Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Rats - and the women who adopt them

In every United Methodist Church there is a special, organized unit of women in ministry called the UMW. However, I doubt that many churches can say with pride, "Our UMWomen love rats."

The first Tuesday of the month is the regular meeting time for the United Methodist Women. And being that today was the last meeting of the year, this was their time for deciding which charities and causes they would like to support financially with money they have raised over 2008.
It was an exciting discussion that took an unusual turn. While listening to Alma Rita give details about the many important charities.. she suprised us all when she held up a small newspaper clipping and said,
"And then there are the rats..."
"Did you say RATS?" someone asked.
"I'm all for paying them - if it keeps them away," I replied.

Then my words fell shallow as Alma Rita explained that rats are being trained to detect landmines and disease. Rats are able to detect metal and plastic encased landmines, without setting them off. Once trained, 30 rats can work together and cover 200 sqm per day! Rats also are being trained to detect disease. A single rat can evaluate 40 TB samples in 7 minutes, equal to what a skilled lab technician, will do in two days!
All of us sort of fell in love with the rats this afternoon - and began to appreciate these creatures of God.

The good news from Olivet today, is that along with supporting local, national, and international missions, the women of Olivet agreed that we also should support rats in mission.

I invite you to look at Hero Rat, the organization which trains and deploys these invaluable vermin. http://www.herorat.org/
Perhaps you feel like the anonymous post from yesterday, that Christmas needs to get back to the real meaning - in which case, I think an alternative gift like a Hero Rat might just be perfect for getting out of "the rat race" of holiday shopping.


Anonymous said...

It seems to be a worthy charity. Any charity is worthy if it will alleviate human suffering in one wat or another.

Anonymous said...

that's cool. i guess. if you like rats. rats are cool. i guess.

Anonymous said...

It is amazing that God gave us something we thought ugly and useless. But no, rats are saving lives and limbs clearing land mines. God is Great!

Anonymous said...

who knew rats could be so smart!!!!