World Vision responding to Iran earthquake

By January 5, 2004

Iran (MNN)–The remains of the city of Bam, Iran still silhouette the horizon at dawn, a ghastly reminder of the splendor of an ancient city along the Silk Road.

A powerful earthquake rocked southeastern Iran on Dec. 26, killing more than 20,000 people. Local officals say the death toll is around 40,000. The 6.7 shaker was centered near the ancient city of Bam about 610 miles southeast of Tehran.

World Vision’s John Schenk says needs are critical because it’s winter there. Nearly 100,000 are homeless in freezing weather. They’ve already implemented two airlifts of emergency supplies, and moved ground teams in from Afghanistan.

The first airlift came from their warehouse in Italy, December 31. Of their efforts, Schenk says, “World Vision is moving in essential shelter materials, really. This is a devastating earthquake. 70 to 80-percent of the buildings in this city are gone. Tents, tarpaulins, blankets, water purification kits, water buckets. These are the things that mean survival in this environment.”

More than two hundred winter tents, 13,400 winter blankets, and 8,000 bars of soap were airlifted from our warehouse in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, on January 1.

Schenk explains this effort is also longterm. It will take the city years to rebuild, and World Vision will play a part. Schenk says this work says more to the people about Christ than more traditional outreaches. “We’re living out the Gospel. It’s not the Gspel as it’s presented, necessarily, in North American circles. This is a Muslim country and we are presenting our faith through our hands and our feet.”

World Vision is accepting donations for Family Survival Kits to assist the people of Iran. Go to: www.worldvision.org for details.

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