Religion Today Summaries - January 7, 2005

Compiled & Edited by Crosswalk News Staff

Religion Today Summaries - January 7, 2005

Daily briefs of the top news stories impacting Christians around the world. In today's edition:

  • Desperate Families Still Needing Help: Aid Groups Appealing For More Resources

  • Indonesia: Missionaries Help Tsunami Survivors in Worst-Hit Country 

  • Tsunami Survivors Desperate for Help, Open to Gospel

  • Native Missionaries Work to Protect Child Victims of Tsunami

Desperate Families Still Needing Help: Aid Groups Appealing For More Resources
Jeremy Reynalds, Assist News Service

Jubilee Action, a British based Christian human rights charity, says there are still many victims of the tsunami disaster who have not yet been helped. According to a press release from Jubilee Action, soon after the disaster Jubilee Action's Executive Director Danny Smith talked to Dr. Wai Sin Hu from India's Samaritan's Helps ministry. Hu told Smith that his network has found desperate families on India's mainland and on the remote Andaman Islands who have yet to receive help. Hu said there is an urgent need for resources to help these families. When Smith immediately offered help, Hu called the gesture an answer to prayer. Hu asked that Jubilee Action's help be specifically directed to Cuddalore, Tamil Nadu in India and on the Andaman islands. Emergency aid - clean water, clothes, baby food, medical kits and trauma counseling for tsunami victims is needed. Secondly, Hu would like to rebuild at least 100 homes and provide start-up costs for income generating initiatives. Jubilee Action has established "The Tsunami Survivors Appeal" to support Hu's work, Smith said. People wanting to help are asked to e-mail Jubilee Action at [email protected]

Indonesia: Missionaries Help Tsunami Survivors in Worst-Hit Country
Christian Aid

Native missionaries of Indonesia have been helping tsunami survivors on the northern tip of Sumatra Island, the single region with the most casualties. Located near the epicenter of the earthquake that caused the tsunami, the northern province of Aceh was devastated by tidal waves. Since nearly 100 percent of Aceh residents are strict Muslims, Christian missionaries have not been welcome in northern Sumatra for years. But attitudes have changed since native missionaries began arriving with food and drinking water. One ministry in Jakarta chartered a plane to fly in a team of physicians with emergency medicines and medical supplies. Some ministries, instead of traveling to the province, are reaching the refugees flocking to cities located further south on the island. Thousands are fleeing devastated coastal areas in search of food, clothing and shelter. Several Christian ministries in these cities are giving refugees basic necessities such as rice, clothing, blankets and shelter. Missionaries also minister to refugees spiritually through Christian counseling and the provision of Bibles. One ministry has begun delivering aid to the island of Nias, which was hit hard by tsunami waves but has received very little outside attention since. Nias has a shortage of food and medical care since most relief supplies are being focused on Aceh by government and international aid agencies. Christian Aid is receiving emergency contributions for these ministries. (

Tsunami Survivors Desperate for Help, Open to Gospel
Allie Martin, AgapePress

The president of Gospel for Asia says the devastating earthquake and tidal wave that hit South Asian countries should make every true believer focus on evangelism. Indonesia was hardest hit, reporting nearly 100,000 deaths. Also suffering tremendous loss of life was Sri Lanka, India, and Thailand.  In addition, several European nations lost citizens who were vacationing in the region.  The United States is confirming 36 deaths of its citizens, but several thousand Americans have not yet been located. K.P. Yohannon of Gospel for Asia, which plants churches in those areas hardest hit by the disaster, says the tragedy should cause Christians around the world to re-evaluate their evangelistic efforts. According to the GFA leader, Christian workers who are assisting the survivors are reporting that many are open to the gospel. "There's such a dire need at this time -- and I pray that people of God will wake up and do what we should do at this time," he says. Gospel for Asia has started an emergency fund to provide victims with food, shelter, clean water, clothing, and critical medicines. The ministry, which is planning a multi-phase effort aimed at meeting the physical and spiritual needs of survivors, says donations for relief efforts can be made through its website. (

Native Missionaries Work to Protect Child Victims of Tsunami
Christian Aid

Besides disease and hunger, another horror looms for orphaned or displaced children: traffickers who kidnap and sell them into slavery or prostitution. The Indonesian government has ordered a ban on all adoption as reports come in of child traffickers posing as family members or adoption agencies to take children. The leader of an indigenous ministry in Sri Lanka writes, "We are praying much for the displaced persons, especially for children, as there are reports of homeless children being abused." The unspeakable inhumanity of such crimes is beyond comprehension, but indigenous ministries are taking action to combat them. One children's home in Kerala state of India has taken in 50 boys and girls. Another ministry in Tamil Nadu is arranging to build permanent structures to house orphans. A Sri Lanka ministry that has been rescuing and rehabilitating child prostitutes for years also plans to take in orphaned children. In Indonesia, one ministry hopes to rescue 50 orphaned boys and girls, all under the age of 12, who are being held at airports for lack of anywhere else to send them. Please pray for the Lord's protection over the youngest and most vulnerable survivors of the tragedy. An estimated 40 percent of tsunami victims are children. (