Afghanistan (MNN) — Search and rescue efforts continue at a painfully slow pace in Afghanistan, hampered by weather, terrain, and a lack of resources. Doctors in the country tell BBC News that “many children may have been killed” in Wednesday’s earthquake.
Thousands of homes collapsed, burying entire villages – and the people in them – under rubble. The Taliban lacks heavy rescue equipment, and The Associated Press reports people digging with their bare hands to find survivors.
Heart4Iran works alongside a network of underground churches in Afghanistan. “Yesterday, I talked with some of them and they are okay. But the situation is horrible,” says Hossein*, an Afghan believer from a Muslim background working with Heart4Iran.
“Most of the critical resources and venues were either destroyed by the Taliban or were pushed out of Afghanistan. This has created a vacuum of meaningful resources to help survivors or help people get back on their feet.”
Many charities left Afghanistan after the United States’ chaotic withdrawal last August. United Nations workers are on the ground now but the country’s healthcare system is virtually nonexistent, leaving quake survivors to fend for themselves.
“Before the earthquake, more than half of the population was below the poverty line and 19 million [faced] malnutrition,” Hossein says.
“They were hopeless before, but now [they face] extra pressure.”
Only the Lord can bring something good from a situation like this. “Please pray for God’s compassion for Afghanistan and pray [He will] touch the millions of broken hearts,” Hossein requests.
“Pray for our team as we do evangelism, church planting, discipleship, and leadership inside Afghanistan; also for the relief that we are doing for believers, and through them, for others.”
Header image shows one of many collapsed houses in the quake zone. (Photo courtesy of The Voice of the Martyrs USA)