Hundreds feared dead after Pakistan earthquake

By October 30, 2008

Pakistan (MNN) — Thousands of
earthquake survivors slept in the open last night in southwest Pakistan, even
as temperatures dropped below zero. The
6.4-magnitude temblor struck early Wednesday, but in the worst-hit areas, aid
has yet to arrive.

Ziarat Valley sustained the worst
damage, where at least eight villages suffered the loss of the majority of the
structures. Neighboring areas also had
to grapple with landslides triggered by the quake.

In other areas, the military
began dropping tents, medical supplies and blankets in the Baluchistan province
quake zone.

Ken Little with Christian Reformed World Relief Committee
says their partner in Pakistan is sending in an assessment team
today. They're hoping to have a
response plan in place by Friday. "Our first response will probably relate to shelter, blankets, that
sort of thing. Initially, we usually start with a small project response of up
to $10,000 US. If there's more interest from those who hear
about the news, and some funds start coming in, then we respond on a larger
scale."

But with regular attacks by al Qaida
and the Taliban, and with a floundering economy, this natural disaster
compounds an already severe crisis.

Because of the area the team is
in, overt evangelism can make their work tricky. That means manpower won't be part of the aid
they send. Money and supplies will be sent to their
partner who is well-known in the region and has a strong Christian identity.

Little says the team allows their actions to
introduce Christ.  "They, by their
presence, are making a statement. Their identification and their rather high-profile leadership does make a good statement from a Christian point of
view."

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