In one week’s time, both Haiti and Afghanistan have experienced devastating turns of events. On Aug. 14, a magnitude 7.2 earthquake struck Haiti, destroying more than 7,000 homes and damaged more than 12,000, leaving about 30,000 families homeless, according to official estimates. Schools, offices and churches also were demolished or badly damaged. The Caribbean nation’s southwest region was the hardest hit. International aid workers on the ground said hospitals in the worst-hit areas are mostly incapacitated and that there is a desperate need for medical equipment.
Days later, on the other side of the world, the terrorist organization, the Taliban, once again regained control of Afghanistan after being ousted nearly two decades ago. This extremist group now threatens the development and progress the country has achieved, as well as being a threat to so many citizens of that nation. The Taliban leaders claim to have lists of Afghan Christians and have vowed to find them and punish them. Afghans of all walks of life are trying to flee the country, rich, poor, educated and illiterate. But the land borders to other countries are all closed and the only way out, the airport in the capital city of Kabul, currently secured by US forces, is surrounded by Taliban forces who are making it very difficult for anyone to leave, even shooting into the crowds of people waiting for a chance to get into the airport.
Haiti and Afghanistan both are in desperate need of our prayers and concern. It’s important to stay abreast of these developments and be prepared to respond when ready. The U.S. expects to receive many new refugees, especially from Afghanistan, soon. If you are interested in doing more hands-on work, contact Tim Mindling with SEND International who works locally with Afghan refugees. Some things to think and pray about include:
- Pray for those coming; they are traumatized and scared. Pray for this upheaval in their lives to open them to the gospel.
- Set up Welcoming Teams, where 5-7 people agree to help a family in their first three months in America. This entails helping with transportation for appointments, helping set up their house, acting as cultural coaches to introduce them to American customs and culture, registering kids for school, etc.
- Sign up to be an English tutor in Detroit and work along existing programs already set up.
Right now, you can also choose to give to a fund that Ward Church has set up, to be dispersed as needs become clearer and partners are identified.GIVE NOW