Near record giving for ABWE tsunami relief

By February 23, 2005

Asia (MNN) — Damage assessment for tsunami rebuilding is in the billions of dollars. Groups that specialize in that are raising money to help rebuild entire city blocks, infrastructure and livelihoods. However, the Association of Baptists for World Evangelism is doing something even more important. They’re introducing Christ into regions that have rejected Him for decades, and you’re helping them do that.

Don Davis is ABWE’s Director of Donor Relations. “God has blessed us with more gifts to a relief project than we’ve seen for any other project in recent years. And, it looks like it’ll be the largest one ever by the end of this month.” To date, $630,000 has been raised for ABWE’s relief efforts.

Davis says half the funds came from individuals and half from churches, which he says is unusual. “In our past history, for this kind of project, we notice more like two-thirds to three-fourths coming from individuals. So, church response has been gratifying. And, another thing is that church response has a tendency to be slower coming in because churches take offerings and that sort of thing over a period of time,” says Davis.

ABWE is doing unique work in areas where God’s work has been difficult. Davis says they see this relief work as way to increase their witness in these regions, which is exactly what’s happening. “We’ve had three villages who have requested us to establish community centers as a result of our relief team work in India. These are Hindu villages. They even offered us the property for nothing. Those community centers will become preaching points and possibly churches in the years ahead.”

Emergency aid was the first priority, but that has now shifted to rebuilding homes and trauma counseling. $300 can help build a shelter and additional funding is needed for that. $1,000 can help get counselors into a region to help. “No one is really doing anything to help with the psychological trauma of all the great loss they’ve experienced. Many fishermen who gain their livelihood from the sea are afraid to even go back on the sea. And so, we are committed to training counselors.” These volunteers will be from the local church and will be able to help emotionally and spiritually.

If you’d like to support their work, you can contact them at:
Association of Baptists for World Evangelism
PO Box 8585
Harrisburg, PA 17105
(717) 774-7000 |

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