China (MNN) —
China's quake death toll is at 2000 and rising. Six days ago, a series of strong quakes
crushed an impoverished region in Western China where WorldServe Ministries works.
WorldServe's Chief Operations Officer Daniel LaBry details
the impact on their ministry in the area. "We have about 20 house churches
that were completely destroyed. We have about 250 Christian families that have
been involved in those churches that were all personally affected, as
The ministry has been distributing Bibles and supporting
church planting efforts. They have relationships
in place on the ground in the closest major city to the Qinghai earthquake,
which is being used as a staging ground for the country's relief efforts to the quake area.
Based on the success of their Sichuan earthquake response
efforts in 2008, church leaders are encouraged that a similar response will
help them establish trusted relationships and gain access to the hard-to-reach
people group in this sensitive area.
They mobilized a team immediately. LaBry says it's more about resourcing the
existing local church and helping them organize distribution. Quake survivors are battling winter elements
without shelter. Most who have lost
their homes also lost all their belongings.
Church leaders have expressed their needs. "They need shoes, warm clothes,
blankets, tents, medicine, food," says
LaBry, adding, "The shelters are another big thing."
Many of the house churches in the area suffered some kind of
damage and were unable to do much. That's
where experience from the Sichuan quake came in to support and strengthen the
local church in the area. "There
are believers that have come in from some of the surrounding provinces and
those that were in the Sichuan area that were able to get into the Qinghai
WorldServe's Chinese church partners mobilized 1,500
"volunteers" trained in sharing the Gospel and church planting to respond to
the Sichuan Earthquake in May 2008. Over 200 of those church planters remain in
the region today continuing to build on the relationships they built while
serving the earthquake victims–relationships that progressed into sharing the
Gospel and establishing churches.
It means WorldServe will remain long after the major aid
groups leave the region. "They're there still able to minister to
the people, not only meeting their physical needs and helping them to rebuild,
but to be able to share the love of Christ, be the hands and feet of Christ,"
You can help. Click
here for details.