China (MNN) — "They certainly felt the earthquake themselves and along with all their neighbors ran outside and were trying to find out the best thing to do. Now that things have
calmed down a little bit, they are getting the lay of the land," said Food for the Hungry 's Sarah Sywulka of their team in Chengdu, China. So far, one news source estimates that the death toll has risen to approximately 15,000.
The team is there doing an educational exchange program through the University of Chengdu. Thankfully, none of their students or staff were harmed by the earthquake since the city was not as affected as some of the other outlying areas of the epicenter.
Sywulka says that the government seems to be doing a pretty good job thus far at getting the rubble cleaned up and providing basic aid items, according to the information they've
received. The Food for the Hungry team has "been looking at the situation
there and [working] with partners they have on the ground to find the critical gaps that are not being met in the response so far."
The critical gaps will likely be in the area of food and clean drinking water, and Food for the
Hungry will provide that for people from any background. Sometimes part of that response includes sharing the Gospel. "We certainly are motivated by our faith, and so when people ask us, that does give us opportunities to share," said Sywulka.
Food for the Hungry will also be responding financially. Go here if you'd like to help in that effort.
"I think one of the main things we can do is lift up people in
prayer. There certainly are a lot of people who have lost family members, friends and loved ones through this. I would ask us to lift up our team that they would be able to reach out to those around them and really show the love that is motivating them to respond," Sywulka said.
As more information comes in regarding Food for the Hungry's specific response, it will be
available by visiting their Web site.