Lives Renewed by Compassion International

Lives Renewed by Compassion International

  |   Posted: December 19, 2005

Nearly a year after the devastating tsunami in Asia, hundreds of families are back in homes and at work because of aid efforts by Compassion International.

Since the tsunami hit on Dec. 26, 2004, Compassion has been busy building homes, providing assistance to displaced workers and supplying aid to refugees. Families have received more than 28,000 pounds of food, nutritional supplements and cooking supplies, as well as shelter and counseling.

"Although Compassion typically provides long-term child development, the immensity of this tragedy was so overwhelming that we felt compelled to do our part to help the children and families that survived," said David Dahlin, Chief Operating Officer of Compassion International.

Immediately after the tsunami hit, Compassion's Asia Area Office mobilized to help the Aceh province in northwestern Indonesia. A team of more than 30 professionals and volunteers  all from Indonesia  arrived Jan. 6 in Banda Aceh, where more than 165,000 lives were lost. The team, working out of an abandoned school, initially included 11 doctors, five paramedics, five counselors and several teachers. The team grew and continued their work throughout the year.

Compassion primarily assisted residents of two destroyed villages on the small island of Breueh, 12 miles north of Banda Aceh. Approximately 250 new homes have been built or are nearing completion on that island. More than 1,800 students have received the expenses and supplies to go to school. And as the anniversary of the tsunami approaches, Compassion has given short-term, no-interest loans to Indonesians trying to rebuild their lives.

"The tsunami brought a wave of destruction but also a wave of love and compassion," Dahlin said. "In the midst of scenes right out of hell, was demonstrated the light of heaven."

Donors from around the world contributed more than $2 million to Compassion's Tsunami Disaster Relief Fund.

Compassion International is one of the nation's largest Christian child development organizations, working with more than 65 denominations and thousands of indigenous church partners in Africa, Asia, Central and South America and the Caribbean. Since 1952, Compassion has touched the lives of more than a million children and has been recognized for its financial integrity with top ratings and recommendations by several of the nation's leading not-for-profit "watchdog" organizations. For information about sponsoring a child, click on the Sponsor a Child link above or call (800) 336-7676, Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. MT.