Skip links

UMCOR Disaster Relief Grant Report – Summary (Guam UMC)

September 6, 2023

Guam United Methodist Church (GUMC) received a United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) Disaster Relief Grant to provide assistance for recovery from super typhoon Mawar, which hit Guam on May 24, 2023.  The $10,000 grant was used to purchase gift certificates, which were distributed to the households of members of GUMC, a multi-ethnic congregation that has celebrated its 52 years of ministry on Guam.  In addition to GUMC, two other churches that hold their worship services in the GUMC sanctuary were recipients of the grant – the Kosraean Congregational Church and the Nama Congregational Church (Chuukese).  GUMC has 62 households, while the Kosraean Church and Nama Congregational Church have 58 and 18 households, respectively. 

At GUMC, a committee was formed to coordinate the distribution of the gift certificates.  After canvassing for the gift certificates, the committee decided to purchase them from two local vendors – American Grocery and Cost-U-less, which carry food items, cleaning materials, small tools, and other supplies that could be used during typhoon recovery.  All the gift certificates were stamped “Not for tobacco or alcohol.” 

The gift certificates were distributed from August 6 to September 3, 2023.  A signature form was prepared for each congregation so that the person receiving each gift certificate could acknowledge receipt of the gift certificate.  The pastors of the Kosraean (Pastor Ezra Nena) and the Nama Congregational Church (Pastor Tim Tiser) took charge distributing the gift certificates.

Of the 62 households in the GUMC list, 57 claimed their gift certificates, and five were unclaimed despite the committee’s best efforts to contact the members.  Some GUMC members expressed their desire to donate their gift certificates to the GUMC Food Pantry or to another member who needed it more. 

The GUMC Administrative Council recommended that remaining gift certificates be given to the GUMC Food Pantry, formed during the pandemic.  Funded by donations and the proceeds of various fund-raising activities spearheaded by the GUMC Mission and Outreach Committee, it provides non-perishable food items to families in the congregation or the community experiencing food insecurity.  As a result, the UMCOR grant will be “the gift that will keep on giving” through the GUMC Food Pantry.

The remaining $100 gift certificate, which rounded up the balance of the UMCOR grant, was given to Guam Bible Fellowship (GBF), per Pastor Ana Hungalu’s recommendation.  GBF is a partner church of GUMC.  We have celebrated Easter Sunday with them during the last two years since churches resumed in-person services after the end of the pandemic.

On behalf of the three congregations, we would like to thank UMCOR for the grant.  We also thank Pastor Ana Hungalu for applying for the UMCOR grant.  It was one of her final acts before being transferred to Hilo United Methodist Church.

Beyond the practical help of the gift certificates, being part of distributing them has been a blessing.  The provision of the gift certificates after the administrative error in the GUMC list was a “feeding the five thousand” experience, albeit on a much smaller scale.  However, it was an inspiring instance of God’s provision, which reminds us whenever we have doubts, God will meet our needs and always provide for us.


Pastor Deborah Wise
Lay Person Assigned, Guam United Methodist Church

GUMC UMCOR Grant Committee:
Eleuterio “Jun” Camat
Diane Shjegstad
Lilnabeth Somera
Ruth Tacuyan