ELCA NEWS SERVICE
April 16, 2010
ELCA Provides $50,000 for Earthquake Response in China
CHICAGO (ELCA) -- The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America is providing $50,000 for response to the April 14 earthquake in Yushu, China. The magnitude 6.9 earthquake destroyed an estimated 15,000 homes in Yushu, left more than 1,100 people dead and hundreds more missing.
The funds will be allocated though International Disaster Response, ELCA Global Mission, and will be distributed to three partners working on the ground in the earthquake zone: the Action by Churches Together (ACT) Alliance, implemented by the Amity Foundation; the Sichuan Council of Churches, in coordination with the Qinghai Council of Churches and local partners such as Luzhou City Church; and Plateau Perspectives, an international nonprofit organization that promotes conservation and sustainable development in the Tibetan Plateau region of China.
The ELCA has worked with some of the partners before. Most recently it has been working to develop a closer relationship with the Sichuan Council of Churches, said the Rev. Y. Franklin Ishida, director for Asia-Pacific Continental Desk, ELCA Global Mission. The council has been the beneficiary of a "church-to-church" relationship with the ELCA in response to a previous earthquake. It has also given financial assistance to the ELCA for Midwest flood relief and contributed funds to Taiwan in response to floods there.
"It's a new way of working with them for disasters. We're engaging in the response together," Ishida said.
The Luzhou City Church has dispatched a response team to Yushu. April 18 has been designated as a day of prayer by the Sichuan Council of Churches for those affected by the disaster. A special offering will be designated for relief work, coordinated together with the Qinghai Council of Churches, which has expressed appreciation to the Sichuan Council of Churches for its assistance.
The Amity Foundation is an independent voluntary organization created through the initiative of Chinese Christians. An Amity assessment team is working on the ground in Yushu and is expected to propose an appeal to the ACT Alliance Secretariat, according to a report from ELCA Global Mission.
Plateau Perspectives has sent a response team from Xining, with medical supplies, tents and bedding, the Global Mission report said.
The Chinese president has called for an all-out emergency effort. Some 5,000 rescuers, including 700 soldiers, have been sent to the area. Numerous aftershocks are also making relief work challenging, according to Global Mission. The quake knocked out phone and power lines, and triggered landslides.
A challenge for rescuers is that Yushu is about 13,000 ft. above sea level. The high altitude conditions make the work difficult for the teams.
Editors: When listing organizations receiving funds for aid to survivors of major disasters outside the United States, Puerto Rico or the U.S. Virgin Islands, please include:
ELCA International Disaster Response
PO Box 71764
Chicago, IL 60694-1764
Information about ELCA companions in China is at http://www.ELCA.org/Who-We-Are/Our-Three-Expressions/Churchwide-Organization/Global-Mission/Where-We-Work/Asia/China.aspx on the ELCA Web site.
For information contact:
John Brooks, Director (773) 380-2958 or firstname.lastname@example.org