Rescuers race against the cold in China’s quake zone

By December 20, 2023

China (MNN) — Rescuers race against the cold in rural northwest China, searching for survivors of Monday’s deadly earthquake.

The 6.2 magnitude quake hit Gansu province just before midnight, killing at least 127 people in one of China’s poorest regions. Kurt Rovenstine with Bibles for China says, “Gansu is one of the challenging provinces for Christians because it is heavily populated [by] Muslims.”

However, every challenge presents an opportunity. For example, as Chinese believers interact with and help earthquake survivors, “Maybe some bridges [could] be built up that may not have been built otherwise,” Rovenstine says.

(Photo courtesy of Bibles for China)

Bibles for China partners with rural Chinese churches by providing free Bibles to local believers. More about that here. Thankfully, none of their church partners were directly affected by the earthquake, so they can still help those in need.

“There is an opportunity for the Church here to be salt and light amid all of this,” Rovenstine says.

“We’re praying that some great connections are made as the Church is the hands and feet of Jesus in this situation.”

Officials say they have limited time to rescue people in the subzero conditions. Ask God to help the rescuers find survivors before it’s too late.

“It’s a very dire situation for those in the epicenter where buildings have collapsed on and around them. It’s unusually cold for this time of year in this province and a time – for those who can’t do anything practically – to be in prayer,” Rovenstine says.

“Survival times usually are 72 hours if somebody’s trapped, but because it’s so cold, that number is going down.”




Header image is a representative 2013 photo. Twin girls stand outside temporary tents in the aftermath of a 6.6 magnitude earthquake in China. (Photo courtesy of Ahsan/Twitter)

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