Christians help Solomon Islands tsunami victims

By April 11, 2007

Solomon Islands (MNN) — World Vision is leading aid efforts
in the Solomon Islands after a devastating earthquake and resulting tsunami hit
the South Pacific nation April 2. Initial reports estimated tens of thousands
faced homelessness, and the death toll was expected to climb.

However, World Vision's Rachel Wolff says the destruction
wasn't as bad as originally thought. "We are estimating that about 5,000
to 6,000 people have lost shelter or food. That could be a bit higher because this is an area with 90,000 people, so we're still unsure of that as
well. We may know more within the next few days. We still think that as many as
half the population [may be homeless]."

It's been over a week since the 8.0 magnitude quake hit the
area. While World Vision has been able to get supplies into the region, Wolff
says they've faced other problems. "The challenge for World Vision and
other aid agencies has been distributing [the aid]. Boats are the main way of
transportation in between islands, but most of them had been destroyed by the
tsunami. Yesterday, World Vision was able to get two boats to use."

While providing aid is a priority, Wolff says since that they're
a Christian organization, they have other priorities, as well. "Faith motivates
everything we do. People know that we are Christians. They know why we are
doing what we're doing. We certainly partner with churches. Our hope is to be
the hands and feet of Christ, especially in these life or death
situations."

According to Wolff, Christians in New Zealand and Australia
have responded generously to the needs in the region. Since the Solomon Islands
is a popular holiday destination, many have felt the need to help.

Wolff says the situation still needs your help because many
of the victims are children. "About half the population are children. In
fact, about 41% are younger than the age of 15."


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