Hit multiple times with cruel disasters, Nias Island calls for help.

By July 15, 2005

Indonesia (MNN) — Residents of Indonesia’s Nias Island have been overwhelmed with calamity. First the tsunami in December, then massive earthquakes just months later that destroyed what rebuilding was happening, and now malnutrition, disease and despair.

International Aid recently received an official invitation by the government of Nias Island to help with a long-term emergency health plan. It will be at least a two-year long project. International Aid will be teaching about nutrition, sanitation, basic health care practices, and providing a clinic in the hope of reducing the child mortality rate and reducing the rate of illness among the general population.

Conditions were extremely poor even before the tsunami, and so the devastation of the past six months has only added to the dire situation, says I-A’s Myles Fish: “It’s not just an infrastructure problem, we’re actually working on a child-survival program there designed to implement a community-based, health care system that was needed even before the tsunami struck.”

Fish says their long-term presence is beneficial for the Gospel: “A project like this puts us in face to face contact with the population that we’re serving over an extended period of time. And what that does for us is it allows us to build the kind of relationships that are necessary so that we can have respectful dialogs about our mutual faiths. And that, we find, is the first step to introducing people to our faith and allowing them to make a choice about what they want to follow.”

I-A is thrilled to help as God enables them to meet specific needs. But they need your help, says Fish. “Just because the tsunami devastation isn’t still in the news, the rebuilding process is ongoing and will be ongoing for years to come. The job’s not over. We’re grateful for the way in which people have supported us in the past, but we hope they won’t forget this work as other things begin to happen now.”

If you’d like to help, go to the International Aid website by following the highlighted link above.

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