News

Pakistan–A National Tragedy

June 4, 2009

Some have fled–but many are still trapped in the conflict zone. Either way, conditions are dire.

The mass displacement has been compared to that of Rwanda and Bosnia, and the catastrophe as vast as Pakistan´s earthquake in 2005.

There are many children living in the refugee camps.

Over two million people have managed to make it out of the combat zone. Of these, one million are living in refugee camps. Another 1.2 million have shunned government camps and sought alternative places of refuge. Some are staying with friends and relatives, while others just fend for themselves any way they can. Those who can afford it are renting hotels or other accommodations.

But hundreds of thousands of people are still trapped in the Swat Valley. Many of these are the sick and elderly, and they may never make it out. Some will die from a lack of vital medical care and others will simply be killed in the midst of continual devastation around them.

Refugees live in tents far outside the city.

Even so, tens of thousands more people manage to leave the Swat area every day. While they may be safe from the combat zone, they face a myriad of new problems, as the number of refugees keeps increasing. Too many people in one household equals overcrowding in the city. This population explosion is causing a strain on the sanitation and water systems. The end result of this is disease. Already, doctors are treating people just from side effects of the 120 degree Fahrenheit temperatures: breathing problems, diarrhea, and fever. Now malaria is suspected.

Many of those who found alternate places of refuge will ultimately land in the camps anyway, if the war continues. But in a country that is predominately Muslim, human misery is the equalizer that has created a bond among all peoples.

"They all need our help and the needs are great. Our mission is two-fold: We are trying to provide them with the basics–food, water, and hygiene facilities. We have also been able to give out Bibles, both to Christians and to any others who are showing an interest, thanks to Christian Aid. In spite of the turmoil around us, the Lord has provided opportunities to take the Word of God to displaced people in various camps," writes a brother who ministers in this area of the world.

Please pray for His strength and encouragement for these brothers and sisters who look at a dire situation as a way of reaching others for the Kingdom. Christian Aid is seeking funds to supply food and water for those in need, and to provide more Bibles and other teaching aids for ministry outreach.

". . . behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest. . . . that both he that soweth and he that reapeth may rejoice together." John 4:35-36


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SC: WEBCAM