Christian Communities Worldwide Continue Quake Relief Efforts as Media Spotlight Dims

In the past three months, a seemingly relentless onslaught of catastrophic disasters has hit the world. Although Hurricane Wilma, the most recent disaster, has drawn much media attention away from the quake in South-East Asia, Christian organisations worldwide continue to treat injured victims and distribute aid.

|PIC1|The healthcare ministry of HCJB World Radio, the world’s first missionary broadcast organisation, sent a medical team from their Vozandes-Quito hospital in Ecuador on Oct. 26 to assist Serving in Mission (SIM) International for the next two weeks. The SIM Pakistan director says that the Ecuador medical team will be assigned some of the worst-hit areas.

“I can’t be specific about the location at this point” said the SIM Pakistan director to HCJB, “but we will now be seeking to place the Quito team [and subsequent teams] ... in rural areas.”

Some 500,000 people in remote areas have received no aid at all, according to a report by the World Food Program.

The staff members of Vozandes-Quito will join other medical teams partnered with SIM from the United States, South Korea, the United Kingdom, and South Africa. The Quito-based multinational team – hailing from the United States, Germany, and Ecuador – include two surgeons, two family physicians, an anesthesiologist, a nurse and a doctor’s wife. Some of the Quito team members treating quake victims also served in the tsunami relief of last year.

“This is a reflection of the body of Christ responding from different parts of the world. It’s the gospel in action,” said Malcolm McGregor, SIM International Director, according to HCJB. “To share across organisations is what partnership is all about!”

|TOP|Meanwhile, the Salvation Army, which sent an earthquake relief team into Pakistan for the northern town of Abbotabad on Oct. 14, recently reported that a total of 289 tents were distributed in four villages – Sherash, Khet, Kai and Dander – in the Balakot region. The distribution was done with the help of Pakistani military personnel, without whose aid the team would have been hard-pressed to do its work, the Salvation Army reported.

“The troops were invaluable to the effort, providing logistical help and also the physical manpower to distribute relief supplies and erect tents in extremely difficult terrain,” according to a report by Katie Baddams, a member of the Communications Section at the Salvation Army International Headquarters.

According to Baddams, the Salvation Army has plans to distribute many more tents in the Balakot region.

Michelle Vu
Christian Today Correspondent