga was “among the biggest in human history.” The report of various deadly disasters includes the following about Tonga:

“The January volcanic eruption near the island of Tonga is now being called the most powerful such event in 140 years. Authorities are still taking stock of the damage — massive ash and water plumes, sonic booms, and a tsunami — triggered by the blast. According to new data released by NASA on Aug. 2, the Tonga eruption propelled an enormous amount of water vapor and ash into Earth’s stratosphere — which is located between 8 and 33 miles above the Earth’s surface. The blast was so intense that it was enough to fill 58,000 Olympic-sized pools, NASA said. To be sure, volcanic eruptions can cause disaster on a shocking scale, as anyone who can remember the infamous 1980 eruption of Mount St. Helens can attest.” (Lisa, 2022)

“On Jan. 15, an underwater volcano near Tonga exploded, sending a plume of ash and steam over 12 miles into the atmosphere in an event that was powerful enough to be captured on satellite. The blast triggered a tsunami and sonic boom that rippled across the globe twice, and was hundreds of times more powerful than the Hiroshima nuclear bomb, according to NASA’s Earth Observatory. The eruption covered Tonga’s main island of Tongatapu with surging waves, and triggered unusual pressure waves that were seen across the world for six days. At least three people were killed during the explosion, in what scientists are calling the biggest eruption in 140 years, right behind the 1883 Krakatoa eruption. Experts are now studying the Tonga eruption’s effect on the lower atmosphere and even in space, where it created hurricane-force winds and excess water vapor that could remain in the atmosphere for several years, according to NASA atmospheric scientist Luis Millan. The recent findings have shocked scientists, with Millan saying: ‘We’ve never seen anything like it.'” (The biggest volcanic eruptions in human history)

On behalf of both mission projects – as always – we are so grateful for each and every one of you and your giving hearts. Thank you so very much. Questions about the mission project may be sent to Billie Fidlin, Director of Justice & Outreach, at bfidlin@dscumc.org.

  • Continue support for “The Long Journey” by donating online at https://bit.ly/2022MissionProject or mailing checks to Desert Southwest Conference at P.O. Box 32830, Phoenix, Arizona 85064. Please enter 2022 Mission Project in the memo line.
  • Continue financial support for Tonga Relief Efforts by donating online at https://dscumc.org/secure/tonga/ or mailing checks to Desert Southwest Conference at P.O. Box 32830, Phoenix, Arizona 85064. Please enter Tonga Relief Effort in the memo line.


  • Lisa, A. (2022, August 10). Tonga volcano eruption among the biggest in human history. MSN. Retrieved August 10, 2022, from https://www.msn.com/en-us/weather/topstories/tonga-volcano-eruption-among-the-biggest-in-human-history/ss-BB1gPhkT?li=BBnb7Kz
  • Lisa, A. (2022, August 9). The biggest volcanic eruptions in human history. Cheapism. Retrieved August 10, 2022, from https://blog.cheapism.com/volcano-eruptions-history/#slide=2

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Author: Billie K. Fidlin

Billie K. Fidlin is the Director of Outreach & Justice for the Desert Southwest Conference. She is a graduate of Western Michigan University and attended Claremont School of Theology for religious studies. Ms. Fidlin currently serves as the President of the Arizona Faith Network in her second term. She is President & Founder of Whisper n Thunder Inc., and sits on various boards including the Justa Center and the Phoenix Police Department's Faith Advisory Council. Her awards include the UM Foundation for Evangelism 2004 Distinguished Evangelist; 2016 Church Women United / United Nations Human Rights Award; 2018 Servant Leader Award AZ Faith Network; 2022 Southern Poverty Law Center Certificate of Recognition; and 2022-23 Class of Who's Who in America.
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