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China shows experience with disaster

By May 15, 2008

China (MNN) — The death toll in
China's Sichuan quake has already hit 15,0000 and continues to soar. It's the worst earthquake to hit the nation
since 1976.

Tens of thousands of rescuers
raced the clock to save more than 25,000 people buried in southwest Sichuan
province after Monday's 7.9 magnitude quake. China's rapid response to the quake shows they
have experience dealing with disasters.

Operations are well underway, so aid
teams have been rebuffed, although supplies have not. International Aid's Milton Amayun says they
stand ready, although "the People's Republic of China has to declare an
emergency where it needs help from the outside. They have to invite personnel
to go in." 

Unlike Myanmar (currently dealing with the
effects of Cyclone Nargis), China accepted foreign offers for aid from the
United States, Germany, Japan, Russia, Taiwan, and South Korea.

Amayun says they're working with
three partners on the ground for second-wave response.  "International Aid is exploring how we
could provide the strengths that we normally have in responding to these
situations, and that's the rehabilitation of the health system."

Disasters like the quake often
open the door for the hope of Christ. Amayun says, in this case, it comes from within. "I would expect that there would be
hundreds of house churches operating underground. We need to pray for the Christians that,
within their means, they would be able to respond compassionately to the
disaster that just happened to their neighbors."

International Aid, based in
Spring Lake, MI, is a Christian relief and development agency that works
globally to improve the health of the world's poorest people. It has responded
to more than 100 natural and man-made disasters, delivering more than $500
million in supplies and resources.

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