While COVID-19 has halted missionary trips to help refugees and others throughout the world, the Lodi United Methodist Church is doing what it can for Nigerians who have been displaced by the Boko Haram terrorist group.
The church’s pastor, Peace Kim, has had a connection with one Nigerian Methodist pastor since he was in seminary school.
“We check in with each other to see how we are doing in difficult times though across the ocean,” Pastor Kim said.
The reverend has been helping people who have been displaced as entire communities have been wiped out by the Boko Haram terrorists, Kim said.
And so the Lodi United Methodist Church has found a way to help.
Each fall, the church has a clothing sale, with residents donating new or gently used clothing for children.
“We let people come in and shop because we recognize the dignity of people who may be in need of buying clothing for children at a lower price,” Kim said, adding that the event is called a “New to You Sale.”
Usually, clothing is left over, and this year, it will be sent to Nigeria.
Kim added that people are encouraged to shop for new clothing, and that only items of value are sought.
“This is not a place where people can just dump out their clothing they don’t like anymore,” Kim said.
Kim explained that clothing is more expensive in Nigeria than in the United States.
“We consume more products than any part of the world,” Kim said. “We see we have the ability to share our resources.”
Community members can also partner with the church by sponsoring the shipments. Each box costs $100 to ship, Kim said, adding he has found discounted price through a Nigerian business owner in Milwaukee.
Despite COVID-19, needs still exist around the world, Kim added.
“During this COVID-19 time, people still struggle. We don’t want to neglect their needs by focusing on this new pandemic,” he said.
Helping others also helps ourselves, Kim added.
“We can help our lives to be more fully lived,” he said.
Anyone who would like to arrange to donate clothing or sponsor a shipment can call the church at (608) 592-3480. Kim said he would like to ship the clothing by October, at which time, shipping costs are expected to rise.