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Faithfulness of workers and partnership with nationals provides a solid foundation for long-term tsunami relief.

By February 10, 2005

Indonesia (MNN) — The tsunami’s devastation in Asia is slowly fading from the media’s eye, but CB International is not forgetting the people still in desperate need.

Hans Finzel is with CBI. He says, “It’s unfortunate that it hasn’t been in the news in the last week or two, but that’s okay. CB International has been working throughout that area for over 50 years, so we’re pretty excited about the opportunities that we have to make a difference right on the ground.”

Working in Indonesia for that long has developed a great trust, and CBI is right there helping with relief and rebuilding projects. But they’re not just on their own in this effort.

Finzel says, “We’re working side by side with Indonesian nationals, so it’s not just a bunch of expatriates who just sort of flooded into the area, but we are just standing shoulder to shoulder with our church brothers and sisters that are Indonesian.”

The hope is, says Finzel, when the Indonesian government tells foreign workers that it’s time to leave, “We want the church and the Muslims to say ‘No, we don’t want these people to leave because of the help that they’re providing.’ So that’s kind of the strategy we’re taking. Serve them, as much as we can, with love, in the Name of Jesus. So that we can provide long-term relief, and an opportunity to be a long-term witness.”

CBI is seeing some fruit of their labor, and Finzel is encouraged, “What we’re seeing is a change of attitude toward Christians because it’s quite obvious that it is the Christians not the Muslims who are coming in to provide all the help and the relief, and that’s making a huge impact on these people’s attitudes towards Christians.”

Finzel reminded us of one important thing that must not be forgotten in the midst of tsunami relief talk and support, and that is the workers providing counsel and care to the survivors, trying to give hope and healing in the midst of death and destruction. He petitioned for our prayers, “They’re just so emotionally exhausted. So that’s one thing that we as a church need to do here in America is pray for the emotional well being and the just the strength of all these missionaries and relief workers.”

CBI has three projects they are currently implementing and raising funds to continue in Indonesia, India and Sri Lanka. You can go to their website to find out how to help, www.cbi.org, or call toll free in the USA 1.800.487.4224.

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