Resilience Tested in Pakistan; Grief in Afghanistan

In the five years since the 2005 earthquake devastated parts of Pakistan, not one year has gone by in which the people of Pakistan have not suffered from disaster. The years 2006 and 2007 brought floods; although not even close to the destruction brought by this year's flooding, people still lost their lives, homes, crops and livestock.

In 2008, a powerful earthquake rendered thousands homeless at the onset of winter. In 2009, millions of people were displaced by the conflict between the Pakistan military and militants.

Throughout these years, severe drought and water shortages plagued the agricultural communities, which constantly live with the reality of food insecurity. Now, 2010 -- a year that was supposed to be a time of new beginnings and the continued road to recovery following previous disasters -- has turned into a record-breaking year for flood destruction throughout the entire country.

Resilient is a word often used to describe the people of Pakistan, but this cycle of loss and destruction is truly testing this attribute. Thousands of people have been living in pre-fabricated shelters while trying to regain their lives and livelihoods lost five years ago.

Now, displaced persons once again find themselves without homes and property. Farmers who were already struggling with food insecurity have lost, or may lose, this year's harvest, pushing them farther away from achieving food security for their families.
Donations for Pakistan Flood Relief are needed and welcomed, and may be made online or by check to WoC, PO Box 1986, Indianapolis, IN 46206.

(Many thanks to Chris Herlinger, Church World Service, for this story. The photo was taken by Mohd. Younus, August 4, 2010, at the hospital at Balakot - thanks to him as well.)

Grieving with IAM

We grieve with our Global Ministries and ecumenical partner, the International Assistance Mission, over the murder of 10 aid workers in Badakhshan, Afghanistan. The medical team, made up of both Afghans and Internationals, had been in the Nuristan province at the invitation of communities there. After completing their work, the team was returning to Kabul. 

A moving profile of the aid workers appears here. For more information about IAM’s program in Afghanistan, please follow this link.

We keep the families of the aid workers, their colleagues, and the brave, generous work of IAM in our prayers. Friends such as these, committed to the world’s poor and vulnerable, help us live out our commitment to Courageous Compassion. They exemplify the best of the Church, and remind us of the way you, as members of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), have called upon Week of Compassion to help facilitate your commitment to work for wholeness. We give thanks to God for the ways you reach out in times of senseless violence, natural disaster, and hopelessness.

We give thanks for all you bring of yourself to this commitment, and all you give.