Sponsored children are killed in the earthquake in Java, Indonesia

By June 5, 2006

Indonesia (MNN) — The bad news continues to come from Java, Indonesia’s earthquake zone. Compassion International has worked in the region for nearly 40 years.

Many of their children were affected, says Compassion’s Bob Thorp. “It has affected 12 of our Compassion projects in the area. And personally, it has taken the lives of three Compassion sponsored children. And so, it has (had) a big impact on our ability to minister to the kids.”

The 6.3 magnitude quake on May 27, killed more than 6,000 people and left more than 500,000 displaced.

Compassion serves 2,200 children in these 12 projects, says Thorp. But, these three children were sponsored by three families in the U-S and they’re grieving right now. He says sponsored children aren’t nameless faces. “You affect the life of an individual child. You know exactly who they are. You know their family. You build a relationship with them. In a tragic loss like this a sponsor will go through the same grief as a parent or grandparent would.”

Compassion serves in the poorest areas of Java. Thorp says the earthquake has made life even more difficult. “(In) some communities up to 95-percent of the homes were destroyed. And so, the immediate needs are shelter. They’re out in the streets under tarps and in tents and food is a big issue and medical supplies all those things are in short supply right now.”

Before the quake, 500 children were waiting for sponsors. That number will more than likely increase. Compassion needs your help. As you sponsor a child you help them physically, but because they partner with the local church, you help them hear the Gospel. “Without Christ it doesn’t matter what we do, we’re just a richer sinner. So, the spiritual component is of utmost importance.”

Compassion is providing food, medical, personal care items and shelter. Thorp says besides child sponsorship, they have established an earthquake relief fund to help with short-term needs. Go to Compassion.com to help.

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