(Photos by SFTHQ)
China (MNN) ― Floods and landslides in western China have killed thousands and displaced millions. The hardest hit area is Gansu Province, where the only health facility was badly damaged and water sources are now contaminated.
Rains have started lashing Gansu, Sichuan, and Shaanxi provinces again, hampering rescue and reconstruction work and triggering fresh floods and mudslides.
China's military, the People's Liberation Army, joined rescue workers in disaster areas to clear roads, search for the missing, and bring in emergency supplies. The assistance teams are well practiced, having efficiently handled rescue operations in two major earthquakes in 2008 and 2010.
However, reports are trickling out that aid isn't reaching people in the most remote areas of the disaster zone. There are people falling through the gaps.
That's where the church comes in. Erik Burklin with China Partner says, "We just received an e-mail from the China Christian Council (CCC), the Christian organization that oversees all of the church networks within China, asking for help and for prayer support."
Communication with partners on the ground indicates that their response is very similar to how the church responded to the 2008 Sichuan quake. The load is too much for a rural church network to bear alone.
In the e-mail, the CCC partner writes, "We are in the stages of planning. We hope we can carry it out together with local churches. However, the funding at hand for us is minimal. We cannot meet the great needs. Please continue to help us and pray for us."
Over the years, China Partner has carefully cultivated close working relationships with many leaders and pastors in the CCC. Burklin says they will take action on this personal request from a friend in need. "What we're now ascertaining is how China Partner can possibly help the China Christian Council to send relief work and maybe even finances."
Most exciting is how the hope of Christ is shining through the storm clouds. Burklin explains that just as happened in Sichuan, "God is moving through the local church. The Christian church in Gansu province is responding, and they have asked the national China Christian Council to continue to help them with this effort. They're trying to be salt and light in this disaster."
Because the situation is ever changing, Burklin says, "I will stay in contact with the China Christian Council very directly now that we've received this e-mail and see how we can partner with the China Christian Council." A response plan is still in the developing stages. If you want to help, contact China Partner.