More military fighting causes unrest in Afghanistan, ministry continues

By March 6, 2007

Afghanistan (MNN) — A NATO air strike destroyed a mud-brick
home, killing nine family members during a clash between Western troops and
militants. According to reports, two men with automatic rifles were seen
heading into a compound of five homes after a rocket attack on a NATO base in
the area. The bombing triggered anti-American protests.

While this anti-western sentiment is growing in Afghanistan, CURE International's Gerry
Luongo says it's not affecting their work in Kabul, but they are concerned.
"There's always a presence of a threat of riots and all sorts of things.
Our team there does have a constant pressure of security issues. Yet, they stay
and continue to serve the people of Afghanistan."

However, CURE International continues working in Kabul, says
Gerry Luongo. "We have an acute care surgical hospital that is 120 beds and
we also have a family health center, which is a primary and secondary health
clinic for mostly women and children."

Medical care is an incredible need.  Luongo says, "Afghanistan has really one
of the world's worst maternal mortality rates as well as infant mortality
rates. Only 11 percent or so births are attended by anybody. So, they're giving
birth without any help and frequently dying."

While the protests aren't directly affecting their work, it
does affect them indirectly. "It increases the stress of our teams in
their homes, when they're outside the hospital. The security isn't as great as
it is in the hospital."

Evangelism is illegal in Afghanistan. Even though it's predominately
Muslim, CURE hasn't forgotten about the spiritual side of their work. "It
really is about building relationships and saying, 'we care about you. We're
Christians and we here because we're serving God by serving you."

CURE International was asked by the Afghan government to
help rebuild their healthcare system after the war. It's currently the only obstetrics
teaching and surgical training hospital in Kabul.

Luongo is asking Christians to pray that the staff will
continue to be strong in the face of challenging circumstances. Pray also they
their example of Christ would cause many to ask questions about their faith and
that seeds of the Gospel would be planted.

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