Mobilized for Sichuan--Prayer requested
By now I’m sure you’ve heard of the devastation the earthquake in China has caused among the countless numbers of people here. Thousands upon thousands of lives lost, even more injured and millions left homeless. The physical toll is surpassed only by the psychological anguish that radiates from the southern province of Sichuan and touches every heart in China. This past Monday at 2:28 pm, the entire nation stood in 3 minutes of silence mourning the lost lives and hoping for more news of miraculous rescues. Cries of pain and help have gone out from the hearts of the people here and have reached the ears of our compassionate and loving God who is, and has been, calling his people to rise up to offer food, clothing, water, homes and comfort to those in need.
A bright spot in the midst of the tragedy has been the response of the Chinese people and the government to the earthquake victims. For the first time, the government has allowed full coverage of the earthquake and the aftermath, and the people have responded in overwhelming ways. A huge grass roots humanitarian effort sprung up immediately after the quake in the form of thousands of ordinary Chinese with carloads of blankets and instant noodles driving into the villages that were accessible with their goods. For a week now, thousands of people have lined up outside of blood banks to donate blood, and the Red Cross of China has reported its largest donations ever in the quake‘s aftermath. Our students too have all given blood and money and have been praying for the people in Sichuan.
God has opened a door for us and our students to go to Sichuan to help in whatever ways we can. We have put together a team, God has provided ample funding, and we are now just waiting for the green light to go from the relief organizers in Chengdu. We want to ask you, starting today, to seriously pray with us for the people in Sichuan. Their hearts are crushed and many are without hope. Please pray that God would speak His words of comfort and hope through us and that He would do what He always does- bring Life from death. We mourn with the Chinese, and we ask that you would join us in crying out to God on their behalf.
We will keep you updated, and we are thankful for your love and prayers for the people here.
Andy, Natalie and Jenda Swanson