Ministry brings hope and medicine for war victims

By May 4, 2011

Libya (MNN) — Reports indicate that anywhere from four to 14 more people were killed in Libya yesterday when Moammar Gaddafi had troops attack rebels in Misrata just before his son's funeral.

Gaddafi's second youngest son and three of his grandchildren were killed over the weekend in a NATO air strike, sources say. Gaddafi and his wife were with them but managed to escape the building alive.

Now as many as 30,000 Libyans–many of them civilians–are believed dead as a result of the fighting that was sparked in mid-February. Many thousands more have been injured. Al Jazeera has received new information that suggests that possibly hundreds of innocent women have been raped under Gaddafi's orders.

The incredible scale of the conflict ramped up in such a short time can be overwhelming for helpless onlookers. Thanks to Medical Teams International, though, even spectators can get involved.

"We have actually sent about two million dollars worth of medicines and medical supplies to Libya since the conflict began there," says Bas Vanderzalm, president of the ministry. Vanderzalm says just last week, "We also sent out our second volunteer team."

Many hospitals and clinics are in dire need of medical supplies, says Vanderzalm. When Medical Teams International distributed supplies to a hospital recently, it was a matter of seconds before the boxes were torn open and immediately put to use. Supplies are incredibly short in this time of war.

Because it is wartime, risks and obstacles are high for aid groups. Medical Teams International has had to enter through the back door.

"We've been cooperating with Libyan Americans here in the United States who have very good relationships in the country, but also then in Egypt. So we are sending these supplies through Egypt. They are personally picked up by Libyan Americans whom we know, then brought across into Libya and delivered personally to the hospitals and clinics," explains Vanderzalm.

In order to do all this, the ministry has had to partner with many Muslims. Vanderzalm says the Muslims they work with know the mission of Medical Teams International, they know that the ministry works in Christ's name, but they are partnering with them since they're working toward the same goal of helping the many helpless of Libya. Vanderzalm prays that even their partnership will have eternal consequences as Muslims watch the hands and feet of Christ in action.

Throughout much of this conflict, onlookers have had few in the way of tangible opportunities to help. Now, however, people can partner with Medical Teams International to bring much-needed aid and the urgently-needed Gospel to thousands. Just $30 will help one family with all of their medical needs. Currently, the ministry is hoping to send enough medicine and medical supplies for 10,000 people by raising $20,000. If you can help the victims of this bloody war, click here.

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