China (MNN) — At least 188 have died and over 11,500 are injured following a 6.6 earthquake in China's Sichuan Province.
Over the weekend, a quake struck the hill country of Lushan, near a rural town called Ya'an. China's seismological bureau measured the earthquake at 7.0, while the U.S. Geological Survey put the quake at 6.6.
State news agency Xinhua said over 18,000 soldiers and police were sent to help with rescue efforts.
Five years ago, a massive quake in Sichuan killed tens of thousands of people and left 5 million homeless. Baptist Global Response set up teams following that quake to show Christ's love through disaster response.
BGR's Jeff Palmer says that presence paid off Saturday.
"From the earlier quake, 2008, we have these teams and local folks that we have trained to be Rapid Responders," states Palmer. "Actually we had three, almost four teams that were able to go in and respond–I mean within a few hours."
BGR has allocated funds for the response, and their partners are currently on the ground assessing needs and forming a plan. As with any natural disaster, water, food, and shelter are among the first critical needs to meet.
A water development team is among the Rapid Responders currently on the field. They're focusing on getting clean water to survivors.
Ask the Lord to help BGR workers shine the light of Christ as they respond.
"Pray for our people who're going in and responding…to not only manifest the love of Christ in that food and that water, but also to share a message of hope with those who have lost loved ones," requests Palmer.