|One of the survivors |
This Pakistani student was among the survivors at a girls’ school leveled by the Oct. 8 earthquake. Along with two teachers, approximately 200 girls, or one-fourth of the students, lost their lives.
Most people told us that if you were outside, you survived, but if you were inside a building, you died. It was hard to process it all. Some days it felt like I was watching CNN from the van window.
We met many people in great need.
They peeked out of their tents, intensely curious yet cautious. “Who are these foreigners and why are they here?”
We went to a girls’ school located in one of the hardest-hit areas of the Oct. 8 earthquake in South Asia. The school had collapsed, killing more than 200 of their classmates. Now they were meeting in tents next to their crushed building. We came to help them, to listen to them, to encourage them, to love them in Jesus’ name.
As winter weather threatened to compound her tragedy, Hadia also was losing hope -– until Southern Baptists built her a temporary home, what they call a model home.
“Over the past two months, a wonderful partnership between the compassionate giving of Southern Baptists in the U.S. and the sacrificial service of International Mission Board personnel on the ground have resulted in ministry to thousands of displaced Pakistanis and Indians,” said David Garrison, the IMB’s regional leader for South Asia.
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan (BP)--The earthquake that rocked South Asia Oct. 8 has created a unique opportunity for sharing the Gospel, and more followers of Jesus need to go and help, a volunteer in the region noted.
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan (BP)--Darren Pogue* is the 16-year-old son of Southern Baptist International Mission Board missionaries serving in South Asia. In November, Darren spent his fall break ministering among earthquake survivors in Pakistan. These are entries from his personal journal:
Nizakat Fatima, a 40-year-old earthquake survivor, recuperates from severe fractures in her shoulders and from neck and leg injuries in a hospital in Indian town of Baramullah. Photo by Joshua Newton
“The first snow has already fallen in the tops of the mountains,” a relief worker in Indian-administered Kashmir noted. “Bronchitis will be on the rise in no time. The colder it gets, the more bronchitis you’ll have.”
The next three weeks are crucial, workers say; hundreds of remote villages will become impossible to reach in a couple of weeks as snowfall begins to mount in regions shaken by the 7.6-magnitude earthquake.
In addition to bronchitis, health workers have warned that unless fresh water, food and shelter become available, diseases such as tetanus, pneumonia, cholera and measles, along with diarrhea, fever and tick-borne viruses from livestock, are certain to spread, especially among survivors with open cuts and sores. Authorities reportedly are killing dogs out of fear they could carry parasites that might spread potentially fatal diseases.
|Makeshift shelter |
A woman slumps down by her six-month-old daughter in a makeshift shelter in Indian-administered Kashmir, awaiting her husband's return from a relief center. Photo by Joshua Newton
Salamat Mir hugged his children close as the thin polythene sheet he had secured to protect his family fluttered in the chilling wind in the Uri sector of Indian-administered Kashmir, which sustained massive destruction in the Oct. 8 earthquake that left 70 percent of the houses severely damaged.
|Suddenly homeless |
A girl child stands in front of her destroyed house in the Uri sector of Indian-administered Kashmir, where the Oct. 8 earthquake collapsed about 70 percent of the houses. Photo by Joshua Newton
NGOs have supplied rice millet, utensils, mattresses, and milk powder to most affected villages. Christian agencies are sending relief mostly through the churches in the valley.
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan (BP)--Southern Baptist medical volunteers working in Pakistan’s quake zone say many of the patients they are treating suffer from post-traumatic stress -– and nearly all are in despair.
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan (BP)--The Oct. 8 earthquake that shook northern Pakistan and India has the region scrambling once again to meet enormous needs as recovery continues from the Dec. 26 tsunami that ravaged the countries of Sri Lanka, India and the Maldives.
Southern Baptist disaster relief response to the earthquake will be similar to its response to the tsunami: meeting medical needs, providing food, building temporary shelter and helping individuals generate income.
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan (BP)--Southern Baptist aid workers are contending with bone-chilling rains, roads jammed with homeless survivors and mobs desperate for help as they take relief supplies into the heart of Pakistan’s earthquake-devastated Kashmir.
With 11 workers on the ground, more on the way -- and $150,000 in Southern Baptist disaster relief funds -- the relief team is transporting truckloads of medical supplies, tents and food into mountain areas near the epicenter of the worst earthquake in modern Pakistani history.
“Our people are getting into areas that other organizations aren’t getting into because we know the local language,” the team’s coordinator said Oct. 11 from their temporary base in Islamabad, Pakistan’s capital. “The U.N. and all the big guys are taking care of easy-to-get-to places. We’re trying to get to places nobody will go.