Georgia (MNN) — A war of "spin" has raged between Georgian and Russian authorities — both of whom have been trying to justify their actions in a conflict that has thrust the volatile Caucasus region onto the world platform. Some suggest Georgia was on a mission of genocide. Some believe Russia simply wants to remove Georgia's president. Others go so far as to suggest that U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney orchestrated the whole situation to make sure Barak Obama isn't elected!
Regardless of political views, the bottom line is that people are displaced, they're suffering, and they need help. Bible Mission International's Paul Hagelgans says churches are reaching out to the victims who are now in bordering North Ossetia. "Together with the local evangelical church have started to do ministry in Ossetia for the refugees."
Hagelgans says, "We [don't] care about who's right and who's wrong. We only care about the more than 35,000 people. They're [living with] relatives; they are in different schools; a lot of them are in hospitals; and a lot of them are in summer camps."
The people are hopeless, says Hagelgans. They don't know if their homes are still standing. They don't know where they'll send their kids to school or where they'll get their next meal.
Hagelgans says the churches of Beslan are extremely effective — especially after ministering to the needs of the school massacre victims. "They understand what's going on there because they experienced this several years earlier. And we see it as very successful."
While much of the tensions are racial, he says Christians aren't interested in that. "Christians [don't] care about what country [you are from]. And they go and help. It is unbelievable that local churches are gathering all the money they can to send humanitarian [aid]."
While the conflict is devastating, Hagelgans says, "In this situation, they're ready to hear the Gospel.
That's why he's asking you to get involved in two ways: "First of all, by praying about it. Pray about the evangelical churches. Pray about these people who are in need. Secondly, if you can help, help us so we can help them."