The tsunami survivors are still suffering one month after the disaster

By January 28, 2005

Indonesia (MNN) — It’s been a little over a month since the tsunami hit 11 countries in Asia and still the survivors are struggling to deal with the devastation.

Speaking from World Vision’s relief office in Banda Aceh, Indonesia, Rienk van Velzen says while many people in the region got the needed relief supplies, the people are still struggling. “Once you’ve realized that 166,000 people were killed and this happened in just a couple of minutes. You’re meeting so many people here who are really still in shock a month after the disaster,” says van Velzen.

World Vision has been able to help 30,000 people in Indonesia alone, but van Velzen says it hasn’t been easy. He says Aceh had isolated itself from foreigners, especially Christians. That meant delays in initial relief efforts, but now much progress has been made.

Van Velzen says they’re not keeping the Christianity a secret. “People know us and can easily find on our web site who we are and what we do. But, what we do on the ground is to be compared to what Jesus told us and is to be a ‘good Samaritan’. He helped out and He did what he had to do in that situation and that’s what we’re actually doing here.”

Children have the biggest need. Many are orphaned and alone. World Vision is providing child-friendly spaces to help. “(A place) where they can relax, where they can play. These are tents with toys and games. We have people who they can talk to, trained people,” says van Velzen.

As the media is paying less attention, van Velzen says prayer and financial support is still needed.

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