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Posted 24 Feb 2001   For week ended December 29, 2000
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News about Mormons, Mormonism,
and the LDS Church
Sent on Mormon-News: 12Jan01

By Rosemary Pollock

LDS Church's Donations To Timor Helps Troubled land

DILI, EAST TIMOR -- East Timorese president-elect Xanana Gusmao intervened by cutting through government red tape the week before Christmas and arranged for the delivery of seven 24-foot containers to be delivered to the needy people of troubled East Timor. The containers were to arrive in Timor on December 18, following the symbolic handover of a cheque to East Timorese representatives at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints' farm in New South Wales.

"I am particularly grateful for the shovels and mattocks because, while it is good to give hungry people food, it is best to give them tools so they can use them to grow their own crops and become self-sufficient," said East Timorese president-elect Gusamao. The seven containers held many much-needed foodstuffs as well as corn, rice, red kidney beans, shovels, hoes, mattocks and children's clothing. "I acknowledge the efforts of the Sunday Herald Sun and its editor, Alan Howe, in linking up the church and the East Timorese," he said.

The Mormon Church has its own humanitarian entity, Latter-day Saint Charities, but often works through other charities, such as Catholic Relief and the Salvation Army. Earlier aid packages given by the Church included hygiene kits, food and clothing that was valued at more than $723,000. The seven containers carried goods vlaued at $280,000.

Church Area Welfare Agent, William Bush and Pacific Director of Public Affairs, Alan Wakely, arranged for the delivery of the goods to the final recipients. "This is a great Christmas present for my people," said Mr. Gusmao. "We are so grateful for this humanitarian aid."

Mr. Wakely said the close relationship between Australia and East Timor was forged during World War II. "Our present aid is but a small thank you for the protection provided by the East Timorese to those soldiers who fought to secure Australia's shores," he said.

Mr. Bush explained that the church has had a long history of helping people. "We have been represented at many of the world's trouble spots over the past 15 years, often without the knowledge of those receiving the aid," he said. "Since 1985, more than $470 million in cash and supplies have been given to assist people affected by natural disasters, war and other personal calamities."


Timely Timor cheer
Melbourne Australia Herald Sun 24Dec00 N1
By Paul Stewart

Australian Garden Tools to Help East Timor Regrow
LDS Church Press Release 23Dec00 N1


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