Ministry’s efforts aim to reach believers in cyclone aftermath

By December 3, 2007

Bangladesh (MNN) — More than two weeks have passed since Cyclone Sidr hit southern Bangladesh. However, the destruction is still being dealt with.

Relief items are traveling slowly through the country since government workers are still clearing fallen trees and debris as they go. On top of that, communication and
power lines are still down in large areas, furthering the difficulty of organizing relief efforts.

Open Doors
is working with local partners to determine what believers there are in need of immediately. Some of the believers there are Muslim-background believers and former
attendants of the annual Converts Gathering, sponsored by Open Doors. 

Bangladesh is a nation with a population of 144 million. Of those, 85 percent are Muslim,
and less than one percent are Christians. Though the country was initially established as secular, the constitution was later amended to make Islam the state religion. Since 2001 when a new Islamic government was elected, the tensions have risen drastically.

Poverty is widespread, with the average annual income at $360. The priority needs are diarrhea medicine and shelter, and waterborne disease is still a threat. Open Doors is sending the immediate needs in the form of relief goods and medicines. Later, they will lend rehabilitation efforts such as rebuilding churches and re-establishing education for children.

Livelihoods were swept away when the cyclone tore through. Millions of dollars of shrimp
boats docked at the shore were taken out to sea, halting shrimp exporting.

Open Doors president Carl Moeller asks that you pray for relief organizations to be able to provide food, water, and medicine that is delivered in a timely manner.

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