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A ministry in the tsunami region sets its focus beyond long term.

By January 14, 2005

Asia (MNN)–In the tsunami region, rebuilding the area could take up to ten years. The wave demolished everything in its path between 1 to 2.5 miles inland.

Up to 90% of buildings in many areas are gone, nearly three-fourths of the roads are under water or damaged, and infrastructure is nearly non-existent.

Descriptors of every kind pale in comparison to the real life carnage on the ground from Indonesia to the Maldives.

Millions of dollars are pouring in, international finance teams are considering freezing debt, and medical supplies are finally making their way to some of the neediest areas.

IN Network’s Rody Rodeheaver says they responded by sending funds to help supply the immediate survivors. The wreckage continues to get lots of attention, but their staff is using the time to set up plans for their ministry’s future. “As our national staff people are now faced with the reality of this destruction, this devastation, they have to assess for the long haul. At some point in time, the spotlight of the world will no longer be on this area. It will go to the next crisis.”

Rodeheaver says they’re adapting ministries to adjust for the needs that have been created by this natural disaster. “As we look at the intermediate steps, we’re looking at Sri Lanka, for instance, our people coming alongside of them and helping rebuild 1500 homes, and then we have to look at the children, the families that have been torn apart. How are we going to interface with that need over the next year, two years?”

More than that, there is much need for prayer. Cynthia Devadason, heads the work of IN Sri Lanka says, “We need your prayers for us to know where to begin and how to operate. We need wisdom to answer people around us who are asking ‘Why this?’ and ‘Where is your God now?’ People are putting up posters saying that this tragedy is because of the Christians who celebrated Christmas.”

Pray for those who have lost everything and for those who mourn loved ones; for wisdom and discernment as many good organizations seek to respond wisely to this catastrophe. And lastly, pray for peace in these areas.

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