Photo: Paul Jeffrey/ACT Alliance
In our weekly updates, we share stories of our presence and impact around the world: from disaster response, to refugee and immigration ministry, to ongoing sustainable development projects in impoverished areas. Catch up on updates you missed, or find stories you want to read and share again! Or, subscribe to receive weekly email updates.
On Saturday morning, August 14, a 7.2 magnitude earthquake struck the south of Haiti. The earthquake was also felt in other Caribbean islands. This earthquake was stronger than the 2010 quake that devastated the nation's capital of Port-au-Prince, and news outlets are reporting nearly 1300 lives lost so far.
Although it is too early to know the full impact of the destruction, casualties, and loss of livelihoods, initial reports from Week of Compassion partners indicate that the impact has been devastating and that hospitals are overwhelmed. Thousands of homes have been damaged or destroyed. Communication channels have been affected, as well as infrastructure including roads, which will affect immediate response and create challenges in getting help to those in need.
“I’ve lived through three wars in Gaza and I’ve seen nothing like this. The destruction is everywhere. I can’t describe the horror and fear we feel… The innocent in Gaza and Israel are dying. Men, women and children who have done nothing wrong. We ask God to inspire the war decision makers of Hamas and Israel to stop this new tragedy as there will be no winner in this war.” These are the words of Suhaila Tarazi, Director of Ahli Arab Hospital in Gaza City.
The hospital is a Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) partner through Global Ministries and a front-line responder in the ongoing violence in the region.
Through our partners, Week of Compassion is responding to the urgent situation in India, as well as in other parts of the world where COVID-19 rates are escalating. In many countries, new strains of the virus are causing widespread economic hardship, compounding illness and loss of life.
Joseph Sahayam, from our partner CASA in India, reflects, “It’s time to unite and focus on immediate needs. The situation in India could be a warning for the rest of the world, but also lead the way to more global solidarity.”
Several weeks ago, on the morning of February 7, a glacier burst in the Raini village of the Himalayas, causing a flash flood in Rishiganga River. The resulting landslide killed at least 36 people, and nearly 200 more remain missing. Most of those killed or missing are believed to be workers at the hydropower projects, where the landslide originated. Villagers that were close to the river when the disaster occurred were also swept away.
Week of Compassion is responding, supporting our partners on the ground who are working tirelessly to get critical supplies to those in need, despite many significant challenges.
Update on Hurricane Isaias: After skirting the eastern coasts of Florida and Georgia, Hurricane Isaias made landfall near the border of South and North Carolina and will bring rain and winds along the Eastern Seaboard through the day. So far, Disciples have fared well, and Week of Compassion staff is in conversation with partners to help provide relief in the complex COVID-19 environment.
Steadfast love and faithfulness will meet; righteousness and peace will kiss each other. Faithfulness will spring up from the ground, and righteousness will look down from the sky. The Lord will give what is good, and our land will yield its increase. Righteousness will go before him, and will make a path for his steps. ~Psalm 85:10-13
The Week of Compassion Board of Stewards held its annual spring meeting virtually on May 27 to discuss the impact of COVID-19 in the United States and Canada and around the world. The meeting was originally scheduled to take place in Puerto Rico, but COVID-19 halted travel and is affecting the ongoing recovery work from Hurricane Maria. This pandemic is impacting all of the work and partners Week of Compassion supports for disaster response, refugee assistance, and sustainable development.
On this Giving Tuesday, Week of Compassion lifts up the work of our partners to provide relief and respond to the effects of COVID-19. Here is just one of many stories about how we are working to help save lives during this difficult time.